The Rockets’ front office dropped a lot of cash this summer on contract renegotiations, hiring a new coaching staff, and adding free agents. Now, there is pressure for all the change to result in a winning environment in Houston.
Mike D’Antoni has had quite the up-and-down career in the NBA. He was once praised for his genius offensive schemes with the Phoenix Suns, but was laughed out of the head coach position in Los Angeles just a few years later. Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni wrote on how D’Antoni is now near the top of the list when it comes to coaches who are under pressure.
"D’Antoni will be under pressure to win because GM Daryl Morey is under pressure as well, with many of Morey’s well-intentioned tactics having gone awry during his tenure in Houston. The combination of , D’Antoni’s experience, and the off-season additions means Houston is all-in on making it back near the top of the conference. Harden’s extension"
The Houston Rockets‘ front office may want to return to respectability, but they might have missed opportunities to do so. According to Hoops Habit’s Joshua Cornelissen, the team focused too much on offense this summer. Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon will help Houston score a lot but are both defensive liabilities.
"Houston is betting on their offense being so great that the defense doesn’t matter. They still have Patrick Beverly and Trevor Ariza, solid defenders who still provide value on offense. But they had those players last season and finished 20th in defensive efficiency. There is not a single player on the roster who moves the needle on their own."
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Speaking of pressure, James Harden and Adidas are under a bit of pressure to release a good looking shoe after the supposed prototype came under serious fire on social media in the past couple of weeks. Peter Walsh of Slam Magazine reported that the company is working with the Beard to make a great product.
"“My relationship with adidas is great,” says Harden. “I’ve never had an opportunity to express myself or my fashion and clothing and they listen to me and execute the game plan. If I need anything, I can reach out to them and vice-versa. I meet with designers as much as possible because in order to do something great, you have to put your best foot forward. I’ve had a lot of fun with the process of creating shoes.”"
It’ll be a while before Adidas, James Harden, and the Rockets get their chance to live up to the high expectations set on them. As Harden said, let’s hope that all three of them put their best foot forward this season.
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