Melo and Mike 2: Electric Boogaloo may actually be coming to theaters soon.
Yahoo! Sports’ Jordan Schultz reported on Friday that Houston Rockets target Carmelo Anthony holds no grudges towards Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and is excited about playing for his former New York Knicks boss. Schultz also adds that the feeling is mutual for D’Antoni, the 2016-17 Coach of the Year.
Houston is the frontrunner to land the ex-All-Star Anthony once he secures his exit from the Oklahoma City Thunder. There he would be reunited with D’Antoni, who coached him in New York for two seasons from 2011 to 2012.
That first stint in The Big Apple together was nothing short of a disaster with D’Antoni recently admitting that Melo pretty much forced him off the Knicks. But the two men have incentive to make amends — D’Antoni needs a forward after the Rockets lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, and Anthony is presumably looking for a starting job on a contender where he can also play with a Banana Boat brother (Chris Paul). Those are solid motivators.
The Houston Rockets would like Mike D’Antoni to continue doing his thing with the team.
The Rockets picked up D’Antoni’s contract option, which keeps him as the team’s head coach through the 2019-2020 season, according to Mark Berman.
NBA sources: The Rockets have picked up the option year on head coach Mike D'Antoni's contract. He originally signed a three year-deal with a team option for a fourth year. So he's now tied to the Rockets through the 2019-2020 season.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 27, 2018
D’Antoni originally signed a three-year deal with Houston, with an option for the fourth. He just completed his second season as the team’s head coach and would have been entering his final season under contract prior to the option being picked up.
The Rockets have gone 120-44 in two seasons under D’Antoni. They had the best record in the NBA during the regular season and took the Golden State Warriors to a full seven games in the Western Conference Finals. Many with the Rockets believe they would have won the series had Chris Paul not gotten hurt.
- Mike D'Antoni
Mike D’Antoni is not revealing much about Chris Paul’s status ahead of Game 7.
D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets lost 115-86 to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday to force a Game 7 on Monday night in Houston. The big question entering the game has to do with CP3’s status.
Paul injured his right hamstring at the end of Game 5 and was unable to play in Game 6. After the Rockets lost, D’Antoni was asked about Paul’s status for Game 7.
“Not thinking about it because I don’t know,” D’Antoni said. “I have no idea. I wasn’t pre-med. The doctors … they’ll tell me. I have no idea.”
D’Antoni also said that he wouldn’t reveal Paul’s status until closer to game-time on Monday. The likelihood is that he won’t be able to make a miraculous recovery. One report has said the Rockets are not optimistic about CP3’s status.
Mike D’Antoni praised his team’s defense for an excellent performance in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors.
D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets held the Warriors to just 12 points in the fourth quarter and came away with a 95-92 win to tie the series. The defense also played well in the second quarter to allow themselves to get back into the game.
“I thought this was the highest level we’ve ever played defensively, without a doubt. Because you’re talking about maybe the best offensive team ever,” D’Antoni said after the game.
D’Antoni also said he regretted calling his players “soft” after their Game 3 loss.
“I regret it. They’re not soft; we just didn’t play with the amount of force that you need,” D’Antoni said of his team. “They’re not soft. And they proved it. So I misspoke, and you guys mis-wrote it.”
This was an excellent performance by Houston, especially considering how poorly they started the game. The series now heads to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has an interesting view of how the Western Conference Finals are unfolding.
According to D’Antoni, all the pressure is on the Golden State Warriors for Game 4 — not his Rockets, who are down 2-1 in the series.
Mike D'Antoni on Game 4: "Right now, to me, Golden State has all the pressure. They got to win tomorrow night. We should come in with a little bit of swagger and gitty up in our game."
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) May 21, 2018
It seems like some mind games are at play here. If the Rockets lose Game 4, they’ll be facing the daunting prospect of winning three in a row against Golden State, including one at Oracle Arena. The Warriors have proven they can win in Houston, but the Rockets have yet to show they can win in the Bay Area. Make no mistake, the Warriors won’t be underestimating Houston, but it’s the Rockets who are facing the prospect of a season-ending loss if they can’t take Game 4.
Mike D’Antoni called out his team for playing “soft” during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets were destroyed 126-85 in the game. They were blown out in the second half, getting outscored by 10 in the third quarter and 20 in the fourth.
“We played soft actually,” D’Antoni said after the game. “You can’t do that against these guys.”
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 21, 2018
A big issue was James Harden on defense. Much like the way the Rockets targeted Steph Curry in Game 2, the Warriors went after Harden in Game 3. The Warriors were 8-of-14 against Harden, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, including this play where he got embarrassed by Shaun Livingston.
Houston better come out ready to play in Game 4 otherwise this series will be over. Golden State leads 2-1.
The Western Conference Finals are shifting to Oracle Arena, the home of the Golden State Warriors, for Game 3.
Golden State is, naturally, very tough at home. They haven’t lost at Oracle this postseason, and they’ve only lost five games there since the start of the 2015 playoffs. Their last playoff home defeat was nearly two years ago, when the Cleveland Cavaliers won there in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Why is it so tough to play the Warriors at home? Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has a very simple explanation.
Mike D'Antoni: "Is Oracle a hard place to play? Yeah because the Warriors play here." Touche
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 20, 2018
The Warriors have to keep home court, as they have some issues. That said, their Game 1 win ensured that they’ve stolen home court, and will be back in the NBA Finals if they hold serve at home against Houston.