With the Houston Rockets seeing success from the small-ball strategy, should Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni receive a contract extension?
As Houston Rockets fans all know, Mike D’Antoni is the winningest coach in Rockets history, and has been one of the best two coaches in the league dating back to the 2017-18 season. Even the biggest MDA detractor would have to admit that he’s one of the best coaches in the league even now.
MDA has been known for his revolutionary offensive approaches, which first started during his days with the Phoenix Suns when he employed the “seven seconds or less” offense. D’Antoni has made strategic adjustments during his tenure with the Rockets, such as moving James Harden to point guard during the 2016-17 season. This resulted in The Beard leading the league in assists, as he averaged a career-best 11.2 assists per game that season.
Harden ultimately finished second in MVP voting that season, which was impressive considering the fact that this was MDA’s first season coaching the Rockets. MDA also faced questions of how he would devise an offense that would allow Chris Paul and Harden to succeed during the 2017-18 season, as it had become widely accepted that this wasn’t possible.
As we all know by now, the Houston Rockets came within a CP3 hamstring injury of defeating the superteam Golden State Warriors. D’Antoni employed a three-guard lineup of CP3, James Harden, and Eric Gordon which is part of what caused the CP3 era to flourish.
Doing so was risky, as he sacrificed size for scoring by starting Gordon over players like Danuel House and Gerald Green, who are built more like traditional forwards. This is similar to the small-ball strategy he’s employed this season, which has drawn criticism from the national media.
Next: How D'Antoni is still innovating