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The Houston Rockets fired head coach Kevin McHale this morning.
After a disappointing 4-7 start to the season the team held a players-only meeting and defense was one of the main topics of conversation.
Though McHale is the winningest coach in franchise history (by percentage) the Rockets couldn’t figure it out on the defensive end. They’ve allowed the opposing team to score at least 100 points in every game they have played so far this season.
J.B. Bickerstaff will be the interim coach for the Rockets and the organization is hopeful that he can restore a defensive culture for this Rockets squad. Via NBA.com:
There are high expectations for the team again this season behind James Harden and Dwight Howard, but McHale won’t be around to see where the Rockets end up: Houston fired McHale on Wednesday with the team off to a puzzling 4-7 start.
“The team was not responding to Kevin McHale and we had to make the tough call,” general manager Daryl Morey said a few hours before the Rockets took a four-game skid into their game against Portland “And we had to make it soon. There is not time in the tough Western Conference to wait for a turnaround.”
Three of Houston’s losses were by 20 points and two others were by more 12 or more points. Morey was asked what indications he saw that the team wasn’t responding to McHale.
“I think you just watch our team play and it’s not that difficult (to see),” Morey said. “You’re a team coming off a Western Conference final run and you’re a team with mostly the same group and it was not working. We will change until it’s working. We win at the Rockets. (Owner Leslie Alexander) does not accept losing. I do not accept losing. No one accepts losing.”
Assistant J. B. Bickerstaff will take over as interim head coach.