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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Rockets assistant coming out of retirement in hopes of helping defense

The Houston Rockets are off to a slow start this season, and their poor play defensively has been a big reason for that. Fortunately, the man who helped teach Mike D’Antoni’s team to stop opponents from scoring is returning to coach again.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that defensive specialist Jeff Bzdelik, who was the associate head coach of the Rockets from June of 2016 until he announced he was leaving the team back in September, is ending his brief retirement and returning to Houston.

The Rockets struggled defensively for much of the year last season, but they had one of the league’s top-rated defenses over the second half after James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute returned from injuries. D’Antoni has consistently credited Bzdelik with leading the defensive turnaround in Houston.

Bzdelik surprisingly announced that he was leaving the Rockets prior to the start of the season, but Wojnarowski reports that he has resolved some family issues and wants to return to coaching. D’Antoni has talked about the importance of playing tight defense if the Rockets want to contend against the powerhouse teams in the West, and he’s hoping Bzdelik can return order to that side of the ball.

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