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Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni admits he often takes out players for passing up shots

Rockets, Mike D'Antoni, Jazz

The Houston Rockets are one of the league’s top organizations. They are perennial contenders because head coach Mike D’Antoni holds players to a very high standard.

That high standard starts with the top of the front office and Daryl Morey, but it flows to the court and to the coaching staff. D’Antoni told reporters on Monday that he isn’t afraid to remove players that aren’t performing. Via Mike Berman of FOX Houston on Twitter:

“I get mad at them if they pass a shot up…and they know that,” D’Antoni said. “More than likely I take them out because they passed it up.”

The Rockets and Mike D’Antoni haven’t run into that problem so far in the 2019 postseason. They’ve been as dominant as ever. Houston is up three games to none on the Utah Jazz and will try to sweep the first round series.

The first two games weren’t close. The Rockets won by at least 20 points in both Game 1 and Game 2, and held the Jazz under 100 in each contest as well. Saturday’s Game 3 was much closer, but Houston still came away with a tight 104-101 victory. Now Utah faces near-impossible odds going into Game 4.

D’Antoni’s starters have performed very well in each of the first three games, so he hasn’t had to remove them very often. But he has also used his bench very wisely.

If the Rockets win Game 4, they will face either the Golden State Warriors or the Los Angeles Clippers. Golden State currently leads that series three games to one.