The Houston Rockets will be making some changes to the coaching staff next year. We already heard of one assistant coach being let go, but now news came out that another will not be returning to the team.
The Houston Rockets are making some moves in the coaching area after a disappointing end to the year. While it appears that Mike D’Antoni will be safe (and possibly getting an extension), the assistant coaches will be changing quite a bit.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that defensive specialist Jeff Bzdelik will not return to the squad next season. Bzdelik did a fantastic job in his two years, though, despite the Rockets regressing a bit on that end in 2018-19. Much of that was personnel, and the letting go might have to do with retirement at this point.
Now, it looks like another assistant, Roy Rogers, is not coming back next season. He has been with the franchise for quite some time and also was a huge help on the defensive end. Some other assistants won’t return, also:
Other Rockets changes have also come down. Assistant Mitch Vanya and video coordinator John Cho also won't be back, source said. https://t.co/fhbXHf3vVE
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) May 24, 2019
One thing’s for sure, there will be big changes to D’Antoni’s coaching staff this season. Could he be looking to make bigger moves and bring in a big name to help him run the defense?
*Edit, 6:50 p.m. Another assistant coach has been let go, according to Shams Charania:
The Houston Rockets have let go of player development assistant coach Irv Roland, who worked very closely with James Harden as well as Chris Paul and PJ Tucker, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 24, 2019
One name that immediately comes to mind is Tom Thibodeau. He was someone who was an assistant for several years in Houston in the early 2000s, helping man the defense for Jeff Van Gundy.
Thibs has certainly been criticized in recent years for his intensity and rotations, overplaying guys at time in both Chicago and Minnesota. This came when he was a head coach, though, not as an assistant. Coming in and being the “defensive coordinator” could really do wonders for Houston, as he is one of the best minds for that end of the court that the league has seen.
Who will be by MDA’s side this season in Houston? We will just have to wait and see as the offseason starts to heat up!