It’s up to the players to pull the Rockets out of the malaise that cost former coach Kevin McHale his job, according to GM Daryl Morey, but Morey acknowledges to TNT’s David Aldridge that some of the fault lies at his own desk, as Aldridge relays in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
“Except for Dwight Howard, there really isn’t anybody on the roster playing well, and those are all my decisions,” Morey said. “I can’t hide from that.”
The Rockets won their first game after switching from McHale to interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff but lost both of their games since, and they’re tied with the Kings at 5-9 for 12th place in the Western Conference. See more from the Southwest Division:
- Chandler Parsons doesn’t understand why Deron Williams has a reputation as a negative locker room force, citing evidence of the opposite to Jake Fischer of SI.com. Wesley Matthews observes a positive attitude from Williams in the face of challenges, like the erosion of his game, a change Williams acknowledges, as Fischer adds. “My days of scoring 20 and 10 are over. I know that,” said Williams, who gave up nearly $16MM to buy his way off the Nets before signing with the Mavericks for $11MM over two years.
- The return of JaVale McGee puts the squeeze on the minutes of early-season revelation Dwight Powell, notes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs have until January 7th to decide whether to pay McGee his full salary of $1.27MM or waive him and pay only his $750K partial guarantee.
- Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was satisfied as the lead assistant for the Warriors last season and didn’t think he’d end up with another head coaching job until New Orleans came calling, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. “I was not going to take a job just to have a job as a head coach unless it was a situation that I thought was going to give you an opportunity to win and win big and compete for a championship,” Gentry said. “I really didn’t have any desire just to take another NBA job.”