Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff of the Houston Rockets will coach Stephen Curry‘s team in the 2018 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, the NBA released the full All-Star teams that were picked by LeBron James and Stephen Curry. James Harden is in line to start for Team Stephen, along with DeMar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. Somehow, Chris Paul failed to receive enough votes to make his 10th All-Star appearance, which surprised both Harden and Mike D’Antoni.
Speaking of the Rockets head coach, Mike D’Antoni and his staff will represent the Western Conference All-Stars. He’ll coach Team Stephen, which includes Harden, on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.
The Rockets (34-13) have the second best record in the NBA as well as the second best start through 47 games in franchise history. James Harden is having another MVP-caliber season as he leads the NBA in points (31.0), 3-pointers made (4.1) and is third in assists (9.1).
Houston’s offense, D’Antoni’s specialty, is running at peak efficiency. The Rockets are on track to break season records in 3-pointers made and attempted, as they’re averaging an insane 43.2 3-point attempts per game, nearly 10 more than the next closest team. Houston is using the 3-point shot to out score teams by an average of 7.6 points per game, which is second in the league.
The NBA has followed D’Antoni’s lead
Mike D’Antoni is happy that his assistant coaches have the opportunity to participate in All-Star Weekend, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
“It’s something that’s fun. It’s something that if you are a coach and you ever get a chance to experience as an NBA coach, I think everybody should, especially the assistant coaches. I’d get more joy out of that than anything. They make all this work. People would see what I experience every day.”
Mike D’Antoni also represented the Western Conference as a coach back in 2007 with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns won a whopping 61 games that year, and unsurprisingly, they also led the NBA in points, 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted. In today’s NBA, the 2006-07 Suns’ league-leading 9.6 made 3’s per game would rank just 21st.
Back then, the rest of the league hadn’t caught on to D’Antoni’s analytical approach to running an offense. But in today’s game, it seems like every team in pushing the pace and prioritizing 3-pointers and layups. Congratulations on the All-Star nod, coach!