Love them or hate them, it’s always sad to see a head coach get fired for the team’s struggles. Kevin McHale has gone through a lot over the past two years, and it’s hard to say goodbye to the coach who held a 55.4 winning percentage during his five years with the Houston Rockets.
Soon after the news about McHale’s firing, speculations began to surface. Who will take over has the Rockets’ new head coach? Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Scott Brooks emerge as top candidates for the vacant position. However, there is one name that stands out amongst all.
With the Rockets in the state of emergency at the moment, Daryl Morey should consider Tom Thibodeau as his number one option. Although he and the Chicago Bulls parted ways this summer, Thibodeau is still considered one of the best coaches in the league.
In the past five season Thibodeau ranked in the top five among coaching winning percentages with 64.8 percent. There is nothing anyone can discredit in regards to Thibodeau’s ability to coach his team to a victory. He won a playoff series with Nate Robinson as his starting point guard, and kept the Bulls near the top of the Eastern Conference despite the injuries to star player Derrick Rose.
This season, the Rockets have the second worst defense in the league. In their first eleven games, they gave up 108.5 points per game. However, Thibodeau’s ability as a defensive minded coach, would be his biggest attraction for Houston.
With an average of 92.4 opponents points per game, Thibodeau’s Bulls ranked top three in defense the last five seasons. Just image how dominating the Rockets will become if they only gave up 92.4 opponents point points per game.
Although McHale’s Rockets ranked among the top offensive teams in the league averaging 104.5 points per game, there might be a decline in their scoring with Thibodeau. His Bulls had an average of 96.5 points over the past five seasons, but that does not mean the Rockets will struggle offensively.
Chicago shot a consistent 44.5 percent from the field. Majority of it is due by not shooting too many 3-point shots. If hired, Thibodeau’s offense will make the Rockets shooting more consistent with the lack of 3-point shots they take.
Thibodeau will also help the Rockets’ rebounding struggles as his Bulls ranked in the top 10 with 44.7 boards per game. As for the Rockets’ biggest star James Harden, both he and Thibodeau has already developed a great relationship together as the assistant coach for Team USA.
Wish Kevin McHale nothing but the best moving forward. Hopefully he will be back in the league as a head coach soon. McHale leaves Houston with the highest winning percentage among coaches in Rockets history. Yes, McHale has a better winning percentage than the great Rudy Tomjanovich.
However, let’s hope who ever the Rockets’ newest coach is, they will be able to lead Houston to a championship title sooner than later.