Returning star Chris Bosh says both he and the Miami Heat organization feel recharged and reinvigorated heading into the new NBA season.
Speaking after day one of training camp, Bosh says the Heat have relished the chance to take stock and regroup following a tumultuous 2014/15 season; derailed by high profile departures, injuries and a terrifying near-death experience for Bosh himself.
"It's a different thing, " says Bosh, "we feel rejuvenated as a team and as an organisation. Last year we were playing catch-up a little bit. I think this year we've had time to really digest and really think about where we are."
The charismatic 31-year-old is making his return to basketball activities after recovering from blood clots of the lungs, which ended his season and threatened his career.
So is there an extra spring in Bosh's step heading into training camp?
"Well, yeah. I'm fresh. I feel 29, I feel like a young man," Bosh joked, while assuring he's feeling no ill effects.
"I feel great out there. I've been working on my conditioning quite a bit, which was one of the major points. Now it's just coming back the next day and the next day and getting my body used to all that contact, and running up and down the court and playing team basketball.
"It's just another day. I don't try to make things too big of a deal. I'm not an excited person anyway. I just come and do my job. I'm concentrating on trying to be a good leader."
With Bosh back, Goran Dragic signed to an extension, Dwyane Wade looking healthy and big things expected from first draft pick Justise Winslow, expectations are once again high, both inside and outside of South Florida.
Many observers (including this site) are predicting a return to the Conference Finals appearance in the East, after the team endured a rare exclusion from the playoffs in 2015.
However, if the prophecy is to be realised, Bosh stressed the importance of rediscovering the team's defensive identity and greatly improving rebounding performance, a particular weakness with the Heat ranked 23rd overall last season.
‘That was the major point of emphasis," Bosh told reporters following day one of training camp at FAU, "because even when we were lucky enough to make them miss we didn't have good rebounding percentage, especially on the defensive end.
"We have to finish that possession and we know if we want to get where we want to go, rebounding is of utmost importance."
Do you think Bosh's return can help the Heat bounce back and make a fifth conference finals appearance in six years? Share your thoughts below.