Byron Scott had recently been fired from his head coach position of the Los Angeles Lakers. And the Houston Rockets has shown no sign of wanting to keep the current interim head coach J. B. Bickerstaff. Given that, I’m thinking it’s not too crazy for the Rockets to pursue Scott for next season.
Byron Scott has been associated with failure and losing for the past five years. His years with the New Orleans Hornets weren’t that bad as he helmed a sub-par team to two consecutive playoffs appearances, once as the 2nd seed.
However, his fortune began free falling after he accepted the head coach position of the Cleveland Cavaliers and a few days later, LeBron James took his talent to South Beach. He spent three years trying to coach the LeBron-less Cleveland team to no avail. His job with the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t offer much of a reprieve given he had to coach a team with Kobe in his twilight years.
His losing record for the last 5 years (.258) are deceptive at best. It is far from an accurate indication of his ability. He has a stellar record with the Hornets, his last two full seasons with the Hornets (.640) were great. And that was with a team without any true superstar, just a maturing Chris Paul. His strengths and weaknesses work well with the Houston Rockets. He is a stellar small-ball coach who coaches exceptional perimeter offense. He works well with teams that have a definite play maker (Chris Paul) and good shooters (Peja Stojakovic), (Morris Peterson), and (Julian Wright).
He could do all of that again with the Rockets. James Harden is both a good play maker and excellent shooter, The Rockets have sharpshooters like Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, and Jason Terry to help with the offense. In terms of firepower, the Rockets right now arguably are an even better fit than the Hornets back then,
Even without any major acquisition during the offseason, with a team of Beverley, Harden, K.J. McDaniels, Ariza, and Michael Beasley (or Josh Smith), the Rockets could take on the task. The Rockets are still a high volume shooting team. The disappointment of this season came partly because of the failure of getting the shooter open. Byron Scott could fix that.
Byron Scott is also an experienced coach, who has earned more respect than the young J. B. Bickerstaff
This season, two big problems for the Rockets were effort and discipline, this seems to be a problem that an experienced coach like Byron Scott could fix. It would take time, but it is viable that he could do it.
Byron Scott is not without flaws. He is notorious for his impatience. He coaches young players ineffectively. It wasn’t until Chris Paul’s 3rd season that the Hornets fortune turned. His conflict with D’Angelo Russell also shows that he does not have the mentor mentality necessary to teach basketball rather than to coach basketball. However, this would not be that big of a problem for the Rockets.
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They have no 1st round draft pick this season and most of the important young players have passed their second year. Clint Capela, K.J. McDaniels, or Donatas Motiejunas are experienced enough that they do not require a great amount of babysitting, They need a firm hand to coach them, and that is where Byron Scott shines brightest.
Sophomore players like Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell might not benefit greatly from Bryon Scott. but that is a small price to pay, considering their order within the rotation. My guess is that Dekker and Harrell would spend the majority of their time in the D-League, at least at the start of the next season.
This is a different situation than Byron Scott and Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell. The Rockets don’t need their young players to produce. Byron Scott does not have to play them as much as he had to play =Russell.
Next year is not the year for rebuilding. The Rockets don’t have a rebuilding mentality. Next season, after the departure of Dwight Howard, the Rockets need to work on getting back to be a title contender as fast as possible. With more than $40 million in cap space, the rockets could bring in 1 or 2 stars to help Harden. And Byron Scott is the perfect head coach to helm an experienced team to the top.
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