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Why the Houston Rockets should hire Tom Thibodeau as an assistant

By Michael Knight
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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After a ton of recent firings in the assistant coaching positions, the Houston Rockets are in need of someone to come in and help run the defense. Can the former Bulls and T-Wolves coach be the answer?

The Houston Rockets are right in the middle of practically cleaning house in the coaching department. Head Coach Mike D’Antoni still remains, but the majority of the assistants are now gone from the team.

That list of gone coaches includes defensive specialist Jeff Bzdelik who orchestrated the change into a switching style of play on that end of the court for the Rockets over the last two years. While it was effective in the first season, helping bring the team one win away from the Finals, it floundered a bit in his second year.

As such, the team will be looking to replace his job with someone who really knows defense. Roy Rogers, another defensive coach, is gone as well, so bringing in a big name to man the defense might be the right move.

Here’s why they should go after Tom Thibodeau:

He knows defense, obviously

Tom Thibodeau is one of the brightest defensive coaches to ever be in the NBA. He orchestrated many great Bulls defenses and always has been known for helping bring intensity on that end of the court to his teams.

While he didn’t exactly show that in Minnesota, his track record is more than enough to cover for him. The personnel with the Wolves was not exactly perfect for him to succeed, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins not being the best defenders out there.

The Rockets also have a recent track record of bringing in a coach that had bad situations for his style and then doing well. Coach D’Antoni was coming off of two bad stints with the Knicks and Lakers before joining Houston and winning Coach of the Year that very season. Thibs can join this staff in a limited role and really do well with the Rockets.

Limited role

We are certainly not suggesting that Tom Thibodeau come in and become the head coach of the team. I do not want that at all. He brings many complaints with him over the years as a head coach, especially in the realm of overplaying his starters. That’s the last thing the Rockets need right now with an aging team.

However, in an assistant role, he would be perfect. He can create a defense for the team and focus almost solely on that for the coming season. The Rockets went from a top-5 defense to a middle of the pack one and that has to improve if they want to reach the higher goals of the franchise.

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Getting someone like Thibs would be a great move for Houston that would show that they really are looking to get better. If that’s the first big signing of the offseason, I am completely here for it. He’s been here before and he should be here again.

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