Rockets News

For the Rockets to take flight, they need to let Stephen Silas go

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz
Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
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The Houston Rockets Wednesday night loss to the Utah Jazz dropped their season record to 1-4 and 38-121 under Stephen Silas. If the Rockets maintain their current pace, they’ll finish with sub-30 wins for the third consecutive season, all under the watch of Stephen Silas. 

Since the franchise’s inception in 1967-68, the Rockets have only finished a season with fewer than 30 wins six times before Silas’ tenure, and in the seasons before Silas and after the selection of Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984, the Rockets dropped below 30 wins once.  

The wins and losses aren’t Stephen Silas’ fault, but the basketball is

Laying all the blame on Silas for the franchise’s recent struggles on the court is irresponsible. He signed on to coach a team led by James Harden, only to see his star player demand a trade not even ten games into the season. The Rockets’ decision to enter a full-on teardown wasn’t his doing, but the lack of direction on the court is. 

Silas was hailed as an offensive genius upon his hiring. He had just been a lead assistant on a Dallas Mavericks side built around the ball-dominant shot-creating god Luka Doncic that led the league in offensive rating. The plan was for him to take that recipe from one master chef to another, but Harden’s desire to find a team with more realistic championship odds torpedoed those hopes. 

To maintain the cooking analogy, Silas walked into a kitchen and watched all of his ingredients change in the blink of an eye. Instead of looking at his new ingredients and making a different dish, Silas said, “I can sear a round steak, and it’ll taste as good as ribeye.” Unsurprisingly, the results have been far from inspiring.