No I am not talking about Tracy McGrady’s best impression of Andrei Kirilenko during the post-game press conference. I am talking about the unexpected departure of Coach Jeff Van Gundy. I hope everyone in
Van Gundy was working all season with essentially no good options at point guard. He had one who couldn’t penetrate or play defense, in Rafer Alston. And the backup Luther Head only possessed a three-point shot that disappeared in the playoffs. Luther was not a legitimate back up point guard. He couldn’t dribble, pass or defend. So Alston was forced to log more minutes than any Rockets player this season.
Simply put, the Rockets had too many veteran players and were too slow to keep up with the Jazz and the pace of the playoffs. Who did Van Gundy have as options to put on Boozer? Juwan and
Van Gundy has not been without some criticism. Many felt his pick and roll offense has always bee too slow and predictable. His teams have never been break away and scoring teams and in the age of Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns, Baron Davis and
But it seems like the situation was a product of the tension between Van Gundy and team president Les Alexander. Apparently Alexander laid most of the blame for last year’s 31 win season on Van Gundy. Despite the fact that the Rockets were decimated with injuries to
In my opinion this will be a huge loss for the Rockets (depending on the replacement). But, despite his old-school style, Van Gundy is a great coach. He got every single thing out of his Rockets teams that he could. Alexander did not give him all the pieces to succeed, but its not like Alexander is going to fire himself, so Van Gundy is the fall guy for the disappointing finish to the year.
Hopefully the Rockets do no think this is the final solution to their problems. There needs to be wholesale changes to next years team. Alston needs a back up or needs to be a back up at point guard. There needs to be a more consistent 2 guard that can run and play defense and a power forward that can combine the shooting of Juwan Howard and the hustle of Chuck Hayes.