Rockets Rumors: Chris Paul Met with Mike D'Antoni About Concerns on Offense

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni, left, talks with guard Chris Paul during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul reportedly met with head coach Mike D'Antoni on multiple occasions throughout the 2018-19 NBA season for "spirited discussions" about the team's offense.

On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Paul pushed for "more movement" similar to the free-flowing style D'Antoni featured during his time coaching the Phoenix Suns.

The Rockets finished fourth in the Western Conference with a 53-29 record during the regular season. It'd be hard to blame the team's scoring production for not ranking higher in the standings, however, as they finished the campaign second in the NBA in offensive efficiency, per ESPN.com.

By contrast, they ranked 16th in defensive efficiency and 28th in defensive rebound rate.

Nevertheless, Paul continued to harp on offensive adjustments into the playoffs, particularly during the Western Conference Semifinals against the two-time reigning champion Golden State Warriors:

"I think it's the pace. Obviously, we looked at some of the film from last year. It's pace, make or miss, we have to push the ball. I know I tried to make a conscious effort to do. When you have guys like Austin (Rivers), Eric (Gordon), when you get the ball out quick to them, kick it out to them. I don't care what the matchups are it's tough. If we get the ball up the court and put pressure on them, that's when we're at our best."

The Warriors ended up winning the series in six games, ending Houston's season.

Although the Rockets have won at least 53 games in five of the past six seasons, they've yet to reach the NBA Finals during that span, in large part because of the Dubs' dominance.

Houston is set to return most of its key players, including Paul and backcourt mate James Harden, next season, though. Golden State is heading toward an offseason of uncertainty with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson as potential free agents.

So the Rockets could emerge as the favorite in the West depending on how the summer plays out, but their main upgrade focus should be on impact defenders, not an already sound offense.

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