After winning 56 games and the Southwest Division last year, along with a trip to the Western Conference Finals, the Houston Rockets are off to a disappointing 4-7 start this season. After a fourth straight loss Monday night, and reported players-only meeting on Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has reported that Kevin McHale has been fired as Rockets’ head coach.
The Houston Rockets fired coach Kevin McHale, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 18, 2015
Wojnarowski added that assistant J.B. Bickerstaff will take over as interim head coach, and Chris Finch will be elevated to associate head coach in the reshuffling of the coaching staff. So general manager Daryl Morey’s coveted basketball-sabermetric philosophy should stay exactly the same, and that may help facilitate a turnaround if the coaching change happens to spark some positive momentum.
Injuries to some key rotation pieces, most notably Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones (who has returned recently), have played a role in the team’s struggles early this season and offseason acquisition Ty Lawson has not played well thus far. It’s also worth noting that Houston’s notable stars, James Harden and Dwight Howard, are far from complete players with championship track records.
Firing McHale is far easier than making moves to reshape the roster, and even at this early stage the Rockets can fall too far behind in a tough Western Conference if they keep piling up losses. But I don’t see how things change dramatically over Houston’s remaining 71 games this season, particularly with the Golden State Warriors deploying their philosophy at a much higher level with better players.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.