Mike D’Antoni says retirement of Jeff Bzdelik ‘not ideal,’ but Rockets will ‘figure it out’
The Houston Rockets were thrown a curveball when associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik announced that he would be retiring weeks before the start of the 2018-19 regular season to spend more time with his family. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni knows this isn’t an ideal development, but he’s still confident in the infrastructure in place:
#Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni on Jeff Bzdelik retiring with the season around the corner: "It's not ideal. We've got a good organization in place. The information is going to flow like it did before." pic.twitter.com/JH1iyv9Drs
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 17, 2018
Bzdelik was an important piece of the Rockets’ coaching staff and had coached in the NBA for a whopping 21 years. He was known as a defensive mastermind and was credited for improving a Rockets defense that had been shaky for years. Losing someone of this caliber from your coaching staff would hurt at any time, but the timing of the retirement is tough.
Even with the loss of Bzdelik, the Rockets are still in a good place heading into the season. Last season, they had the sixth-best defensive rating in the league, paired with the second-best offensive rating, which was only a touch below the Golden State Warriors.
Houston had an intriguing offseason, making several tweaks to a team that was one win away from playing in the NBA Finals. Prominent 3-and-D wing Trevor Ariza now has left Houston for Phoenix, as has Ryan Anderson. Luc Mbah a Moute is also out of the picture.
New faces include Carmelo Anthony, Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight, James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams.
Hopefully, the Rockets can rally their team together before the season begins and try once again to topple the Warriors and reach the NBA Finals.