By: Adam Pasternak
This morning, I awoke to the news of Kevin McHale’s firing from the Houston Rockets just months after an emotional playoff run last season. I’m not a huge fan of his, but this was still a shock to me. It’s extremely early in the season and the Rockets are only 4-7. Nothing is out of reach yet. If anything this just may be a wake-up call to a very lethargic Houston Rockets team. I don’t think the coaching change was necessary, not yet at least. If GM Daryl Morey would have been a little more patient (maybe wait 2-3 weeks more) and then re-evaluated things then, who knows…maybe the team would be doing better. Ultimately, the decision was made to can McHale and only time will tell if it was the right move.
J.B Bickerstaff, an established assistant coach in the NBA, has taken over head coaching duties until Daryl Morey finds his man. Some people have been quick to say that Tom Thibodeau should be the man to replace McHale. Personally, I think that is a disaster waiting to happen. Thibs’ focus is essentially only on the defensive end of the court, and we all know about James Harden’s questionable-at-best defence. You never know though, maybe Thibs would be the push Harden needs to improve on that end of the court, but with Harden’s ego I think they would clash and what they really need is help getting away from their iso-centric offence. They have Dwight and Ariza for defence, they’ll be ok on that end. A few other notable names have already been mentioned as well, but it will take some time – maybe the rest of the season – for them to hire a new head coach. Whoever that coach will be, will have to be a very powerful one as it seems Dwight Howard and Harden don’t really like being told what to do. So far this season, their offence has been so iso-centric. Because of all the one-on-one play, they are stagnant and take bad shots. They need a coach that is going to make them move the ball around more. Of course Harden is going to get is iso’s here and there and he’ll still take over games, but the players can’t just be standing around on offence.
As I mentioned before, this move could be a wakeup call for the Rockets players. Obviously they aren’t oblivious to the fact that they aren’t playing good basketball, but now the situation just went to a whole other level. Their play cost their coach his job. That never sits well with athletes. No matter who is coaching them now, they are playing with a chip on their shoulder and with something to prove. It is really too bad McHale had to be the one to take the fall, but in the end it could be the one thing that ignites this team. They have the talent to do big things, but if they don’t put their personalities and personal accolades aside, they will never be able to accomplish anything. It’s an interesting mix of characters but they went to the conference finals last year, so they know they are capable of getting there again. With the West being as good as it is, the Rockets don’t have too much time to play around. They have to figure things out now, and turn their season around before it is too late to save.
Was this the right move by the Rockets? What direction should they go in? Will they save their season? Comment below!
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