Houston Rockets: Determining Mike D’Antoni’s future with the team

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets’ season is on pause with it being tough to tell when things will start. What about coach Mike D’Antoni’s future? Let’s take a look.

I miss our Houston Rockets right now — this would be the time of the season where things are starting ramp up for the postseason with just a minute amount of games to go before the start of the playoffs.

The Houston Rockets were expected to make the playoffs and based on the timeline, they likely would’ve clinched a spot by this point had the season continued on as it normally would have.

But things aren’t normal right now, the world is in an arduous battle amid a global pandemic and doing everything it can to win this battle to save something as precious as mankind.

While that’s going on, our daily lives, especially sports, take a back seat.  That’s totally understandable as we must stay socially distant to prevent community spread of COVID-19, a malady that has caused thousands to be ill and to have lost their lives.

The goal is to save every possible life in order to minimize harm and responses are underway globally — let alone the United States — to mitigate the wrath of this deadly disease.

But until that ill-fated curve of the number of cases reported starts to decrease and it’s flattened, this is what we’ll be doing for the time being, while being isolated in our bubbles.

While that’s going on, it’s tough to tell if there will be a continuation of the 2019-2020 season, contingent on when it’s safe for crowds of people to congregate together.

Mike D’Antoni was going into his final season as the head coach of the Houston Rockets and he had just drawn up a plan that was revolutionary and it was unique to today’s strategy of coaching basketball.

He wanted to prove that he could win games without having a dominant center in the lineup and the team was having some success doing that.   The problem was that his hypothesis to his experiment of trying to win more games was put on hold and he may not have an opportunity to see how this plays out.

Speaking of his future, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle had a Q&A session with readers and here’s what he had to say about him being back next year:

"“I can’t say I would be surprised if he is back or moves on. But I do think he will want to keep coaching. He has remained as enthusiastic as ever about the job this season. There are not a lot of teams with stars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook to coach. I get the sense the Rockets know how good he is. It would be a shame if both sides cannot find a way to come together.”"

Feigen is correct in that conclusion but it honestly comes down to how committed the Houston Rockets are to bringing him back into the fold.  If this season is cancelled and he doesn’t have the opportunity to test his small-ball lineup against the best of competition, then he should be given another shot to try this again.

But if Tilman Fertitta offers him a one to a two-year deal that’s heavily incentive-based, similar to

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the one he was offered this past summer, he’s out of here.

At age 68, D’Antoni has made it clear that he wants to keep working and I think he is far from losing his fastball.  I’d suspect he’d still get offers from other teams to coach so the ball would be in the Houston Rockets’ court.

I personally want him back because this man deserves another shot but there’s no way to tell where Fertitta and Daryl Morey were on this, well before these crazy turn of events flipped our world upside down in short order.

We’ll be finding out soon about his future but my vote of confidence still stands with one Michael Andrew D’Antoni as the head coach of the Houston Rockets.

Next. Rockets: Fertitta's handling of employees begs many questions. dark

He’s the right man for a lineup featuring Harden, Westbrook, Robert Covington, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon, Danuel House, Ben McLemore and the rest of the supporting cast.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.