Over the years, Mike D’Antoni has had the privilege of coaching numerous successful teams. He has been a part of some of the best offensive juggernauts in league history. In light of that, D’Antoni recently told USA Today Sports that he believes the Rockets could be a dream team.
“You can stay in contact (with players) and send them little clips — get your ideas and how they feel comfortable about doing things before we put our program in stone. The landscape has changed a lot, for the better,” he said. “I’ve been on a lot of teams, and the information we get is a lot. With some things you have gut feelings, and you would like to go that way, but you kind of tiptoe when you have hard data saying, ‘You know what, that’s what you should do,’ and it’s without hesitation. So hopefully, with all that data and information we get every day about players, about teams, about combos, about other players, about what the league’s best are doing in pick-and-roll, it gives us a lot more confidence.
“But better than even that, you can tell the players the same thing and they’ll be on the same page. They’re not questioning, ‘Well I had a coach in junior high that told me to do this.’ We’re showing them, ‘This is why we do this.’”
In this day and age in the NBA, D’Antoni’s high-tempo offense with an emphasis on the 3-point shot and small-ball lineups has become the norm. It is the basis of the formula to winning at the highest level. This has been nothing but music to his ears and has only made him more confident in the team that he is inheriting.
D’Antoni will have a team that features several capable shooters led by arguably the best shooting guard in the league in James Harden. The addition of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson will also go a long ways in stretching the floor and running their fast-paced offense. Although it’s hard to envision them being better than any of his teams with the Phoenix Suns, the Rockets have a strong chance floor one of the most explosive offensive team in the NBA next season.