After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, the Houston Rockets were expected to be contenders after improving the point guard position. By acquiring Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets, the move was expected to provide them with another playmaker.
However, after a 4-7 start to the new season which included four consecutive blowout losses, the Rockets have made a significant change to their coaching staff.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Rockets have parted ways with McHale on Wednesday morning despite re-signing him last season. With the change, the Rockets will owe McHale $12 million:
After struggling to a 4-7 start to the season, the Houston Rockets parted ways with coach Kevin McHale on Wednesday morning, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
While Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau are available, assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff will take over as the interim head coach, via Wojnarowski:
Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff will take over as the interim head coach, with assistant Chris Finch ascending to associate head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
With the NBA being a players’ league, it is unfortunate McHale is the latest coach to be responsible for Houston’s poor start. While James Harden finished second in MVP voting behind Stephen Curry, he has shot poorly to start the new season. Despite averaging 27.3 points, Harden is only shooting 37.2 percent from the field and 26.2 percent from three.
With the coaching change, the Rockets are looking for a new voice and hope to work their way back to the top of the Western Conference. Although many consider this to be their championship window, the Rockets will have to compete with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers in the highly competitive conference.