Rockets Report: Jeff Van Gundy Tops Coaching Search

The Houston Rockets season is over, done, finished, exterminated…whatever you want to call it!

Many of us were relieved when the Golden State Warriors dealt their final blow to the Rockets in Game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

You heard me say it and I’ll say it again…

This season was, by far, the most disappointing I’ve ever had to witness as a Rockets’ fan.

I’ve been a fan for a lifetime and no season has come close to this at all.

We’ve had some bad seasons but at least I had come to grips that the Rockets just weren’t all that good the year that they were competing.

So for seasons like 2001-02 and 2005-06, I just accepted that and look at the positives of either Moochie Norris doing some acrobatic act on the court or Bonzi Wells, Rafer Alston or Steve Novak do their thing while Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady were sidelined with various injuries.

But this season was the exception.

We HAD talent, we HAD the star power and most importantly we HAD the promise of competing at the same level and intensity the season previous.

But for the same reason why many scratch their heads at the many wrinkles of quantum physics are the same reasons as to why the Rockets’ season crashed and burned miserably.

It certainly was an enigma!

But help is apparently on the way in the form of a permanent coach to vacillate prolifically across the Toyota Center sidelines but the Rockets won’t rush in the search.

Daryl Morey so much as said so in his final press conference of the season.

But here’s the skinny…

Jeff Van Gundy continues to be the top candidate/front-runner for the Rockets’ head coaching job but no interviews have been scheduled yet.

I mean quite honestly, does he have to?

He lives here in Houston and I’m sure he can stop by and chat with the Les Alexander, Morey and the rest of the Rockets’ brass as he sees fit.

It has been confirmed that Alexander wants to be assured that Van Gundy — who hasn’t coached since 2007 (last w/Rockets) — has an updated offensive blueprint that will continue uphold the team in the upper echelon among the rest of league.

Les has a point because, let’s face it, his offense wasn’t necessarily boring but it didn’t produce a lot of points from the team.

The Rockets’ points per game averages remained in the low-to-mid 90s throughout his four seasons (2003-2007) with the Rockets.

But you already know that his defense will sound and stout and he’s certainly the guy that can challenge James Harden to reach his full potential.

Morey stance on this issue is slightly different, indicating that a particular candidate’s system is not necessarily make-or-break with the decision.

Harden will have a role — although the extent hasn’t been specified — as to who the Rockets will pick because of his status as our cornerstone.

But Dwight Howard — who’s likely on the way out — will probably be an outsider on the decision.’s Calvin Watkins has confirmed these sentiments.

The problem with Howard is that he’s not getting the ball and I’m sure he’d prefer to have a coach that will incorporate considerably into whatever offensive/defensive schemes that are utilized.

That may not necessarily be here in Houston but we’ll have to see.

He’s got $23 million the table that he could easily grab if he comes back but he could possibly fetch more on the open market with team’s salary caps expected go north of $80 million.

Even J.B. Bickerstaff is still in the mix because he did get the Rockets in the playoffs, he’s young and fresh and has the respect of the players — for now at least.

But I just hope and trust that my beloved team will make the right decision.

There’s a lot at stake considering what has been invested so far in this rebuilding project.

Hold on to your hats and be patient!

Go Rockets.