Houston considered hiring Frank Vogel to fill void left by Jeff Bzdelik
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a mini crisis right now. Over the summer, they parted ways with their defensive specialist coach Jeff Bzdelik, and at the moment, the team appears to be having some regret over this move.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Rockets came very close to hiring former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel as a potential replacement for Bzdelik.
“Amid their unsuccessful attempts to trade for Butler, I’m told Houston made a run at Frank Vogel, the former Indiana and Orlando coach, to join Mike D’Antoni’s staff to help fill the void created by the brief retirement of Jeff Bzdelik, the veteran defensive guru.”
There are a number of interesting talking points from Stein’s statement here.
First off, the veteran sportswriter further confirmed reports that the Rockets went in hard for Jimmy Butler. Now the latest member of the newly-formed Philadelphia 76ers Big 3, Butler is a four-time All-Defensive team member and is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league today. He would have been an upgrade from the recently-departed Trevor Ariza as the Rockets’ defensive stalwart. Unfortunately, the move did not come to fruition for Houston.
Secondly, the fact that the team looked long and hard at the possibility of hiring Vogel — who himself is known as a defensive-minded coach — points to the fact that the Rockets feel that their defense needs a little work.
Finally, Stein mentioned that Bzdelik’s retirement has been brief. The long-time Mike D’Antoni assistant has recently re-joined the team in a consulting capacity (initially), which is a very clear indication that the Rockets want his brand of defense back.
The Rockets are currently 6-7 to start the new campaign. While this is not the most ideal scenario for last season’s Western Conference runners-up, it is not exactly a deep hole. The team seem determined to improve on their current defensive shortcomings, and if all goes according to plan, we should see the real Rockets sooner rather than later.
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