Houston Rockets' Jalen Green poses for a photograph during an NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Third-year Rockets coach Stephen Silas doesn’t have an exact number of games in mind that he believes his team will win, but he does know the reputation he wants to have around the NBA this season.

He wants the Rockets and their young core of players to be looked at as a team that’s to play against – one that opponents don’t look forward to playing against.

“That’s my thing, it’s not going to be an easy night coming in here and playing against the Rockets,” said Silas, whose team began training camp this week in Lake Charles, La. in preparation for the 2022-23 season. “It’s funny because talking to coaches at the end of last season and then at the coaches’ meetings a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, that was one of the things they said about our young guys, is `We knew we were going to have to bring it because your guys don’t stop.’”

Houston Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr. poses for a photographer during an NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The plan is to keep that narrative going this season with core young and talented second-year players led by All-Rookie first teamer and last year’s No.2 overall pick Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun along with Kevin Porter, Jr. Added to the roster that had almost no turnover from last season’s 20-62 squad will be an infusion of even younger talent that will be headlined by third-overall pick Jabari Smith, who will be a key defensive addition in the front court.

Silas is anxious to see how it all works together on the floor this season. Pretty much the entire team stuck around this summer to work out together and bond for this season.

The Rockets’ first test will come Sunday when they open the preseason schedule against the Spurs at Toyota Center.

“I’m super excited about this season,” Silas said. “I’m excited for a bunch of reasons. I’m excited that we have a group that I’ve been with for a little while and they have more experience than they have had in the past. That’s one of the things change from year to year.

“I’m excited about the work that these guys have put in over the summer as far as having basically the whole team here this summer, working on their game, working on their bodies. I’m excited about our young guys that we picked up and they are going to be a big part of our organization, a big part of our team.”

This offseason, the Rockets added first-rounders Tari Eason (forward), TyTy Washington Jr. (guard) and Smith (power forward). They complete the Rockets’ young core that already includes last year’s first-rounders Josh Christopher, Usman Garuba, Sengun and Green.

As talented as the Rockets will be, it’s unlikely to expect a big jump in wins or a serious push for the playoffs out of the Western Conference this season. But what the Rockets seem to be going for is marked improvement in their play on both ends of the floor and a definite uptick in the wins column.

“There are going to be nights where the ball goes in and you play badly and you win and there will be nights when the ball doesn’t go in and we play great, but we lose,” third-year general manager Rafael Stone said when asked he will measure and define success for the Rockets this season. “That’s the NBA, that’s the nature of 82 games. But I think we know enough between the two of us and our staff that we will be able to measure well (as to) are we tough enough to play against.

“For a team like us, we are an up-and-coming team and that’s another step.”

Silas believes that fans will see a huge improvement in his team as this season progresses.

“There has to be a level of improvement with the team that we see (Sunday) against San Antonio and the way that we play versus the team we will see post All-Star break,” said Silas, who has 14 players on his roster who have three or less years of experience. “Having some level of patience but there has to be some level of steady and marked improvement as the season goes along.”