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Report: Mike D’Antoni, Rockets nearing agreement on contract extension

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

After previously failing to reach a contract extension following their loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, the Houston Rockets and head coach Mike D’Antoni will try it again, according to ESPN NBA reporter Tim MacMahon:

D’Antoni has won at least 53 games in each of his three seasons with the Rockets, including a league-high 65 games in the 2017-18 season that saw Houston come within a single game of dethroning the Warriors and reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995.

Despite his success with the franchise, D’Antoni has been criticized for his apparent failure to make adjustments especially in this year’s series against the Warriors, when the Dubs lost Kevin Durant in the third quarter of Game 5 but still managed to pull out the next two games to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Critics have also wondered whether or not D’Antoni actually gives James Harden too much freedom with the ball offensively, and whether Houston’s offense is totally reliant on Harden in order to be effective.

Of course, Harden is an elite talent, and his offensive value goes without saying. We are seeing what the absence of Kevin Durant has done to the Warriors throughout these NBA Finals.

The fault may also be on the front office and the massive contract they handed Chris Paul to stay in Houston, which essentially forced crucial rotation players like Trevor Ariza out the door. Houston is severely handicapped from a financial standpoint due to the commitments that they have made to Paul, James Harden, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon.

Should D’Antoni receive an extension, the goal will be clear: find the formula to defeating the Warriors.