Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: The Never Ending Search


The Houston Rockets are jumping back and forth with coaches more than a game of  Hop Scotch.

Every day it’s something new in the Houston Rockets‘ quest to find a new head coach.

Despite the reports that Mike D’Antoni has landed a second interview Tuesday afternoon. Multiple rumors confirmed that Jeff Van Gundy was a clear front runner for the Rockets. 24 hours later, James Herbert of CBS Sports has reported that there will not be a Van Gundy reunion in Clutch City.

"ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy is out of the running for the Houston Rockets’ vacant head-coaching position, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Van Gundy previously coached the Rockets from 2003 to 2007. This fizzled out quickly. On Monday, that Van Gundy could be gaining traction as Houston’s top choice. On Tuesday, that general manager Daryl Morey supported Van Gundy, but owner Leslie Alexander “has yet to be fully sold on a reunion.” CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported ESPN’s Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins reported"

Crazy right! Regardless of how many coaches the Rockets let slip away, Van Gundy would have been the perfect coach in Houston. He is a coach who would have upgraded the Rockets offense. As well as improve their defense.

If Daryl Morey is so focus improving Houston’s offense, then Mike D’antoni is not the right coach for the job. His poor defensive strategies are the reasons his Phoenix Suns never won a championship.

However, there are a few critics who feel D’antoni may be the perfect coach for the Rockets. According to Michael Pina of Fox Sports, he feels that D’antoni’s hiring will make Houston a much less sad version of its current self.

"D’Antoni is a mixed-bag of a candidate, far from a reliable solution and arguably a bad fit. Houston was atrocious on defense last season, and he’s arguably the last coach capable of fixing those problems. The team wasn’t invested in doing the work that’s required to win. They trotted back on defense and showed little trust with the ball. But the Rockets already embrace plenty of the principles D’Antoni rode to great success as head coach of the Phoenix Suns. They play fast (especially after grabbing a defensive rebound) and a higher percentage of their points came from behind the three-point line than any team in the league. No squad detests the mid-range area like the Rockets."

With so many rumors regarding the Rockets’ head coaching vacancy, it easy to miss other news about the Rockets. With the league dominated by small ball play today. Rockets’ legend Hakeem Olajuwon says that he would dominate ten times more in today’s NBA. In a recent article published by the Players’ Tribune.

"Small ball won’t eliminate big men, but it might eliminate our old ideas of positions. Everyone likes to compare eras, but it’s possible that today’s big men are more skilled as all-around players than ever before. Look at guys like Draymond Green and LaMarcus Aldridge in this year’s playoffs. I’m in awe of how they play like guards and centers at the same time. I would love today’s NBA. It’s like when I was a freshman in college and didn’t know what a center should act like — so I pretended I was a guard. I didn’t want to have a position at all."

If Olajuwon played in today’s NBA, the Rockets would have about three more champions added to their legacy. There would be no hope for guys like Draymond Green and Kevin Love. After watching the way he dominated David Robinson, some cannot help but wonder “What If?”

Be sure to check out our continuing Draft Prospect Series and our Year End Player Reviews!

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect: Jakob Poelti

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