Sep 25, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT
He’s going to try to maintain the team’s identity by pushing the tempo, but expects things to dramatically improve defensively, and is going to experiment quite a bit to try to find ways to get Howard and fellow big man Omer Asik on the court at the same time.
What McHale isn’t concerned about, however, is how Asik feels about his role potentially being diminished with Howard on the roster.
Q. Have you had a chance to see how Omer feels about the addition of Dwight?
A. I have not.
Q. Are you concerned about how he reacts to all this? There were indications he was not happy about another center coming in.
A. I didn’t know Omer was the general manager. That surprises me. He’s a player. His job is to come in and play. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk with him about all that, but Daryl (Morey’s) job is to try to improve the team. Omer’s job is not to wonder how that affects him. His job is to figure out how they can play together and be effective.
Fairly strong words here, but it’s quite possible they came across harsher in print than they did when heard spoken directly from the source.
McHale is taking the right approach, though, in that teams with aspirations of playing deep into the postseason can’t have malcontents on the roster who are worried about individual issues like playing time or anything else.
Asik reportedly asked to be traded shortly after Howard had signed, but the team told him they had no such plans at the time. That may still happen before the season is through if teams come to Houston with offers of players who may be a better (and more willing) fit alongside Howard.
But not before McHale tries to make it work, and while that process is unfolding, he won’t even begin to entertain any nonsense where Asik is concerned.
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 32
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 64
- Five favorites to win NBA 2014-15 MVP 18
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: San Antonio Spurs 7
- NBA’s 44-minute game clocks in at under 2 hours, players barely notice (VIDEO) 2
- Nets coach Hollins on 44-minute game: ‘The change will be for the guys who don’t start’ 11
- Spurs’ Gregg Popovich fires back at Suns owner’s apology: ‘I’m just surprised he didn’t do it in a chicken suit’ 8
- Blake Griffin goes after Trevor Booker following flagrant foul, says he may retaliate in the future (VIDEO) 31