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Kevin McHale talks fitting together Rockets’ pieces

Sep 4, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

The Rockets are not the most talented team in the NBA this season, which was kind of the plan. Well, the first plan was to get Dwight Howard, but when that fell apart the plan was to be pretty bad and get a high draft pick next year and rebuild that way.

That’s not fun if you are coach Kevin McHale.

What he’s got is a roster with Jeremy Lin at the point, Kevin Martin at the two and a lot of interesting pieces after that he needs to put together. One of those pieces is Royce White, the multi-talented rookie who is kind of a point forward.

In talking about what style he would like to play to (hat tip to Kevin Pelton), McHale talks about fit, about positions, and in a round about why how the old definitions of position don’t work anymore.

So we’re just going to have to do whatever fits our team the best. If our best playmaker is our two-man then we’ll run a ton of stuff that will allow him to make plays. If our best playmaker is our four-man, then we’ll run a ton of stuff for him to make plays. The object is not to run your offense, the object is to run an offense that fits your team. I’m not playing, so it doesn’t matter what I like; it matters what these guys can and can’t do.

I’ve never believed in a one-size-fits-all offense. I always believed that was a copout. I always thought whenever I heard that: ‘You’ve got Kareem and you’re a high-post offensive coach so you’re going to put Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the high-post? That doesn’t make much sense.’ So I think you have to adapt to your players.

McHale goes into more detail focusing on White and others. You have to like what he is saying — forget the standard roles, just put guys in a position where they can succeed, mold the offense to the talents at hand. Give these guys a chance but play to their strengths, don’t bend them into your system.

At the same time, he asks about defense and that is where the positional revolution can be the most challenging. Not every team has a LeBron James they can just stick on a point guard. The Rockets are going to struggle some on defense this season.

And on offense. But at least the Rockets are going into this willing to see what works and go with it. That’s the kind of team that gets better as the season wears on.

  1. zemongoose - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    The most important piece being how he can use the Rockets to improve his beloved Celtics.

  2. dysraw1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    its gonna be a little rough for the Rockets but Mchale is a good basketball man the learning curve won’t hurt these guys

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      What’s he going to teach them? How to throw elbows?

      • dysraw1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        lol he was one of the best at that

      • dysraw1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        among other things

  3. manchestermiracle - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    McHale? The Rockets hired Kevin McHale? What a mistake. The only thing positive he ever did in Minnesota was draft Kevin Garnett. Probably because he had the same first name. McHale certainly never put anyone else decent on the court with Garnett and eventually passed him off to his old team, the Celtics.

    Remember when McHale signed Joe Smith to three secret one-year deals in an attempt to circumvent the salary cap? When the NBA found out they voided the last contract and penalized the Timberwolves three of their next five first-round picks (as well as a $3.5 million fine).

    In ’05 McHale took over the head coaching duties and lasted 31 games before deciding he didn’t like it. He coached the team again the last half of the ’08/’09 season and was fired at the end of that season. McHale’s Timberwolves never did squat while he was in the front office or on the bench.

    And Garnett vetoed McHale’s first attempt at giving the power forward to Boston. Look it up. McHale as coach of the Rockets? No wonder they had no chance at landing Dwight Howard.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Where have you been, he was hired a year ago, coached a season already.

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