The Houston Rockets have been eliminated by the Warriors four out of the last five years. In the summer of 2012, the Rockets struck a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that sent Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks, one second-round pick in exchange for James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward. Before this blockbuster trade, the Rockets hadn’t made the playoffs for the past three seasons. However, after the deal, Harden made the Rockets an instant contender.
On May 27th, 2016, The Athletics’ Calvin Watkins, who was with ESPN at the time, reported that the Rockets were finalizing a deal with Mike D’Antoni to become their head coach. Since his arrival in Houston, D’Antoni has been able to accomplish a 173-73 record and on the NBA coach of the year award for the 2016-17 season, per RocketsWire. The Rockets just have not been able to get over the hump in the playoffs.
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who is currently an NBA Analyst with Fox Sports thinks it might be time for the Rockets to move on from D’Antoni.
“D’Antoni is not going to get it done,” Jackson said on Monday’s ‘Undisputed.” “The problem is not offense. You have one of the best scorers in NBA history, Harden’s going to score in any system. … D’Antoni’s not a defensive coach. They might win [a title] with James, but not with D’Antoni at the helm.”
“D’Antoni is not going to get it done. The problem is not offense. You have one of the best scorers in NBA history, Harden’s going to score in any system. … D’Antoni’s not a defensive coach. They might win [a title] with James, but not with D’Antoni at the helm.” —@DaTrillStak5 pic.twitter.com/W9NC2Qf8W6
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 13, 2019
If the Rockets decide to take Jackson’s advice and move on from D’Antoni and hire a defensive minded coach, they should give former Warrior’s head coach Mark Jackson a call.
Here is why the Rockets have had terrible getting pass the Warriors over the past three seasons, and who better to help them get over that hump than the coach who helped develop ‘The Splash Brothers’ Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the first place.
During his stint with the Warriors, Jackson posted a record of 121-109 in three seasons at the helm in Golden State. According to Heavy’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, Warriors’ management fired Jackson back 2014, despite having consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in over 20 years.
Steve Kerr, who was Jackson’s replacement has praised him for his impact on the Warriors defense during his tenure. “When I was in TV, I was doing Warriors games for years,” Kerr said two seasons ago.“Every year, they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Mark came in and made a focus of being a tough defensive-minded team.”
After Jackson was relieved of his post the Warriors went on to win 3 out of the last four NBA Champions and currently in route to add another to their trophy. As for the Rockets are now preparing for the upcoming NBA draft on June 20th.