Mike D’Antoni wants Rockets to be top-10 defense
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has always had a reputation for putting offense above defense, but he’s serious about improving his team on both sides of the ball.
D’Antoni said Saturday that his main goal for next season is to make the defense better, with the lofty goal of making them a top-10 unit.
“Defensively is where we are going to make our most strides and, again, we are talking about being a top 10 (defense),” D’Antoni said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “That is the key. I guarantee we will get better.
“You are selling trust,” D’Antoni continued. “We developed a bond between the players and the coaching staff. (Assistant coach) Jeff Bzdelik has done an incredible job. In case you hadn’t noticed, we aren’t a very defensive-minded team, but Jeff is creating habits and that takes a while. That’s our next big step, and we will get better at that next year.”
D’Antoni was pressing the Rockets on their defense all season, but they just weren’t quite good enough in the end. This all appears to be part of a long-term plan, though, and he sounds serious about getting better.