Houston Rockets’ summer assignment list: Part 5, Kevin McHale

Management quickly moved to secure head coach Kevin McHale’s seat shortly after the team’s ouster from the postseason in the first round.  I speculated at the time that the move was more a show of cohesion on the public front (with the team very much in the free agent market) rather than an actual show of confidence in McHale’s abilities.  After all, even national observers scratched their heads collectively over some of Houston’s strategic miscues.  I noted, at times, the team did not even appear to have a gameplan, appearing lost defensively; and there was, of course, the last play of the season.

But to delegate the assignment of “learning to use a clipboard” as McHale’s summer task would be unfairly reductive and an improper commentary upon the head man’s role within the organization.  After all, he’s respected, liked by both his star players, and by all accounts, in ownership of full faith in his lockerroom.  And he brought Dwight Howard to Houston.  Those things are of tremendous value.

I’ve argued, and others have noted, that in today’s NBA, the duty of greatest import for the club’s head man is of leadership.  To that end, McHale, having had the ear of his players still several years in, has exceeded expectations.  That is not a common feat.  A coach should be able to lead and inspire and the former Celtic great has done just that, helping the team navigate the tumultuous waters of the Western Conference.

I’ve come to disagree with the team’s overall on-court philosophy (a gradual process eventually punctuated by this summer’s show in the first round), arguing that the team’s repudiation of the mid-range game was overall harmful to its intended goals.  I’m more firm than ever in my belief over the necessity of set plays.  But these matters are not at the feet of McHale.  The onus is on Daryl Morey to loosen his influence on non-personnel matters.  Above all, management must hire an experienced assistant head coach.  Not much of this has been made, but I’d argue now in hindsight, having concluded the Ariza-Parsons swap was an ultimate net gain, that the loss of Lionel Hollins from what seemed inevitable hiring was the actual second-biggest forfeiture of the offseason.

So what should be on Kevin McHale’s plate in what’s left of these hot months?  Keep doing what you’re doing.  Maybe read some self-help books on motivation.  Keep Dwight Howard happy.  Make up some story about how you and Larry Bird didn’t actually like each other but found a way to bond on the court and feed it to James Harden.

McHale should be lauded for his handling of the circumstances surrounding his tenure.  He knew the situation going in, but he’s handled the unconventional dynamics with nothing but grace.  It’s hard imagining any other legend as decorated as McHale accepting total subordination in his role as he has, and enduring the constant flux of personnel, year to year.  A coach wants to know that the guys he has are the guys he is going to war with – that the chemistry built will be a lasting foundation.  Kevin McHale, day to day, has not known who will be on his roster, with his boss perpetually (and rightfully) holding a glimmering eye towards the next star.

Much of McHale’s value is as a figurehead and recruiter.  I do not think, for instance, Dwight Howard would be in red had the man on the sidelines been 5’9 and spent the 80′s coaching high school rather than partnering with Robert Parish in the Boston paint.  But Kevin Love is gone.  There’s no one left on the market.  The third star will come by way of trade, if it ever comes at all.  If McHale has been retained for recruitment, that value has diminished.

With another disappointing loss in the postseason, the Rockets will have decisions.  They might turn to a more conventional hierarchy.  But for now, McHale needs to stay the course and Morey needs to hire an assistant.

 

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Total comments: 41
  • Steven says 7 hours ago RBF is mellowing out in his old age.
  • rockets best fan says 11 hours ago

    now that we have someone to hold McHale's hand maybe just maybe he will be able to cross the street. :lol: Dunn....from his stats appears decent, but the proof is in the results. he will not catch a free ride from me. he is being brought hear to fix a problem. if he can't he need to be sent packing along withMcHale.

  • Losthief says 15 hours ago

    yeah i mean the guy made the yao/mutumbo combo a good anchor on defense, and even if howard declines significantly at some point in the future I still think he's always going to be more mobile than than yao and (at that point in his career) mutumbo. Just imagine what he can do....and I think a acceptable ceiling for d for tjones is what scola was giving us then.

  • clydesmoustache says 15 hours ago League best defense over a three year span? I stand corrected! :)
  • thejohnnygold says 16 hours ago

    Hey guys does anyone know much about T.R. Dunn? It appears he is no Lionel Hollins. I am a bit worried that he worked for Adeleman. Doesn't sound like a defensive coordinator. Though according to Wikipedia he is a 3x defensive second team as a player

    This is from Zach Lowe's article about the Rockets

    Houston is taking steps. J.B. Bickerstaff, the current defensive coordinator, is a rising star assistant coach. Houston today will announce the hiring of assistant coach T.R. Dunn, a longtime Rick Adelman assistant who was in Houston during the Yao Ming years — when the Rockets had perhaps the league’s best defense over a three-year span.
  • clydesmoustache says 1 day ago Hey guys does anyone know much about T.R. Dunn? It appears he is no Lionel Hollins. I am a bit worried that he worked for Adeleman. Doesn't sound like a defensive coordinator. Though according to Wikipedia he is a 3x defensive second team as a player
  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    Unlike your dystopian view of this situation, I think it could all be rectified by simply banning one word:rocketrick.

    You are subject to the same standards as everyone else. There is no conspiracy here. There are no "Firemen" destroying the world's knowledge. There is no Big Brother trying to keep people away from the truth. There is just you, attacking people because you don't like their opinions. Disagreeing has never been a problem here. Not abiding by forum standards has.

    Please stop spamming the boards with your contrived crusade against the invisible threat to your freedom of speech. Please, if you disagree with a person use reason and logic to respond. It's not about opinions--it's about tact and decorum.

    This forum would benefit more from you using your vast knowledge and history with the team to share stories, experiences, and perspectives in a positive manner that many of the younger fans do not possess. Instead, there seems to be a disconnect and there is no respect for those who "don't get it" which leads to the dismissive attitude. It's a shame, really.

    One last thing--returning to your Farenheit 451 reference. If what you believe is true then would it not behoove you to become a "book" yourself? Much like the hobos who lived outside the city were each a book unto themselves, you could become the History of the Rockets and, instead of hoarding that knowledge, share it with us....pleasantly. Just a thought...

  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago Besides, Charlie Brown never once played basketball that I recall. He was pathetic at football and baseball.

    Ooops, I used that word pathetic yet again............
  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago Perhaps there should be a dictionary of "forbidden" words on this site. Just one step away from Fahrenheit 451.

    Just saying.

    So when I use one of those "forbidden" words, it seems to automatically also be an attack on someone else? OK.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    And you are completely correct,

    I never contribute on this board, just exactly like James Harden never contributes to the USA team in FIBA.

    Oh well, it is just what is is...........the truth hurts and nobody else on this board is willing to go there.

    Fine, I will be the bast**d and whatever here to try and say what needs to be said.

    Yeah, if you could stop calling people and their posts "pathetic" that would be a good start. We don't need, nor do we want, you to martyr yourself. Try being the smart, nice guy who makes interesting and informative posts rather than the surly curmudgeon who tells everyone else how terrible they are. Be the change you wish to see in the world....

    MTIwNjA4NjMzODE4MjIwMDQ0.jpg

  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago

    Rocketrick, I would not consider posts like yours ascontributing to the conversation. Please consider that trite, boring, and same old same old are words that more aptly describe your posts which are rude and teeter way too close to a "personal" attack.

    Your tenure here only buys you so much leeway. Get right, please. Chiding others for posts you dislike without bothering to contribute to the conversation yourself doesn't work around here.

    waldorf+and+statler.jpg


    And you are completely correct,

    I never contribute on this board, just exactly like James Harden never contributes to the USA team in FIBA.

    Oh well, it is just what is is...........the truth hurts and nobody else on this board is willing to go there.

    Fine, I will be the bast**d and whatever here to try and say what needs to be said.
  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago

    Rocketrick, I would not consider posts like yours ascontributing to the conversation. Please consider that trite, boring, and same old same old are words that more aptly describe your posts which are rude and teeter way too close to a "personal" attack.

    Your tenure here only buys you so much leeway. Get right, please. Chiding others for posts you dislike without bothering to contribute to the conversation yourself doesn't work around here.

    waldorf+and+statler.jpg


    Oh geez,

    I was only trying to point out that the Charlie Brown comparison is ill-suited since Charlie only played Football, not Basketball.

    OK, Go Texans, Could Seriously be 2-0 after today!!!!
  • rockets best fan says 2 weeks ago

    @Steven

    I promise you if Portland had Asik he wouldn't have been on the bench. he is an upgrade to Lopez. Parsons and Batum played to a standoff. you can argue which is better, but they are close enough to be a wash. D-12 superior to Lopez. Harden superior to Mathews. we got killed from two positions.........PF and PG. if Bev is healthy PG would have been a better matchup. PF..............we got killed here for a few different reasons. LMA is a star, but the disparity should not have been as great as it was. first off we didn't make LMA have to play both ends of the floor by using T-Jones strengths scoring. second we didn't get physical with LMA until the 3rd game which by then we were already behind the eight ball. third we didn't take some of the juice out of LMA jump shotby setting screens with his man. basically we were to slow adjusting to Stott adjustments

  • Steven says 2 weeks ago Besides Harden and Howard, no one else on last years team would have played massive minutes on the Trailblazers. Parsons would have been a backup to Batum and might have got 20 minutes a night, and Asik would have been the backup C. That's it. The Blazers had three PGs I would take over any the Rockets had.
  • rockets best fan says 2 weeks ago

    Cooper/JG/FSS

    PORTLAND SERIES WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE. we can debate the finer points of bounces of the ball, Ref calls, Harden's slump or any number of other EXCUSES. however in my mind it boils down to one factor.............Stotts flat outcoached McHale. his team was always one step ahead of our next adjustment. we have superior talent to Portland. we should have kicked their butts likewe did during the season. I don't believe in sugar coating failure. we had a massive upgrade in talent andwas facing a lower playoffs seed than us with home court advantage with a coach who is almost as dumb as McHale. what else can we ask for? yet we still ended up with the short end of the stick. that's not just disappointment, butfailure in my book.

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 weeks ago Besides all the good points about talent on the rosters I would add that the East was relatively weak in Docs' early days whereas McHale is going up against an era of one of the strongest conferences in NBA history. There is a big picture so try to see all of it.

    For years they were calling for Rivers to resign in Boston but Ainge built a big three and brought in a defensive coach and we all know the rest. Good for Celtic fans that Ainge stood by Doc.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    To me it was underachieving its hard to say the entire team underachieved because Dwight was great, Daniels outperformed expectations. Parsons , Asik and lin played about as good as you could expect. But Jones, bev and Harden underachieved, cold shooting whatever you want to call it it wasn't what we normally see from him. Bev gets a pass since he wasn't fully recovered. Jones might just not be all that good so you could argue he didn't underachieve. Now what could mchale have done to change any of that? Id argue essentially nothing. Its underachieving in the sense that it was a series they would normally win but more of fluke than a coaching or organizational problem in my view.

    That's a pretty fair assessment. Yes, Harden "underachieved". He shot 16-54 from deep while taking roughly 2.5 more threes per game than he did in the regular season (6.6 reg season vs. 9.0 in playoffs). Portland sealed off the paint and he did not adjust well (and yes, part of that falls on the coach) which led to him forcing more shots from deep. Still, he is good enough to make more than 16-54 and if he had this discussion is likely very different.

    Harden was taking more shots than usual--he took 40% of his shots from deep during the season and that number held true for the playoffs. He averaged 17 fga/gm during the regular season and 22 fga/gm during the playoffs. That's not a bad thing given he is an elite scorer. Part of it was Portland defending well and part of it was him not knocking down shots he normally makes.

    I dislike bringing up referees as an excuse, but to me it was a bit much. I know the game changes--and Harden needs to learn that--but it wasn't just Harden--there were bone-headed calls throughout the series and I feel the scales were not balanced. Harden, during the season, attempted .552 ft's per fg attempt (according to basketball reference) and that number plummeted to .376. That is substantial.

    I think Harden will grow and learn from the experience so I am not concerned about any long term issues with him. I would say that McHale has probably spent time going over game film with him and imparting some wisdom, experience, and guidance, but it would not matter in the eyes of those who see him as they do. :P

  • Cooper says 2 weeks ago

    To me it was underachieving its hard to say the entire team underachieved because Dwight was great, Daniels outperformed expectations. Parsons , Asik and lin played about as good as you could expect. But Jones, bev and Harden underachieved, cold shooting whatever you want to call it it wasn't what we normally see from him. Bev gets a pass since he wasn't fully recovered. Jones might just not be all that good so you could argue he didn't underachieve. Now what could mchale have done to change any of that? Id argue essentially nothing. Its underachieving in the sense that it was a series they would normally win but more of fluke than a coaching or organizational problem in my view.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    Was Doc's team underachieving? Based on talent level, I'd say no. With Mchale, he did underachieve based off talent level.

    Talent? TALENT??? OK. Click this LINK. That is Houston's roster for the 2012-13 season. Look at those names. Does that roster say Western Conference playoff team? Sure, in hindsight it does. What that roster really says is D-League with a couple of veteran journeyman. We used 14 players with 2 years or less of experience. Western Conference. 45-37. Team upheaval pre-season and then mid-season. No problem, right?

    So, then the playoffs come around and we are facing the #1 team in the league with the #1 ranked offense and #4 ranked defense and the 2nd best player in the world.

    We played that series without a PF and with a mid-season rookie at PG. We lost games 2 and 3 by 3 points a piece. That is a one possession game. We proceeded to win the next two, before falling again. Yes, I recall Westbrook went down and that matters. We were still huge underdogs. Our bench was Greg Smith, Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia, Terrence Jones, and Aaron Brooks. Underachieve is so far from the right word.

    I've gone into detail multiple times about the Portland series and why it was not a massive failure. Was it disappointing? Of course. That doesn't mean that months later we, as fans, should still harbor emotion-based resentment that skews our ability to see objectively. Portland was a very good team, that came into the series hot, got tons of good bounces, ran into an ice cold James Harden, and still needed two buzzer beaters to win the series. Underachieve? Whatever. I wonder if everyone holds themselves to the same standards they apply externally....

  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    Rocketrick, I would not consider posts like yours ascontributing to the conversation. Please consider that trite, boring, and same old same old are words that more aptly describe your posts which are rude and teeter way too close to a "personal" attack.

    Your tenure here only buys you so much leeway. Get right, please. Chiding others for posts you dislike without bothering to contribute to the conversation yourself doesn't work around here.

    waldorf+and+statler.jpg

  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago

    @NorEastern
    LEADER OF MEN? McHale couldn't lead a hungry man to the food bank :lol:his leadership abilities are way way overblown. in what way has McHale shown leadership???????? :huh:


    The Charlie Brown comments are beyond pale (other similar posts by this "author").

    Pathetic.
  • rocketrick says 2 weeks ago

    Was Doc's team underachieving? Based on talent level, I'd say no. With Mchale, he did underachieve based off talent level.


    Same ol' bs, quite boring to me. Rivers had KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen while challenging for back to back titles and challenging for a place in the NBA Finals prior to that.

    3 future NBA Hall of Famers.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 weeks ago

    I can use blunt simple methods.


    No matter how you spin it Doc Rivers started off 5 and 10 in the post season in his first 5 years in Boston. That's the record, now no matter how you spin guys though I know you all will and trust me I know all the background already so you shouldn't waste your keystrokes.


    McHale is fine in my book but I'm not surprised there are forum members and maybe even Red94 staff that think they know better than Morey.


    Was Doc's team underachieving? Based on talent level, I'd say no. With Mchale, he did underachieve based off talent level.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    @JG

    Kevin McHale broke the rules on signing Joe Smith.............it's that simple. giving the man excuses for failure by trying to paint him as the victim in the Joe Smith situation..........c'mon JG. whether Stern was heavy handed or not isn't the point. whether other teams were doing it isn't the point. no use in pointing the finger at anyone else when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. McHale knew what he was doing was against the rules or if he didn't know he should have considering his position. sorry he gets NO pity from me. he made his bed of nails and was forced to lay in it. Minny was a FAILURE. outside of drafting the big ticket he was pitiful. the only reason they made the playoffs at all in most of those years was the talent of the big ticket. that's why they were sent packing shortly after arriving in the playoffs. those draft picks you mention......not one can be held up as anything if KG isn't the centerpiece. KG in his youth was a hell of a player........any small amount of successallottedto Minny during that time should be laid at the feet of KG not Charlie Brown

    I know this. I'm not defending his actions--he got his punishment--fair or not. However, to ignore the effect it had on his future success is tunnel vision. I'm not looking for pity from anyone. Simply a better understanding of a complex situation.

    Those draft picks I mentioned....not sure which draft picks you're referring to....the 2nd rounders he was stuck trying to build his team with post-Joe Smith?

    Are you talking about trading Ray Allen for Stephon Marbury? Yeah, in hindsight that was a big mistake, but let's not forget that Marbury was killing it for a while until he decided he was too big for Minnesota.

    Wally Szcerbiak over Shawn Marion/Ron Artest? Sure, hindsight is 20/20.

    He had 2 first rounders over the next 5 years (#26 and #14--not lottery picks) and blew those on Ndubi Ebi and Rashad McCants.

    It was Kahn that traded Brandon Roy for Randy Foye. (It could be argued that they made the right choice using hindsight)

    I am not even sure why his time as a GM is relevant, but apparently it is. Strangely, his success as a player does not carry the same weight as his "failure" as a GM.

    I do agree that Minny's success was largely due to KG being great. The difference is I don't ignore the other factors as if they don't matter or don't exist.

    KG's salary was an anvil and as much as he kept that team afloat it was his contract weighing it down.

    Salary cap for 2000-2001 season: $35M. KG's salary for the same season: $19.6M. That is 56% of the cap (exceptions excluded).

    Salary cap for 2001-2002 season: $42.5M. KG's salary for the same season: $22.4M. That is 53% of the cap.....and so it went for years.

    As a GM, there is only one way to get solid free agents to come to Minneapolis: lots of money. Thanks to KG, the ability to do that was gone. I don't blame him for not re-negotiating his contract, but he couldn't have his cake and eat it too--not in Minny.

    Honestly, the one that hurts is the Ray Allen/Marbury trade. That could truly have been the difference for them. I don't begrudge him the Szcerbiak pick--they needed a forward and he was good for them in a Chandler Parsons kind of way, but he couldn't be Robin to KG's Batman--he was more of a Commissioner Gordon. :)

    Getting back on topic, if you were referring to the draft picks he got from the KG trade that was a good deal. Two first rounders in a loaded draft that, unfortunately, David Kahn showed up drunk to (he picked Johnny Flynn and Wayne Ellington with those picks). He also got Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and Ryan Gomes. That is a solid haul no matter how you slice it. Once again, it didn't work out, but how often do teams get value when trading stars?

    For the record, it's a bit dismissive to turn context and understanding into "excuses". What a convenient way to sweep away all those facts and circumstances that are as much a part of the story as the end result. I never tried to lay any "success" at McHale's feet for Minnesota. In like manner, I don't hold everything against him either and I am surprised that you are willing to do so given the complexity of the situation. I'm not asking you to proclaim his greatness, just to see the bigger picture. I'm not trying to change your opinion--I know that's not happening--but maybe, just maybe, you will leave the discussion with a broader picture in mind.

    Personally, I think he is going to wind up succeeding in his role (as defined by Morey--not the fans) and stick around for a while. Better get used to seeing him on the sidelines :)

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 weeks ago I can use blunt simple methods.


    No matter how you spin it Doc Rivers started off 5 and 10 in the post season in his first 5 years in Boston. That's the record, now no matter how you spin guys though I know you all will and trust me I know all the background already so you shouldn't waste your keystrokes.


    McHale is fine in my book but I'm not surprised there are forum members and maybe even Red94 staff that think they know better than Morey.
  • rockets best fan says 2 weeks ago

    @JG

    Kevin McHale broke the rules on signing Joe Smith.............it's that simple. giving the man excuses for failure by trying to paint him as the victim in the Joe Smith situation..........c'mon JG. whether Stern was heavy handed or not isn't the point. whether other teams were doing it isn't the point. no use in pointing the finger at anyone else when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. McHale knew what he was doing was against the rules or if he didn't know he should have considering his position. sorry he gets NO pity from me. he made his bed of nails and was forced to lay in it. Minny was a FAILURE. outside of drafting the big ticket he was pitiful. the only reason they made the playoffs at all in most of those years was the talent of the big ticket. that's why they were sent packing shortly after arriving in the playoffs. those draft picks you mention......not one can be held up as anything if KG isn't the centerpiece. KG in his youth was a hell of a player........any small amount of successallottedto Minny during that time should be laid at the feet of KG not Charlie Brown

  • thejohnnygold says 2 weeks ago

    @ Jg

    again we can agree to disagree

    My question is did Mchale get paid to coach.

    did he get paid for coaching, or was he a fan like us

    the bottom line is that Mchale record in the playoffs with the rockets is 4 wins and 8 losses.

    you can spin that how you want to. But you can't change the fact that it is what it is.

    You can make up all types of charts and figures the bottom line is that he has won 4 playoff games and lost 8 games.

    Your question seems rhetorical. Yes, McHale is 4-8. If you want to call it "spin" on my part then what, I ask, would you call your use of that statistic? You took a complex system with a myriad of variables and squeezed it into an over-simplified singularity with which to club one man over the head. I did not realize things were so simple.

    Thank you for the reminder that I cannot change the fact of our playoff record--not that I ever ventured in that direction. As for charts and figures--they are but representations of these same facts. A tree is a tree, but one cannot fully understand it until one understands what makes up a tree--leaves, branches, bark, roots, environment, etc. It seems you are satisfied with picking up one dead, fallen branch and claiming that makes up the entirety of the "tree". So be it. Please consider the rest of this post directed at anyone who would prefer a different perspective on the matter. I am content that you see how you want to see.

    In case anyone has forgotten--I am not here claiming McHale is a great coach in any way shape or form. That would be ignorant. It would be nearly as ignorant to do the opposite in my opinion. Which leads me to disagree with those who do.

    I love how people use the debacle that was the Minnesota Timberwolves as proof of McHale's complete failure as a human being. Let's do a short recap.

    1995 - McHale becomes Wolves VP of Operations. He hires Flip Saunders (still respected as one of the NBA's better coaches)

    1995 - drafts Kevin Garnett (dodging the likes of Bryant Reeves, Damon Stoudemire, Ed O'Bannon, and Cherokee Parks)

    2000 - Minny got theDeath Penalty from Sterling. It is naive to think that they deserved this. Stern made an example out of them so that ALL teams would cut out the shennanigans (a lot of good that has done, eh?)

    Prior to this Minny was on the up and up having posted seasons of 45-37 and 50-32 (twice) among others. Yes, they had 7 consecutive first round exits. What does it matter who they lost to? :unsure:

    A Rockets team with three future hall of famers, on the road, best of 5....I guess they should have won that. '96-'97

    A game 5 loss to the Sonics in '97-'98 led by Payton, Baker, Ellis, Hawkins, McMillan, Perkins, and Schrempf.

    A first round exit to the NBA champion Spurs (who no one could beat, apparently) '98-'99

    A Blazers team that ranked 3rd in offense and 5th in defense, on the road, in a best of 5 series? '99-'00

    Another match up with those same Spurs (who made it to the WCF only to lose to the Champion Lakers). '00-'01

    Swept by the Mavericks (holders of the #1 offense in the NBA) led by Nash, Nowitzki, Finley, and Nick Van Exel on the road again. '01-'02

    Lost to the Kobe/Shaq Lakers 4-2, on the road....again....'02-'03 (league first moved to best of 7 series in first round this year)

    Lost to the Kobe/Shaq Lakers 4-2 in WCF's. Cassell and Spreewell were not enough. Their two weakest positions, SG and C, were LA's strongest. '03-'04

    After that the wheels fell off. They had too much crazy (they brought in Eddie Griffin...yes, that Eddie Griffin) and started getting old. The lack of draft picks, the lack of interest in playing in Minneapolis, the lack of money since Kevin Garnett pulled a Kobebefore Kobe and gobbled up all the cap space with his salary and then cried about not having help. This doesn't even include the Marbury debacle--they couldn't foresee that!

    Remember, all but that last one were teams basically headlined by Kevin Garnett with guys like Wally Szerbiak and Trent Hassell, or Fred Hoiberg. David Stern killed a team that already struggled to attract talent. Seriously, out of all of those match-ups which one would any of you pick them to win? People forget that the West has been a strong conference for a long, long time. It is not some recent development.

    McHale botched some draft picks--that's for sure. So do most other GM's (another reason we love Morey). Remember, McHale had to try and build a team with low second round picks after losing Marbury and Joe Smith with little ability to get free agents. Hey, it's ALL Kevin's fault though, right? Sure, because it fits the narrative of McFail.

    By the way, that Garnett trade was pretty solid. You gotta give him that.

    All 7 of those playoff losses came under Saunders (by the way, McHale went 19-12 to finish the season after taking over for him...not that anyone cares) and I bet you would all take him over McHale ("you all" being the anti-McHale people). So, that 4-8 playoff record is bad....Flip was 7-25 for Minny.

    I prefer to take a more sophisticated look at these things. We are evolved creatures and have moved beyond such bluntness ashis record speaks for itself. 'Tis a crude, blunt weapon to use.

  • SadLakerFan says 2 weeks ago

    By the way, if you look closer....he did find success in Minny. People insist on using his cumulative record there to obscure that fact. Oooooooh, look. An arrowhead!

    LINK

    Hey guys. What a rough summer for you (and for us as well)! Saw the news (if you want to call it that) about Jason Terry.

    As for his success in Minnesota, he made one great decision, drafting Garnett no. 5 in the 1995 draft. The team did make it to the playoffs for 8 straight years with KG, exiting in the 1st rough for the first 7 years before making the WC finals. So, at that rate . . . . .

  • datruth says 2 weeks ago

    @ Jg

    again we can agree to disagree

    My question is did Mchale get paid to coach.

    did he get paid for coaching, or was he a fan like us

    the bottom line is that Mchale record in the playoffs with the rockets is 4 wins and 8 losses.

    you can spin that how you want to. But you can't change the fact that it is what it is.

    You can make up all types of charts and figures the bottom line is that he has won 4 playoff games and lost 8 games.

  • rockets best fan says 2 weeks ago

    @JG

    leader of men..........Minny............his time coaching the Rockets. I have examined each just like you, but see something totally different. we could argue the finer points of each case, but I doubt you change my mind or I change yours. we will never agree on this man. I respect your opinion, but those that believe differently from you do have a strong case for their view. I like to think I'm an objective person when I evaluate a situation. I really wanted McHale to succeed, but if you consider what we did in the playoffs should be laid any where else but at McHale's feet I couldn't disagree more. again we saw the same event, but came away with different views. you can have faith in the man, but I have given up hope for him. he can't cut the mustard. change is needed. since the Rockets have chosen to ride with him this year I will be rooting for his success, but unless a talent upgrade is in the works we will be having this same discussion this time next year. you don't have to have an elite coach to win a championship. however to win without one means you have to have superior talent. we are in that second category. we need superior talent. Charlie Brown proof talent :lol:

  • bernardo says 3 weeks ago

    Brett Brown? I'm not sure why you mentioned his name with the others. With such a crappy roster he couldn't do anything. Also, David Blatt did a great job in Europe, I don't know how that will translate to the NBA but he is certainly a question mark, not a bad coach. With the rest of your list I agree.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 weeks ago

    1st tier of coaching = Pop
    2nd tier = Carlisle, Rivers, Thibs
    Nobody else really makes a difference coaching wise apart from setting up a system to fit the players and Morey took over that job. So while I think Mchale is a bottom five coach I don't think we would improve from another coach unless we get one of those top 4 coaches.

    Well, here is a list of the current NBA head coaches that I am glad are not here in Houston: (in no particular order)

    David Blatt

    Brian Shaw

    Frank Vogel (that's right)

    Byron Scott

    Erik Spoelstra

    Flip Saunders

    Monty Williams

    Derek Fisher

    Scott Brooks

    Brett Brown

    Michael Malone

    Quin Snyder

    There are a couple of others I am not familiar with to make a decision such as Randy Wittman in Washington, Jacque Vaughn (jury is still out here), Jason Kidd (he knows the game, but perhaps his people skills are lacking?), Steve Kerr (we'll see), Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Joerger (Memphis), Hornacek (Phoenix), and Brad Stevens (Boston).

    Guys who I think are solid coaches: Pop, Carlisle, Thibs, Budenholzer, Hollins, Van Gundy, and Rivers. Perhaps Dwane Casey...this year will tell us a lot.

    So, by my count that is 7-8 guys definitely better with 8 more that may be. We'll call it 16. Still, there are 12 guys who I am glad aren't coaching our team who currently hold NBA jobs not to mention all the others who have been recently fired. Anybody want to roll the dice on Mo Cheeks after his year in Detroit?

    Does anyone think Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, or Adelman are options? Heck, we've had two of them already!

    Like TTDN said, the number of guys who can truly move the needle from where we are is small. One thing to consider is this season is the first in many where we, as a team, will be looking to make minor tweaks rather than major overhauls. That counts for a lot and I think it will become apparent quickly when we watch the games.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 weeks ago 1st tier of coaching = Pop
    2nd tier = Carlisle, Rivers, Thibs
    Nobody else really makes a difference coaching wise apart from setting up a system to fit the players and Morey took over that job. So while I think Mchale is a bottom five coach I don't think we would improve from another coach unless we get one of those top 4 coaches.
  • thejohnnygold says 3 weeks ago

    what leader, what has mchale done to make us think he is great leader.
    Never won a playoff series
    Horrible in clutch
    Double standard toward players
    What kind of leader is that
    Rockets have talent, but coaching is not one of those talents.

    I don't mind if anyone doesn't like McHale (see RBF B) ), but it irks me when people base their decisions so......poorly.

    Never won a playoff series?

    That's true. OKC got us--as they should have since 8 seeds advance once in a Blue Moon. The Portland series--which everyone loves to hold up as an indictment on McHale--had little to do with him when it was all said and done. McHale didn't cause that lucky tip in the closing seconds of game 1 which led to the OT loss. McHale didn't cause Harden to go ice cold from 3. McHale didn't cause LaMarcus Aldridge to go unconscious from mid-range for 2 straight games (and before people cry adjustments, ask yourself what his options were...seriously....Asik was basically being called for a foul for walking on the court in game 1. D-Mo? Sure, we could have put him in....does anyone think he would have done better? It happens, we were out-classed at PF going into it and it showed)

    How about that Lillard shot? Yup, let's blame McHale for that. I think it's hilarious that people think that shot going in was such a sure thing, but if we had just got a hand closer to his face he would have missed. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.........keep telling yourselves that. Blame McHale. Channel the hatred. Gooooood.......goooooood.....let it flow through you.......feel the power..... :rolleyes:

    The truth is the Blazers needed a legendary game from Aldridge in game 1 PLUS that last second tip-in to steal the win. How is that an indictment on McHale? His star player (Harden) laid an egg and we were still seconds from winning. Get some perspective, people. Those two games alone swing the series completely and they were both unlikely outcomes that just didn't go our way.

    Everyone seems to ignore the littany of bizarre fouls called, the no-calls, the number of bail-out shots that the blazers made over, and over, and over....they were way above the averages on those. It was a perfect storm and if you want to lay that all on McHale's feet then go ahead. Please, save your cliches for someone who cares. The great ones find a way! Excuses blah blah blah!

    No, what's really happening is people using anything they can find to support their desired belief. It's like walking in the woods, picking up any triangle shaped rock, and saying, "Ooooooh, look! An arrowhead. Indians lived here!" Yeah, ok. Sure they did. "Ooooooh, look! Something bad happened to the Rockets. Kevin McHale sucks!"

    Horrible in Clutch? Perhaps. I won't argue that we couldn't be better, but I also would bet there isn't a fan base in the NBA who doesn't feel the same about their own team. I do know that James Harden was elite in the clutch. He shared space at the top with some guy named LeBron.

    I also know that, despite cries that he never calls a play, or runs pick n rolls with Dwight--that he actually does and we have all seen good ones executed. It is easier said than done. As Noreastern pointed out, calling timeouts lets the defense set up too and it's not like they don't know who is going to shoot. They will develop better chemistry and execution over time. Believe it or not, San Antonio didn't always run amazing plays in the clutch and from out of bounds--and I personally witnessed them run several end game iso plays that ended in failure and losses just last season....but Popovich is still a genius and McFail is McFail, right? Ooooooooooh, look....an arrowhead!

    Double Standard....wow, this horse is still getting beaten, huh? OK. Believe what you want. I won't waste time on this.

    What kind of leader is that? Well, it seems it is one who has shoulders broad enough to take the weight of the world and keep smiling. Meanwhile, he has the respect of his peers and former players going back to KG, K-Love, and now our current team including Les Alexander and Daryl Morey (But what do they know, right?). Use your Google, people. You can find articles dating back years with players talking about how much they admire, respect, and appreciate the things McHale has taught them. (please save your, "what do you expect them to say?") remarks.) If you are going to use hearsay to support your own stances then you have to accept it--especially from an actual interview--when used against you. That's how it works.

    Despite factual evidence to the contrary, Kevin McHale has apparently never succeeded at anything since riding Bird's coattails. The truth is his successes far outnumber his failures. The truth is, his failures were destined to fail even if Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Popovich all formed a tribal council and tried to coach those messes. By the way, if you look closer....he did find success in Minny. People insist on using his cumulative record there to obscure that fact. Oooooooh, look. An arrowhead!

    I have grown to dislike this "Leader of Men" tag. Yet, the results are there. He leads and the men do seem to respect and follow his leadership. What other qualification does one need for that title?

    Don't take my word for it. Here is an article that sums it up pretty nicely that followed his dismissal from Minnesota. LINK

  • rocketrick says 3 weeks ago Ahhhhhh, Yawn. The Texans won yesterday!

    Same ol' BS regarding our Coach McHale.

    The Haters keep insisting "only if" the Rockets fired McHale, things all of a sudden would turn into rings. What else is new?

    How are the Astros doing these days?
  • datruth says 3 weeks ago

    what leader, what has mchale done to make us think he is great leader.
    Never won a playoff series
    Horrible in clutch
    Double standard toward players
    What kind of leader is that
    Rockets have talent, but coaching is not one of those talents.

  • rockets best fan says 3 weeks ago

    @NorEastern

    LEADER OF MEN? McHale couldn't lead a hungry man to the food bank :lol:his leadership abilities are way way overblown. in what way has McHale shown leadership???????? :huh:

  • NorEastern says 3 weeks ago

    McHale was hired to be a "Leader of men", a "person who delegates authority". Isn't that what Morey wanted? Hire the best assistant coaches. Listen to them. McHale is certainly regal enough and respected enough. Contrary to popular and widely held belief, head coaches calling timeouts to set up an offensive play at key moments in the game actually hurt their teams scoring chances. In a statistically significant way. A timeout actually helps defenses much more than NBA offenses.

    Morey, the statistician that he is, is dictating a three and rim heavy offense. I would do the same. The numbers are irrefutable. Motivating Harden on the defensive end is proving to be an insurmountable task. McHale's failure in that endeavor is certainly not his fault. Harden himself has to decide if he wants rings. No one can do it for him.

  • rockets best fan says 3 weeks ago

    @FSS

    I agree Morey has the power structure, however I disagree McHale has so little influence on the overall picture. I believe Morey has told McHale he wants more 3's and shots at the rim, but he leaves the job to McHale on how to get that done. McHale is not a puppet in that sense. his inability to get the job done is because of his own shortcomings. I disagree he has been successful in the big picture. the rosters he has navigated have had the base talent to exceed their final result. I can only view that as failure. when a coach can not maximize the talent on his roster he has failed in his job to me. plain and simple. the jokes by the national media that we look like we're playing street ball is an insult and point directly at McHale's lack of skills for the coaching profession. if one needs to keep rationalizing why a bad thing isn't bad at some point you have to admit to yourself that it is bad and needs changing. I have reached that point with McHale. even from the most optimistic view the man has underperformed. forget the excuses. bottom line is this is a result business and he's not producing the results. I don't care if he's a nice guy and the players like him. FRIENDLY COACHES = FRIENDLY DEFENSES :lol:a coach has to wear many hats and sometimes that needs to be the role hard-ass. the player don't need to like the coach to be successful.........they need to respect him. I'll stop here because you know I can talk for a month about the shortcomings of our coach. however this final tidbit this man has been a failure everywhere he has been beyond his playing days. he has never done anything that would offer promise that the light bulb is on......in fact I would say nobody's home

  • feelingsupersonic says 3 weeks ago Good take Rahat, thanks.

    I know there are forum members who zero in on aspects of McHale but the truth is that Morey has the power structure in the Rockets organization set and McHale has succeeded when the big picture is considered.
  • rockets best fan says 3 weeks ago

    @Rahat

    after I read this article I had to stroll back to the top to make sure McHale's agent didn't write this piece...........c'mon Rahat how much you getting paid :lol:I smell an under the table deal :lol:this McHale you speak of I have not yet seen on the Rockets sideline. couldn't disagree more.