Rockets to hire Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas as next head coach, report says

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Stephen Silas will be the next Houston Rockets head coach as the two sides finalize a deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Silas has been an assistant in the NBA since 2000, working for seven different teams. Most recently, he joined Rick Carlisle’s squad with the Dallas Mavericks in 2018. Silas is the son of former NBA head coach Paul Silas, and worked under him in Cleveland for the first two years of LeBron James’ career.

The Rockets interviewed a number of other candidates to replace Mike D’Antoni and ultimately chose three finalists: Silas, former Rockets coach and ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy and current Houston assistant John Lucas. II. The Rockets were sold on the offensive creativity of Silas, Wojnarowski selon. He worked with Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker. In Houston, he will be tasked with designing an attack for James Harden and Russell Westbrook that is versatile enough to overcome the somewhat extreme defenses that tend to throw them.

An extreme example came in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers threw trap after trap at Harden in an attempt to force his teammates to beat them. They couldn’t, and the Rockets were humiliated in a five-game game. D’Antoni allowed Harden’s isolated habits to a historic degree. If the Rockets are to compete for a championship next season, they need to diversify offensively.

But their future is increasingly bleak. Harden and Westbrook are both in their 30s, and the deal that brought Westbrook to Houston cost the Rockets control of four of their first-round picks. Daryl Morey might have been able to navigate them through that minefield, but he’s now leading the Philadelphia 76ers. If things turn south in Houston without him, a rebuilding could eventually become inevitable.

In all likelihood, that factored into Houston’s calculation when hiring Silas. Lucas is 66 and Van Gundy 58. Silas, still in his mid-forties, has a long coaching career ahead of him and could potentially overcome lean years in a way that older coaches might not be willing. to do.

The goal for now, however, is to stay competitive. Owner Tilman Fertitta has publicly stated that he wants to win this season. Limited interim capital and financial flexibility will make it difficult to improve last season’s roster. In all likelihood, any improvement would have to go through senior management. On that front, the Rockets are betting on one of basketball’s most accomplished assistants to do what D’Antoni couldn’t: lead Harden to a championship.

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