Originally written on Pass The Pill  |  Last updated 10/24/14
When the Houston Rockets announced the hiring of Kevin McHale as their head coach at the beginning of last season, the consensus in Houston was that is was a bad hire.  He did not have a very good track record as a head coach or talent evaluator.  The hire seemed like a reach or a gap bridge for the future coach.   The upside was that the Rockets would finally be REALLY bad and have a top 5 draft pick, and McHale would then be replaced.  But after leading the Rockets to the 2013 playoffs with a highly  efficient offense, the question now arises- is McHale a good coach or even an offensive genius? When people mention Phil you think of the triangle offense.  When Tom Thibadoux comes up in discussion, you think of defense.  If I say Kevin McHale, would you think offensive efficiency or offensive genius?  The Rockets do three things really well: 1) shoot corner threes, 2) open shots in the paint, and 3) get to the foul line.  But how much of this efficiency is credited to the coach, and how much is credited to the players?  After all, James Harden was doing this with the Thunder last season.    Looking back is always helpful when predicting the future, but unfortunately McHale’s coaching history is too short.  In the 2008-09 season, McHale replaced Randy Wittman after the Timberwolves started the season 4-15.  He built the team that included rookie Kevin Love, but was not able to win many games or score many points.  In 2011-12, the Rockets averaged 98 points per game and had a losing record.  The problem with evaluating McHale based on these two seasons is that these teams did not have the talent to win.  This season with some nice offensive pieces, the Rockets are leading the NBA in scoring.  More points than the talented Thunder and Heat, and more than the “perfectly coached” Spurs.  Year        Points per Game    Rank    Record 2012-13 Rockets – 106 1st 42-33 2011-12 Rockets – 98.1 9th 34-32 2008-09 Timberwolves – 97.8 21st 20-43 A good coach will “coach up” a bad team and make them competitive.  A great coach will do the same, but with more talented players.  Phil coached MJ and Kobe, Popovich coaches Duncan and Parker, and even Spoelstra coaches Wade and LeBron.  This is the first time in his coaching career that McHale has a superstar in his prime years and talented role players.  He has an offensive system that fits his players and has done a good job coaching a very young team.  But to be considered a great coach, he will need to develop the talent around Harden and find a way to improve the team’s defense.  McHale might just be an average coach that is leading an offensively skilled basketball team, or this might be the beginning of a great coaching career.  Rocket fans are hoping for the latter.  Ruben Parga @RFParga82 The post Is Kevin McHale a Good Coach? appeared first on Pass The Pill - Kings of Hoops.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.