Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Q15: What will be coach Kevin McHale’s biggest change in terms of how he manages the roster this season?
Andre: McHale’s challenge is going to be how he can handle his squad minutes. Ariza and Harden played a crazy amount of time last season. Except for the Cavaliers, the Rockets was the only other team with 2 players inside the top 10 leaders of minutes played per game. The team needs more rotation in my opinion, particularly now that we have a lot of great options in the squad.
Anthony: What he SHOULD do is experiment with Ariza playing some 4, deepen the rotation and limit playing time on Dwight and Harden.
Coty: Kevin McHale’s biggest change in how he manages the Rockets will be at the point guard position and how long he decides to play Dwight Howard. The Rockets have two valuable players at point guard and McHale must keep both Lawson and Beverley happy. I think McHale might have to take a page out of Gregg Popovich’s book and watch Dwight Howard’s minutes. They need him the most for the postseason.
Eric: Kevin McHale’s toughest challenge this season will be the distribution of minutes at point guard, particularly who starts and finishes each game. Beverley and Lawson are two completely different point guards, and both bring different skill sets to the team. McHale must figure out which lineups work best and which of the two point guards they include.
John: With the depth this team has, its one of the deepest teams I can remember. Watch for McHale to monitor players’ minutes more, in hopes to keep them ready for playoff action. Last season he had no choice because of injury to ride James Harden all year. Having Lawson should ease the load that James Harden had to carry last season. By monitoring players minutes better it lets guys like Howard take off second nights of back to backs. It will keep guys fresher for what is hopefully a long playoff run.
Joshua: He’ll have to figure out how to keep Harden and Lawson on the floor at all times. The rockets suffered last season because they only had one ball handler in James Harden. With two elite play makers on the squad, McHale will have to figure out how to make them successful while playing together, and how to manage their minutes so that both players are always on the floor.
Trey: Less time for the stars during the first three-quarters of the season. The bench is good enough to give everyone some time to relax.
Tamberlyn: It’s a high five:
- Push the pace
- Use the roster’s depth and versatility
- Manage Howard and Harden’s minutes
- Get the rookies, second and third year players quality minutes (experience)
- Experiment with different line-ups utilizing 3 guards (Harden/Lawson/Beverley) or Ariza more at PF so McDaniels/Dekker can get time at SF.
Next up the Space City Scoop scribes finalize the regular season segment looking at vets Jason Terry and Marcus Thornton. We also speculate on who’ll be the first Rocket traded, how the versatile squad changes Harden’s output, which player will experience the greatest growth and predict total Rockets wins. Click the links below to view Player Profiles on James Harden, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Marcus Thornton and Sam Dekker as well as the previous segments of our round table on the off season and training camp/preseason and part 1 of the regular season.