D’Antoni finally has the tools for his Mad Scientist experiment
Trade deadline week must have felt like an extended Christmas for Mike D’Antoni. First, he received a 3-and-D veteran and talented 6-7 forward in Robert Covington. While Clint Capela was tough to let go, his skill set was no longer meshing with what the Rockets were looking to do going forward.
Green has already averaged 18 minutes in his three games played, putting up 9.3 points and three rebounds per contest while Carroll has contributed 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the two games in which he’s appeared.
When you look at D’Antoni’s past, this roster feels like a long time coming for the innovative coach. In a recent TNT interview with his former superstar Steve Nash, Mike revealed a lot about his mindset regarding small ball dating back to his Phoenix Suns days.
D’Antoni and Nash teamed up for some dominant seasons in Phoenix in the 2000s but would ultimately fall short, usually to Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. The reason, as they both lamented, was that they didn’t take small ball and their run and gun style far enough.
As it stands now, the Rockets are playing at a pace of 103.84, which is second only to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. They’re also second in the league in points per game at 118.6.
A roster full of guys 6-7 and under that can all essentially be interchangeable at almost every position on both defense and offense feels like Mike D’Antoni’s ultimate last stand. Dr. Frankenstein finally has everything he needs to create his monster and that’s something every team in the league should be afraid of.
Next: No. 2