May 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale laughs before game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
With training set to begin in just a couple of days, and with one of the most anticipated seasons in Houston Rockets franchise history just a month away, head coach Kevin McHale spoke about the issues for the team heading into camp.
Sitting down with The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, McHale addressed three main issues: How Dwight Howard fits into the team, the plan for Omer Asik, and the point guard rotation.
When asked if Howard can be incorporated into the fast-paced offense that lead to so much success for the Rockets last season, McHale said he has no plans of changing the style:
“I think we’re going to play basically the same style. We have to get better defensively, and with Dwight we have to have more of an emphasis on trying to get the ball in the post. Through Dwight running and Dwight doing different things, I think we can do that without really having to change our identity. We still want to get the ball up and down the floor. We still want to be aggressive and run and attack offensively. I think we have two of the top rim protectors in Dwight and Omer, so we have to use those guys. I’d like to use them together. It gives us a chance to have a defensive presence and run off our defense a little more.”
McHale also disregarded the notion that Asik didn’t take the signing of Howard very well, and expects him to come to camp ready to work:
“I didn’t know Omer was the general manager. That surprises me. He’s a player. His job is to come in and play. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk with him about all that, but Daryl (Morey’s) job is to try to improve the team. Omer’s job is not to wonder how that affects him. His job is to figure out how they can play together and be effective.”
McHale also stated that he will definitely try to play Howard and Asik together during camp, and will try everything possible to make the tandem work. He then concluded with the current point guard situation, saying that starter Jeremy Lin will fit in well with the new look Rockets:
“He (Lin) fits well. He can play. If Jeremy hadn’t had that month in New York and everybody had just seen Jeremy for truly what he is, his first year starting with a team like a rookie point guard, people would be saying what a great year he had. But people are always trying to match things up with that run he had in New York, which was kind of magical. I think Jeremy had a really good year. He’ll fit in well with these guys. He’s going to get pushed for time with AB (Aaron Brooks) and Pat (Patrick Beverley) and Isaiah Canaan. I was with him a couple weeks ago. We worked out together and spent some time. He’s in great shape. He’s ready to go.
The Rockets open training camp on Saturday.