Houston Rockets: Is It Time for Kevin McHale to Step Aside?

Hunter Konsens@HunterKonsensCorrespondent IIJune 11, 2012

Kevin McHale
Kevin McHaleStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

After a rather disappointing tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin McHale, current coach of the Houston Rockets, may already be back on the hot seat with his new organization. This news comes after a recent Kyle Lowry interview, where the star point guard ripped apart the former Celtics great.

Coupled with a late season meltdown of epic proportions that knocked the Rockets out of postseason contention, McHale's future in Houston doesn't look too bright.

But should the Rockets keep their relatively new coach? After all, he did lead a team without a definitive star to a winning 34-32 record.

Coming into the season, nobody believed the Rockets would vie for a playoff spot. Only a few years out from losing both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Houston was supposed to be a mere rebuilding franchise. However, this resilient bunch put up a fight to land a coveted playoff berth, as the team was a favorite to earn the sixth seed with only a few weeks left in the season.

Thanks to a 1-7 slide, though, Houston would be submitted once again in the NBA draft lottery. The first of numerous reasons why McHale's time in Texas, while brief, is coming to anticlimactic close.

How could a team filled with this much talent and depth have a fall from grace this devastating? This is a roster that doesn't necessarily have any holes.

Do they have a solid starting lineup? Absolutely.

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Does their bench produce on a consistent basis? The Rockets' second unit is among the best in the entire Association.

Kyle Lowry
Kyle LowryHarry How/Getty Images

Is their a defensive presence in the middle? Both Marcus Camby and Samuel Dalembert possess a knack for altering shots.

Do they have a balanced mix of established veterans and prospects? Besides the Denver Nuggets, the Rockets have a fantastic mixture of players.

Sure, the team doesn't own a true superstar, but there have been a multitude of teams in NBA history who have achieved great feats without a future Hall of Famer. The champion Detroit Pistons of 2004 are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In addition, the trio of Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin are more than just ordinary role players. 

So, why did the Rockets miss the biggest stage in the realm of basketball? They weren't focused and became complacent thanks to coach McHale.

You don't see the teams with elite coaches, like the Boston Celtics or San Antonio Spurs, stumble to the finish line.

Not only did McHale not lead his team to the promise land, he also angered the Rockets' most promising player, Kyle Lowry. Earlier this month, Lowry voiced his displeasure with his coach in the aforementioned interview. The breakout point guard went as far to say that he doesn't believe the two can ever coexist. 

“I don’t think so,” Lowry, 26, said. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed. If things aren't addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved." 

Plus, when you add in McHale's past mishaps as a coach and executive in Minnesota, his career in Houston could end as fast as it started.

Just this week, new information was released saying that Minnesota could have possibly acquired Rajon Rondo in the infamous Kevin Garnett to Boston trade. However, McHale, who was general manager at the time, settled for bust Sebastian Telfair in place of the star point guard.

When you add in all these factors, McHale's seat is most definitely warming.


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