Why the Rockets fanbase should be excited about Stephen Silas

Charlotte Hornets acting head coach Stephen Silas (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets acting head coach Stephen Silas (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Stephen Silas should have Houston Rockets fans excited about the future, as he provides reason for optimism about where the franchise is headed.

On Thursday afternoon, the Houston Rockets hosted a press conference for Stephen Silas and Rafael Stone. Silas, who became the Rockets’ new head coach and Stone, who was promoted to GM, seemed optimistic throughout the press conference.

Stone and Silas expressed strong feelings towards the Rockets’ roster, while emphasizing the importance of bringing in key players for the upcoming season. Stone stated that he feels extremely comfortable with the Rockets because of James Harden.

“We’ve still got James Harden and our goal is to win a championship. As long as you have [James] Harden, you’re halfway there,” as Stone told the press Thursday.

No matter the head coach or GM, the expectation is to still win championship in Houston. As the press conference continued, Silas was asked about how the offense would look like with Russell Westbrook and Harden.

“What I will do is try to make it easier. Put in a few little actions and be a little more versatile on the offensive end to let those guys play to their strengths. Not so much stand around with iso.”

In previous years with Mike D’ Antoni, the Rockets offense was based around Harden’s creativity and iso ball. Harden is the NBA’s most dominant player in isolation when left alone in one-on-one situations. In the 2019-20 season, Harden led the NBA in the isolation with 41 percent shooting, while averaging 16 points per game.

Why Houston Rockets fans should be excited about Stephen Silas

It will be interesting to see what type of movement Silas adds to this Rockets’ offense, as he mentioned the offense can perform better. Silas is a firm believer in playing to the Rockets’ strengths and not making wholesale changes, as he wants the players to be completely comfortable while playing for him.

On Friday morning, Silas doubled down on his comments on ESPN’s First Take, telling hosts Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman that the spending habits of Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta bears no concern for him.

“Tilman has a plan and he believes in me, and he’s not afraid to spend. Me and Stone clicked right away. To have 2 MVPs and the ability to win it all, this is the ideal job for me. It’s a perfect fit,” stated Silas.

Stone did mention in the press conference on Thursday that he was inside the room with Daryl Morey and Fertitta throughout many of the Rockets’ transactions and acquisitions, while also adding that spending was never the problem.

Speaking of small-ball, Silas was on the 2006-07 Golden State Warriors, which was dubbed the “We Believe” team. The team consisted of Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, Matt Barnes, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington.

Silas was then an assistant coach to legendary head coach Don Nelson, who he constantly brought up on First Take and at the press conference. That Warriors’ team Silas was apart of, played micro-ball throughout the whole season.

But instead of just depending on micro-ball, Silas mentioned the desire to switch things up by finding a traditional big man. Silas wants to play big but small at the same time, so defenses have a hard time adjusting to the Rockets’ strategy.

“I want to have multiple ways of playing. To have playoff success, you have to multiple ways of playing on both sides of the floor. Having a traditional center would be good for me so I would be able to play small and play big with a rolling center.”

Regarding what it takes for Silas to be successful with the Rockets, it’s about becoming an authoritarian. Silas needs to be aggressive with scheming, adjustment, and authority over the players. Matt Barnes, who played under Silas stated that the new Houston Rockets coach is mild-mannered and qualified for the job, but needs to be more outspoken, while appearing on ESPN’s The Jump.

“He’s definitely qualified and I had an opportunity to play for him on the “We Believe” team. He is a very mild-mannered person by nature but sometimes as an assistant coach you have to play your role, as players do.

I think he’ll get to show a little bit of his personality. He is definitely going to have to be an authoritative figure, so to speak, with this situation. He’ll definitely have to come out of his quiet demeanor to coach this team.”

Next. 10 players the Rockets could add with the MLE

Based on his track record, Silas is the correct head coach for the Rockets. Now that that’s over, they can move forward with the offseason, which will be important for them to have success in the future.