Why hiring Ime Udoka could turn into long-term disaster for Rockets

Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors
Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

In many respects, Ime Udoka has been everything the Houston Rockets wanted. He's a win-now coach who comes from the coaching tree of one of the greatest coaches ever in Gregg Popovich. 

And he's a defensive specialist, which the Rockets desperately needed after being doormats on that end of the floor for years. Not to mention that he's a disciplinarian who provides the structure that has clearly been missing.

However, did the Rockets make a mistake by hiring him? The question seems outrageous based on what I outlined above, in addition to his ability to spear the Rockets to the sixth-best defense in the league, in spite of having to go stretches without his best defenders in Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, Amen Thompson, and Tari Eason, the latter of which hasn't played in months. 

Udoka had his sights set on making the postseason, although the Rockets aren't quite ready yet.

Rockets could regret hiring Udoka down the road

The problem with this is that Udoka has prioritized vets/proven players over promising, talented, young prospects who are better and deserve more playing time.

Like Cam Whitmore and Thompson.

In other words, the Rockets may have hired Udoka too soon, for where they are at and what he wants. 

And let's not act like Udoka doesn't have his flaws. If you've watched any Rockets games this season, you've surely seen the questionable rotations. 

We also see the Rockets' offense, or lack thereof. The Rockets only really run a handful of plays.

They'll run the wedge-roll action to get Alperen Sengun in the post, they'll run the double screen flare out, or they'll run the hand-off between Jalen Green and Sengun. It's all very predictable, which is partly why they rank 24th in offensive efficiency.

Also because they lack shooters. Which Udoka also bears blame for, because he clearly has roster influence, as evidenced by the Rockets' decision to pursue Fred VanVleet over James Harden.

Hiring a win-now coach for a team with the youth like the Rockets, while also giving said coach this sort of power could come back to bite the Rockets in the arse.

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