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Kevin McHale might want to play some of those young guys.

I imagine that Carlos Delfino has not often had nights in the NBA go as well as Wednesday night did for him, ribbons of three-pointers falling through the net at the most opportune moments for a fanbase with which he was getting a completely blank slate. And for all of his showmanship in this short period of tabula rasa, the Rockets’ following will likely embrace this new Argentinian, hoping for more of the same in terms of shooting and poise, traits likely at a premium on this young team. This very young, inexperienced team that sports Delfino, at 30, as its elder statesman, and which desperately needs to get those other kids, the ones the Rockets’ future is predicated on, some run.

Last year, Kevin McHale buried Marcus Morris. The reasons given for such were endless and common among rookies (lack of conditioning, inexperience, attitude reasons), especially those starting their first season in the midst of a shortened season, but the complete blackballing of the team’s most recent lottery pick seemed strange, making the most incredulous onlookers wonder about McHale’s willingness to develop young talent. If Morris’ rookie “campaign” laid the seeds for such thoughts, Wednesday’s glaring absence of rookies certainly shed some light on them again.

Why, on a team so organizationally committed to its youth, one whose three contract committals worthy of any note are to players ages 23, 24 and 26, would said team’s head coach find himself forcing minutes on guys like Toney Douglas and Delfino? Guaranteed contracts? A lousy win in October in some effort to gin up morale among the haphazardly-if-brilliantly set of kids on the roster?

Yes, the Pistons victory, and the way James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik played therein, provided about as much  enthusiasm for the base (forgive the political speak; tis the season) as any regular season win could, but the presence of a player of Harden’s stature likely would have done so, admittedly to a lesser extent, anyway. No matter what happens with the team this year record-wise, time has to be committed, time in actual NBA games, to developing the three rookies at the power forward; the one seemingly with the most natural ability, Royce White, has already found a comfortable soft patch of land in McHale’s doghouse, a development the Rockets’ youth movement cannot afford. Whether these players will legitimately be rounding out the Rockets’ rotation in three years or will be polished up and shopped for better players once they can be used as assets makes little difference because regardless, they have to play. The presence of two playmakers in the starting backcourt should only make their transition to the big stage that much easier, affording guys like Terrance Jones and Greg Smith opportunities that their (as-of-yet) limited skillsets would not otherwise get.

Apologists might make the point that McHale gave a year’s worth of starting minutes to a rookie in Chandler Parsons, a young wing stopper who the coach has still committed to developing, but one would be wise to remember that Parsons’ rise came pretty organically, in the way that the player in front of him, Chase Budinger, was undersized and incapable of stopping inanimate objects from scoring. The only other player McHale could have played at the three last year? Morris. Essentially, Parsons’ skill and Budinger’s lack thereof forced the coach’s hand.

Perhaps I’m just a bit antsy and anxious to complain about something, anything, after Wednesday’s revelation of a superstar; perhaps tonight’s game against the Hawks will feature a rookie starting at the four and heavy minutes for White and/or Donatas Motiejunas and a quadruple-double from Harden and twenty bucks I find in my basketball shorts fresh out of the dryer. And we can all be thankful that Daryl Morey’s team building doesn’t really allow Mchale to play anyone who isn’t young because, well, we really don’t have any of those. If this trend of burying the rookies continues, though, Rockets fans might find themselves wondering what the hell a developmental coach who doesn’t develop anyone is good for.

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Total comments: 34
  • RocketMan says 1 YEAR ago I just have to say thanks to everyone in the forum for not writing your entire posts in lolcat or twitterspeak (see http://mobile.twitter.com/jordanchill43). It's nice to be able to have a useful conversation about basketball without feeling like I'm having a comment battle at the bottom of a Fox News article. You all stay classy.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    feelingsupersonic, on 07 November 2012 - 20:40 PM said:


    With all due respect rockets best fan, I cannot change your mind. I am pretty sure you have your good reasons for your opinions as I do for mine. For now all we can do is to agree to disagree and only time will tell what happens. There is a possibility I could be way off and McHale gets replaced this year and once again only time will tell. It is enjoyable debating some of this Rockets' stuff but it is even more fun to watch it all play out as the season goes on. I look forward to agreeing and disagreeing with you in the future rockets best fan.
    agreed. I like debating you because you offer facts to support your veiw. I also look forward to discussing all aspects of the rockets.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago With all due respect rockets best fan, I cannot change your mind. I am pretty sure you have your good reasons for your opinions as I do for mine. For now all we can do is to agree to disagree and only time will tell what happens. There is a possibility I could be way off and McHale gets replaced this year and once again only time will tell. It is enjoyable debating some of this Rockets' stuff but it is even more fun to watch it all play out as the season goes on. I look forward to agreeing and disagreeing with you in the future rockets best fan.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago Sir Thrusday:
    when I said he got no more than adelman it was to point out he had a veteran team with a system already in place and couldn't do anything more with them. I believe if adelman was here last year we would have made the playoffs. adelman knows how to make adjustment and would have stop the loosing skid we endured. also the way he handled the point guard situtation last year was really bad. if he had handeled it better lowrey may have been able to help us stop the skid, but he chose to argue with him instead. mc hale plays favorites among his players and they know it, which mean some players won't respect him. I see this as the #1 reason he could not find middle ground with lowrey last year. (IMO) this is why he plays parsons... because parsons is his boy not because parsons is the most talented. in order to be respected you have to give it and some players feel disrespected by him. one thing adelman does have is the respect of any player who has ever played for him brooks included. you can only get so much by snapping the whip. you must have your players buy into the program or you are just spinning your wheels. honey catches way more bee's than anything else. any good coach knows you have to form a bond with your players to be sucessful in this league. sure there will be spats with players. but the coach must always be ready the rebuild the bridge. one statement he made during the situation with lowrey last year sums up in a nut shell what I mean, remember this.......I am not worried about if lowrey is mad at me, but he better be worried about if i'm mad at him because if i'm mad at him he won't play. even if you feel this way you should never let something like this go public. this should have remained in house. this is why lowrey felt he could never play for mc hale again. lowrey and adelman had spats too, but you never would have heard adelman say something like this. i'm not saying lowrey was right or wrong(we may never know the real deal), but any good coach know sometimes its not what you say, but how you say it. remember this....... when problems arise they reveal who we really are. when the team went through the skid last year mc hale was revealed.
  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago

    rockets best fan, on 07 November 2012 - 08:34 AM said:


    feelingsupersonic:
    let me give you something you can sink your teeth into then. tell me 1 thing that mc hale has done to show he is a good coach. tell me how his coaching won a game for us that we other wise would have lost. tell me why last year when the team was spiraling out of control did he not make adjustments. instead he kept trying to run the same plays hoping the result would be different. that's what I meant by my earlier comment. I keep hearing how he took last years team and almost made the playoffs with it even tho it was a shorter more compact season. that's the same result rick adelman had the year b4. he didn't get any more out of the team than rick did. I'm going to stick with just his time with the rockets because I could fill up a page with his past failures. tell me what qualities he has that make him a good coach please.


    You say he didn't get any more out of the team than Adelman did, but Adelman is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the league. By comparing the two, you are hurting your argument.

    One of the major impacts on the lockout shortened season was on coaching. With far fewer practices, there was no chance to reassess and implement new schemes mid season. It appears to me that McHale is unwilling to experiment with stuff that he hasn't tried out on a practice court first. Now you can take that as a negative against him if you'd like - the circumstances of the lockout season dictated that perhaps a more flexible approach was necessary. But it does mean that his performance last year should have an asterisk next to it, in my book. Let's see how he does when he can practice with his team every once in a while before judging whether or not he's able to adapt acceptably.

    ST
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago feelingsupersonic:
    let me give you something you can sink your teeth into then. tell me 1 thing that mc hale has done to show he is a good coach. tell me how his coaching won a game for us that we other wise would have lost. tell me why last year when the team was spiraling out of control did he not make adjustments. instead he kept trying to run the same plays hoping the result would be different. that's what I meant by my earlier comment. I keep hearing how he took last years team and almost made the playoffs with it even tho it was a shorter more compact season. that's the same result rick adelman had the year b4. he didn't get any more out of the team than rick did. I'm going to stick with just his time with the rockets because I could fill up a page with his past failures. tell me what qualities he has that make him a good coach please.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    rockets best fan, on 06 November 2012 - 21:32 PM said:


    he reminds me of that small kid who keeps trying to put the square block in the round hole :wacko: it doesn't take long to spot these kind.


    It's hard to debate such complex arguments. Totally, McHale reminds us all of a small kid, whatever that means.

    To be honest that was a quintessential non sequitur.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    rockets best fan, on 06 November 2012 - 21:32 PM said:


    he reminds me of that small kid who keeps trying to put the square block in the round hole :wacko: it doesn't take long to spot these kind.


    LMAO
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago good people make bad choices sometime. I also have full confidence in les and morey. kevin mc hale simply has done nothing to show he is a capable coach. he is simply a bridge to his replacement. yes he is the coach now, but not for long. I believe morey has confidence in him as a teacher of big men. I said last year in a thread that if the only result of mc hale being here was he helped our bigs become better then his short term hire makes sense, but outside of that he has no value to us. he is not a good offensive or defensive coach. he does not know now to tailor a system to his players talents. he reminds me of that small kid who keeps trying to put the square block in the round hole :wacko: it doesn't take long to spot these kind.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    feelingsupersonic, on 06 November 2012 - 18:54 PM said:


    With all due respect to those who disagree, I have more confidence in NBA owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey than basketball fans and their opinions about what is best for the organization.


    hahah yeah i agree with this wholeheartedly. thats why i mentioned the fact that they both believe in mchale as 1 reason im holding out hope that hes the right choice.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago McHale is the coach presently. McHale had picks in this past draft. It would appear that Coach has the full confidence of ownership as well as the front office and that would lead me to believe that most of the blame lay with the players and very little lay with Coach or his staff. That is what actually has happened that we know and can be sure of.

    With all due respect to those who disagree, I have more confidence in NBA owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey than basketball fans and their opinions about what is best for the organization.
  • RocketMan says 1 YEAR ago Last season was too short for me to make a proper evaluation of the coach. I have no idea what he did or didn't do with other teams, but all I can ask for is that he gets positive traction with our players, develops good chemistry and a professional atmosphere that revolves around winning basketball games. You can only do so much rookie development during games without giving some away.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago feelingsupersonic:
    I don't lay all blame for our collaspe on just the players. sure they deserve some, but they can only run the plays the coach wants. it's the coaches job to make adjustments when his team is not playing well and that falls squarely on mc hale. i'm like tombrokeoff some of his rotations leave me scratching my head. he clearly plays favorites among his players and they know it. the nba is a result business period. either you win or hit the road, that's just the way it is. don't get me wrong mc hale is a nice guy, but coach....no way.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Anyroad, to the topic at hand. I will be fine if McHale integrates Motie and TJones about a third or halfway into the season if they earn it(and how would any of us on this message board know that, come on let's be serious). I also wouldn't mind if they get traded for someone better. I have no attachments to any players on this roster except for Harden. I do like Asik as well.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I put the largest portion of blame on last seasons collapse on the players without a doubt (except maybe Dragic and Scola as well as Parsons but he was just a rookie and a pretty overrated player in these parts).
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago just curtious - who doesnt put a good portion of the blame for last seasons collapse on mchale? and who hasnt scratched their head a # of times at some of his rotations? lastly, i hope he has success, but who pictures mchale still being the coach once this team really matters?
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I second what sircharles is saying. I also believe Mchale did a pretty good job last year considering everything that came his way.

    Furthermore, I do not believe we are going through a full on rebuilding job here in Houston. The Rockets are doing what they told us, rebuilding on the fly. As much as some Red94 members dream this is not necessarily going to be a youth movement and the next star Morey acquires might not be in his early 20's and may cost the squad some of the rookies. I support it and prefer it to sitting around a few seasons and waiting for high upside players to try and realize their potential. Let's all admit the truth, being a Rockets fan with James Harden here is 10 times better that what this year could have been.

    Coaching is not just wins and losses. I am willing to bet due to unfavorable circumstances and bad timing some good coaches have probably never had a chance to develop into successful NBA coaches.
  • sircharles says 1 YEAR ago mchale almost got a team to the playoffs that were over achieving all year after not even having a off season with his brand new team. i honestly think he has done a pretty good job for the hand his has been dealt.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    tombrokeoff, on 06 November 2012 - 03:54 AM said:


    ive never supported mchale and i agree with a lot of what youre saying, RBF, but its tough to argue with what NorE pointed out. plus the thing that leaves me hoping for mchale to have some success is the simple fact that Les/Morey believe in him and hired him (unless he was simply a bridge to Finch).
    don't get me wrong I want him to do well because I love the rockets, but I simply believe he is like you said..... a bridge to finch
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago ive never supported mchale and i agree with a lot of what youre saying, RBF, but its tough to argue with what NorE pointed out. plus the thing that leaves me hoping for mchale to have some success is the simple fact that Les/Morey believe in him and hired him (unless he was simply a bridge to Finch).
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago I disagree. mchale knows about as much about coaching basketball as tiger woods. some mistake hanging around the nba for years as being good at it. not so. mc hale has FAILED every attempt to be in the front office or coach past teams to anything resembling a decent record. even when the team was in contention last year for a playoff spot he could not make adjustments to stop the spiral of loooooosing that ended the season. he is basicly learning on the fly. he may be a decent big man coach, but that does not equate to being a good all around coach. tell me.......how many years did he have in minny to put something meaningful on the floor? too many that's for sure. I don't trust him with this young team and neither do the rockets. that's why he had the other coaches already in place when he got here. he will be here for a couple more years and we will move on because he will not be able to keep this team playing at peak level. as for NorEastern's point that mc hale is a great organization man........on exactly what previous job did he demonstrate that ability? mc hale is simply the same thing delfino is a temporary stop gap filler until we find your replacement.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago well put NorEastern
  • NorEastern says 1 YEAR ago Most of the time I agree with the writers of Red94. However I believe that you have overstepped the bounds of available public knowledge and even the whisper pipeline.

    McHale is not a head coach sitting alone on the top of a mountain. He has some of the best assistant coaches in the NBA right now in Sal, Finch and Bickerstaff. In fact, he did not even get to choose them, the Rockets organization insisted he retain them.

    McHale is also a great organization man, and has seen the insides of NBA teams for 30 years. You can bet that he easily reaches compromises with other people, because I do not believe that the Rockets organization would never have hired him he did not. He agonizes over every loss. He takes it personally. Isn't it much more likely that that stable of rookies is getting schooled in practice by Morris and Patterson? He proved last year with Parsons that if it means more wins, the best player plays. Do you think that if Bickerstaff and Finch walked into his office and told McHale the TJ means 5 wins a year that he would ignore them? To think so is without base and nothing other than pure idle speculation.
  • Chichos says 1 YEAR ago I think McHale has the ability to be a good coach, has just has the bad luck to follow Jeff van Gundy and Adelman... (can't believe I'm saying JVG was a good coach.) McHale's basketball knowledge is legitimate and he seems to be instilling his "you get what you earn" culture. Now that this team's ceiling is less defined we will find out if he can truly harness the full talent of his personnel.

    On a somewhat related note his two press conferences after the Harden trade are the happiest I think I have ever seen him in Houston. Not that it has anything to do with his coaching ability. Just strange to see him not pissed about something.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago I have said it b4 and I still believe it (kevin mc hale is not a good coach), but on the subject of playing rookies I have to agree. rookies must earn playing time. chill out they will get their chances. the nba season is a marathon not a sprint. over time the cream will rise to the top. I agree with feelingsupersonic. a lot more goes into recieving playing time than what we as fans see.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago I don't like it, but we should've all expected it after last year. I'll be at the game tonight and really hope to see at least one of the rookies(Jones, White, Motie) get some time. Even if its garbage time the guys need NBA minutes to get anywhere.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I pretty much agree with sentiments expressed by Jeby, Johnny Rocket and NorEastern.

    Speculation and playing laptop coach is just entertainment for fans that want to be that vested and sure that can be fun for some I am sure. Personally I am of the school of belief where a fan is a fan and a coach is a coach and a GM is a GM (Of course the reporters and analysis guys are the grey area.) and we all play our part. I have no problems with McHale's coaching style (or even someone like Doug Collins) and in fact I am against the type of approach you see in Sacramento where it is just a free for all, that is no way to build a winning culture. I hope the rookies understand they have to build a great work ethic and go above and beyond what is expected so that maybe they have a chance at cracking the rotation midway through the season. There are the games and then there is the other 90% of a player's professional basketball life which we as fans have no clue about. That 90% goes a long way to putting that player in a position to get on the court and have the coaching staffs' trust.

    One could debate that perhaps these rookies build habits, regardless of whether they are part of the rotation, in their first season that influence the early part and perhaps the rest of their careers. Facilitating an environment where rookies build good habits are small blocks that go a long way toward building a winning culture.
  • NorEastern says 1 YEAR ago I actually totally support McHale's coaching philosophy. As if he needs it lol. The rookies are not guaranteed anything but a salary. PT must be earned. Morris and Patterson are seeing their minutes increased this year. When and if the rookies start schooling those two in practice, we will see them on the court. Until then the rookies will just have to learn an NBA work ethic. And McHale's approach is fair and open to all to see.
  • Johnny Rocket says 1 YEAR ago I felt like I was missing something when I read this post. McHale thus far has played Parsons (2nd year), Patterson (3rd year), Morris (2nd year), and G. Smith (2nd year) at the forward spots. Yes, he plays Delfino as well, but none of the rookies could possibly play back-up shooting guard. I guess he could play Machado for Douglas, but I'm not sure Machado's at all ready. I think McHale's message to the rookies is loud and clear: work hard, do the little things, and your time will come. The rookies can all see that Morris now has his chance after sitting last year.
  • Jeby says 1 YEAR ago It seems to me that McHale's philosophy is not to just give the most minutes to the guys with the most upside. He gives the minutes to the guys who have shown the greatest professionalism and dedication. It is very frustrating to watch as a fan, and may cost the players chances at the All-Rookie team honors that they would get on other teams, but it may be the best long-term development strategy for the Rockets. I don't like it, but I respect it.
  • ale11 says 1 YEAR ago

    Sir Thursday, on 02 November 2012 - 17:02 PM said:


    I'm willing to give McHale a few more games before a castigate him for not playing the young guys (and we should not forget that Morris IS a young guy, so it's not a betrayal of the philosophy if he plays ahead of the rookies IMO). It seems to me that he was trying out a small ball lineup with a floor spreading 4 (Morris), and he could afford to do that against the Pistons because they were starting Maxiell in that position, who is undersized enough that Morris stood a chance of defending him. As mentioned in the preview of tonight's game though, the Hawks will be playing Josh Smith at PF, who is a different proposition. Defending him will necessitate a big body, and I think that means McHale will have to call on some actual PFs to have a go.

    ST



    100% agree. That might be a good plan, to variate the starting PF depending on the rival we are up against. We have lots of PF, but with a great variety of skillsets that could make our team really versatile. Most of the time Patterson will be the starting PF, and he should have been starting at Detroit if he wasn't injured, but in the course of games, we could go big or small, to the paint or the outside depending on the opposite PF. It would be amazing if properly developed
  • Chichos says 1 YEAR ago McHale had an old school disposition where you have to earn your time. It works with some young teams as it places a lot of emphasis on accountability and keeps most of the mistakes on the practice floor away from too much criticism. But at some point you have to let your baby birds out of the nest. If White and Motie are still glued to the bench around game 20 I will be seriously disappointed. Can we keep calling White McHale's draft pick if McHale won't play him?
  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago I'm willing to give McHale a few more games before a castigate him for not playing the young guys (and we should not forget that Morris IS a young guy, so it's not a betrayal of the philosophy if he plays ahead of the rookies IMO). It seems to me that he was trying out a small ball lineup with a floor spreading 4 (Morris), and he could afford to do that against the Pistons because they were starting Maxiell in that position, who is undersized enough that Morris stood a chance of defending him. As mentioned in the preview of tonight's game though, the Hawks will be playing Josh Smith at PF, who is a different proposition. Defending him will necessitate a big body, and I think that means McHale will have to call on some actual PFs to have a go.

    ST
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago I think the reason Parsons got to play was because he has veteran qualities - so that was an anomaly. He didn't "get a chance" as a rookie to "learn and grow." He didn't need to grow - he played like a veteran.

    I fear that the biggest obstacle standing in the way of this rebuilding project is McHale. I'm not sure he's the man for this job.

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