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Rockets Head Coach Touches an Embarrassing Milestone After Disappointing Defeat in NBA Playoffs

Rockets Head Coach Touches an Embarrassing Milestone After Disappointing Defeat in NBA Playoffs

The two-time NBA Coach of the Year awardee Mike D’Antoni is an extraordinary coach. He had a great run in 2004-05 (as Assistant Coach for Phoenix Suns) and then again in 2016-17 with the Houston Rockets as their Head Coach. 

Talking about the current season, his team stood #4 in the Western Conference with a record of 44-28. The speculations were strong that if Houston Rockets cannot reach at least the conference finals, it will be tough for Mike to save his position as a head coach. The scare now seems more plausible because the Rockets have lost the series 1-4 against the Lakers.

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni and guard David Nwaba watch as their team plays in the NBA Playoffs 2020
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and guard David Nwaba look on during the first half of game two of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets head coach in trouble!

Mike D’Antoni has a career coaching record of 672-527 (56.04% win percentage) in the regular season. Talking about the Playoffs, he holds a record of 54-55 (49.5% win). He has coached the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Lakers, and Houston Rockets for a span of over two decades. The surprising fact remained the jinx around him that could never be broken.

Thankfully for him, his fate is at least better than legendary coach Don Nelson, who has the most regular-season wins but still no luck in reaching the finals. So Mike has reached the conference finals, both with the Phoenix Suns in the past and with the Rockets too, but always failed to reach the NBA finals.

Mike is considered to have one of the best offensive minds among the NBA coaches. This reflected well in the Rockets’ performance, this series being a disappointing exception. This debacle can put an abrupt end to his coaching time with the Houston-based franchise.

Mike D’Antoni can soon make a move!

Mike has a reputation in the league and that is of an unconventional coach who has an inclination towards data analytics. He is known for promoting unpopular playing styles and being stubborn at his values. Now, these are some important traits when coaching an NBA team where you’re in a pool with sharks ready to eat you. 

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni talks with referee Bill Kennedy during a playoff game.
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni talks with referee Bill Kennedy during a 2020 NBA Playoffs game. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

His coaching contract renewal remained unsuccessful, and now he is officially an unrestricted free agent.Reports suggest that the Indiana Pacers are keen on having his services in the coming season and that D’Antoni is not considering his retirement soon. Perhaps, he still has one thing to check, an NBA finals appearance or even better, a ring.

Meanwhile, the Rockets have two players (James Harden and Russell Westbrook) on max extension. They need a coach who can help them win big. They last won a championship in 1994 and 1995. These were the only two years when the Chicago Bulls could not win in those 8 years. Let’s see if Rockets can bring good old days back.

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