D’Antoni went 217-101 in four seasons as Houston’s head coach. The team was never able to break through in the Western Conference, though. They lost three times in the conference semifinals and once in the conference finals during his tenure.
The Houston Rockets’ season came to an end on Saturday, and James Harden says the Danuel House situation did not help matters.
The Rockets won the first game of their Western Conference semifinals series with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the next four. The final three games of the series were played without Danuel House.
“It affected us because of the distraction and he was a huge part of our rotation. But we still had to go out there and compete and try to win games,” Harden said.
Not only did the Rockets have to think about the distraction, but they also lost one of their starters for 60 percent of the series. House averaged 10.5 points in 30.4 minutes per game this season. He added 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Going up against the Lakers is not easy with a full roster, let alone down a key player.
The Lakers now advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010, when the late Kobe Bryant was leading the team. The Rockets will have to contemplate their future, which could include a head coaching change.
The Houston Rockets’ season came to an end on Saturday, and that has led to questions about how they will handle their head coaching situation.
Mike D’Antoni’s contract is set to expire. The Rockets could try to give him another shot with the team or choose to make a switch. D’Antoni said after the Game 5 series-ending loss to the Lakers that he hopes to return.
Mike D'Antoni on whether his run with the Rockets is over: "We’ll see what happens. I had four years. Hopefully it keeps going, but you just never know." He definitely wants to continue coaching, whether it's in Houston or elsewhere.
Rajon Rondo’s brother William was thrown out of Game 5 between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday after an exchange with Russell Westbrook.
William Rondo reportedly was trolling Westbrook by waving in the fourth quarter as the Rockets were on the brink of elimination. Westbrook responded and started talking to Rondo, who later was asked by security to leave.
Rockets’ Russell Westbrook repeatedly shouts “Who you talking to?” at Rajon Rondo’s brother who was seated in front row & supporting Lakers during Game 5. Austin Rivers adds, “You’ve got to go” before security escorts him out. NBA has policy restricting bubble fan conduct pic.twitter.com/w9Wb3tCXCd
Westbrook’s Rockets were trailing by over 20 points in the fourth quarter and down 3-1 in the best-of-7 Western Conference semifinals series. His frustration was likely related to having his season about to end.
As for William Rondo, he is part of the NBA Bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. because he has a role as an official barber for the players.
The Houston Rockets had some yelling going on in their postgame locker room after a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 on Thursday, according to a report.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Saturday that there was “audible shouting” in the team’s locker room after a 110-100 loss to the Lakers to fall behind 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals series. He says there was talk about players bringing better body language and effort.
Some might take such a report to think there is fighting and dysfunction among the team, but that should not be the takeaway.
The loss put the Rockets on the brink of elimination. Airing frustration and vowing to play better and harder in the next game is a natural reaction.
If the Rockets lose to the Lakers in the series, it would mark their third time being eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals in the last four seasons. Two of those series losses came at the hands of the dominant Golden State Warriors.
That set off some concerns, especially among Bucks fans who thought it was a negative sign about Antetokounmpo’s future with Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo is under contract with the Bucks for one more season. Milwaukee wants to sign him to a contract extension, but there are constant talks about him possibly leaving.
On the surface, Antetokounmpo’s Instagram activity might be a concern, but with more context there might not be as much of an issue.
Some people like to cleanse their accounts from time to time. Some have even said that Antetokounmpo did the same thing last offseason too.
Coming off a gentleman’s sweep of the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Jimmy Butler is feeling plenty confident.
This weekend, the Miami Heat star brushed aside the notion that the team should feel like underdogs against the Boston Celtics in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals.
“We don’t really use ‘underdog,'” said Butler, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “We may say that we have a chip on our shoulder, but I don’t think that we’re the underdog. I think that we’re a really good team. We play together. Everybody knows their role. We just compete.
“I think we’re supposed to be here,” the All-Star swingman went on. “That’s how we think of it. To me, to us, that’s all that matters. We’re not underdogs. We’re competitors.”
The Heat enter the series as the No. 5 seed in the East as opposed to Boston, who is the No. 3 seed. But Miami just toppled the Milwaukee Bucks, the No. 1 seed and the NBA’s best regular season team, in five fairly lopsided games in the second round. Thus, the Heat have to feel like they can beat anybody in the league right now.
Jayson Tatum threw some shade at Charles Barkley on Friday night over the analyst’s golf swing.
Tatum was a guest on TNT’s postgame show after his Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 92-87 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Barkley brought up the subject of golf and tried to challenge Tatum.
“Jayson, somebody sent me a couple videos of you down there on the golf course. Give me 5-and-5. Name your price. I’ll fly down once this is over,” Barkley said, challenging Tatum to play.
“Let me know. I’ve seen your golf swing. I like my chances,” Tatum replied.
If you’re unfamiliar with Barkley’s golf swing, you need to watch this.
Barkley was an NBA MVP and 11-time NBA All-Star. He was a great athlete, but you wouldn’t know it from his swing. Tatum better be able to take him on the links.
Kyle Lowry shared what his advice would be to Pascal Siakam following the Toronto Raptors’ playoff loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 on Friday night.
Toronto won the NBA championship last year and got eliminated in the conference semifinals this year. Siakam had a rough series against Boston, averaging only 14.9 points per game on 39.4 percent shooting. The 26-year-old forward didn’t make more than five field goals in a game over the last three playoff games.
“When we got swept by the Wizards I read every single article. I read every single thing that was said about me – good, bad, evil, terrible, awesome, and I used it as motivation. And that’s what (Siakam) is going to do. That’s the advice I would give him,” Lowry said via TSN 1050’s Josh Lewenberg.
The Raptors got swept by the Wizards in 2015 and Lowry shot just 31.6 percent that series. He’s been there and experienced the highs and lows and let that help him become a better player. His advice might be able to help Siakam make the most of a tough situation.
Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap made quite the admission about his Denver Nuggets team after their comeback win Friday night.
The Nuggets battled back from 16 points down to force a Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Afterward, Millsap admitted that he knew the team was perceived as “soft” and wanted to shed that label.
Paul Millsap on what changed in the game: “They started running their mouth a little bit. It kinda woke us up.”
Said they’ve been talking all series.
“I know the word is we’re soft. We’re not gonna let these guys come in and push us around. We want to prove a point.”
The Clippers have fed into that perception a bit, but Denver’s inability to cope with the physicality and defense in the series haven’t helped. Few expected them to come back in Game 5, and even now, the Clippers are expected to close them out.