Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who has traditionally played a short rotation in meaningful games, sounds like he’s going to experiment with playing more guys once the NBA returns from hiatus.
“With (GM) Daryl (Morey) and data, with how we think gives us the best chance to win, it probably comes down to nine guys. Now, who those nine are they could change, and maybe early we experiment, practice and watch,” D’Antoni tells Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
D’Antoni acknowledged that many of the players won’t be in peak regular-season form, adding that “it’s something that you have to play through.”
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have had numerous conversations since the pair tested positive for COVID-19 and team sources are “adamant” that the two will be able to coexist without issue, Tim MacMahon writes in a collaborate piece with other writers on ESPN.com. Jazz GM Dennis Lindsay previously said that the two players were ready to put it behind them.
- The time off has allowed Luka Doncic‘s thumb, wrist and ankles to heal and while there were rumors that he gained some weight during the hiatus, sources tell MacMahon (same piece) that the Mavericks star has been working out diligently in Slovenia.
- The Thunder‘s biggest concern coming back from the hiatus could be their chemistry, ESPN’s Royce Young contends in the same piece. OKC compiled a 34-13 record since Thanksgiving, which was second in the league over that span. However, the club needed the first month of the season to get its three-guard lineup in sync.