Mike D’Antoni Is Your New Houston Rockets Head Coach


Former Lakers, Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni has been named head coach of the Houston Rockets.

D’Antoni, who was with the 76’ers as an Associate Head Coach last year, is known for his seven seconds or less offense that he’ll bring to Houston.

The D’Antoni hire comes from ownership, a move solely made by Les Alexander, NOT GM Daryl Morey. Morey and many others preferred a defensive-minded head coach, but Alexander favors the up-tempo style that’ll net him a lot of points.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski (The Vertical), the Rockets will surround D’Antoni with defense-first assistants, though no moves are official.

"The Rockets plan to build a veteran staff around D’Antoni, which likely will includeMemphis Grizzlies defensive coordinator Jeff Bzdelik and Washington Wizards assistant Roy Rogers, league sources said. Toronto Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian, whom Harden is fond of from his Oklahoma City days, is another possible assistant, sources said."

There’s no doubt the Rockets should be able to put up points under D’Antoni. Offense has never been an issue for this team. However, many will (rightfully) question the hire with so many defense-first coaches available for hire.

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The truth is, a coach isn’t the biggest move the Rockets will make this offseason. They could have had Kevin McHale, JBB, or any other several candidates and this team still would have stunk last season. It’s the roster that needs fixing.

Hiring D’Antoni almost guarantees that Dwight Howard doesn’t opt-in to his final year in Houston, thus becoming a free agent. Howard and D’Antoni weren’t the perfect duo during their time in Los Angeles, and Howard likely realizes he wouldn’t be able to flourish in such a system.

Besides for Howard, the rest of the roster needs much fixing as well. The four-spot needs new faces. Will Clint Capela start at center? Who’s going to come off the bench? These are all big questions as we start free agency in a month.

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Ryan Anderson is a popular name to Houston fans that would fit perfectly here. Al Horford is another name that’s been mentioned a few times in rumors. Expect the Rockets and Morey to go hard after any big name potentially available in trade (Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin, etc.)

The hire is a hire. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I hate how it happened (ownership rather than GM) and I hate that it wasn’t Jeff Van Gundy, but at the end of the day, it’s the 15-man roster that means more to me.

Morey’s never been on the hot seat before, but now more than ever his seat is starting to heat up.

It’s an important offseason for the franchise and Morey, so expect him to go all-out and try to make biggest splash of the offseason.

Click here for all the latest on the Rockets offseason.

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