The Rockets have gone from 56 wins and a trip to the Western Conference Finals a season ago to a 38-win squad that is in serious danger of missing the playoffs in 2015/16. As a result, GM Daryl Morey‘s job performance will be under serious review this offseason, Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com report. Team owner Leslie Alexander also noted that interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who replaced Kevin McHale 11 games into the campaign, would be subject to review at season’s end as well, Stein and Watkins add.
Morey certainly faces some uncertainty regarding his job security heading into the summer, the scribes note. The GM deserves credit for his bold approach to roster building, notably adding James Harden and Dwight Howard, though team chemistry is a growing concern, especially considering the previously mentioned players have struggled to coexist, opine Stein and Watkins. The pair also count the failed Ty Lawson experiment this season as another mark against Morey. Lawson proved to be a bad fit alongside Harden and signed with the Pacers after agreeing to a buyout in Houston.
For his part, Morey has accepted the blame for this season’s misfortune, telling reporters, “It has been a very tough year in terms of a lot of the things we were hoping [to] take us to the next level didn’t, and we also took a step back on top of that, so far,” Morey said. “The season is not over but to this point we underperformed from what we did from last season.” When asked recently about his job security, Morey responded, “You’re asking the wrong guy about that. That’s Mr. Alexander’s choice and all I do is my job every day. He makes that call.” The GM is under contract through 2018, having inked a four-year extension with Houston in 2013.
Bickerstaff has a record of 34-34 in his interim role, but his questionable substitution patterns, as well as the team’s defensive shortcomings and inability to hold big leads, don’t necessarily work in his favor, the ESPN scribes note. The interim coach said that no discussions have taken place between him and team management regarding his job status yet, Stein and Watkins add. “No, not at all, that’s not even a issue [or] a concern,” Bickerstaff said Thursday night.
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