http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spo...hp?t=5cfb7fb18b438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium The Rockets first official practices of the season are still days away, but James Harden has seen and felt enough to believe things had changed. That might say as much about the issues of last season as the customary hopes for the season ahead, beginning with Saturday's start of training camp. But Harden was happy to gush about the change he has already seen in attitude. "It's not even close," Harden said of the mentality heading into camp compared to last season. "We've doing something I haven't since I've been here in Houston. Just trying to shake things up, just trying to make sure we really know each other in and out on and off the court. I think that will translate to a better team." Optimism in the NBA when summer gives way to fall comes more reliably than a change in the weather, but Harden said last season's disharmony was "an extremely big problem." "On any team, in any sport, if you don't have the entire team on one page, the entire team having one goal, you're not going to be successful," he said. "That's what we're trying to build here in Houston. We have several new guys we want them to come and feel like this is a great group and we're going to build this together." Most of Harden's session at an event for BodyArmor on Monday predictably focused on his enthusiasm for the start of this season, rather than the issues that led to the Rockets slide to 41-41 and a five-game exit from the playoff's last season. When asked by an audience member about Dwight Howard's departure, he said that his goal is to win with whatever teammates he has. But when asked about what he hopes to accomplish beginning with Saturday's first practices, he said, "To build something that I haven't had since I've been here, that's everybody on the same page, everybody in the same boat." With that in mind, he repeatedly cited the mini-camps Rockets players held over the summer and the workouts in Houston since. "This entire summer I thought about last season, how there was a terrible taste in my mouth," Harden said. "I wanted to come back, get the guys together. I wanted to get the guys together, in Vegas in mid-July and in Miami (last month) just to hang out. I think the better you are off the court, the better you will be on the court. Just worked out with the guys, went to a concert, had dinner with the guys. It's going to carry over to the court. This summer is really a team bonding thing." His own summer has differed greatly from last off-season when he sprained an ankle and headed into camp needing to work himself into shape. Harden said he began the off-season training in Scottsdale before his usual summer travel and a return to workouts with teammates this month. "I've been training all summer," Harden said. "Last season wasn't great at all. It was very disappointing. I don't want to let that happen two years in a row. I've been in the gym working out to get my mind, body and soul right." Most Rockets players have been practicing together, but restricted free agent forward/center Donatas Motiejunas has been working out on his own. His representatives and the Rockets have been unable to come to a contract agreement. "It's very important for him to get here as soon as possible so we can start figuring this thing out," Harden said. The same could be said for the retooled team as a whole. Last preseason was quickly sidetracked when Harden, Howard, Motiejunas, Ty Lawson and Terrence Jones missed time with injuries. This season, the Rockets expect to at least start at full strength, pending resolution of the contract impasse with Motiejunas. "From top to bottom, we're excited for Saturday to get going and start a new journey," Harden said. "Training camp is long, it's draining, especially when you're eight years in. But you look at the bigger picture so everybody can be on the same page. I feel like I'm a rookie at this point."