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Report: Kevin McHale to return as Rockets coach

Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets - Game One

Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets - Game One

Bob Levey

Well, that was fast.

Less than 24 hours after the Rockets were eliminated from the postseason in heartbreaking fashion, the team has decided to pick up the option on head coach Kevin McHale’s contract for next season.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Kevin McHale will return as the Rockets coach for next season, a person with knowledge of the decision said today.

McHale just completed the final guaranteed season of his contract, but multiple individuals with knowledge of the Rockets thinking have said management believes in him and wants him to have more time with a relatively new team that spent the season battling injuries.

The fourth year of McHale’s contract was subject to a team option but it appears the Rockets are sticking with him.

As we discussed in breaking down what’s next for the Rockets, you don’t blow out a competent head coach like McHale unless you have a rock solid option in mind to take his place.

The playoff loss to the Blazers wasn’t on McHale; Portland presented matchup problems that the Rockets were ill-equipped to deal with from a personnel standpoint, and that more than anything was the reason for Houston’s disappointingly quick and somewhat unexpected exit.