The Houston Rockets are perhaps the biggest losers of the NBA playoffs. Not only because they underperformed when it mattered the most - again - but because they now don't even have a coach or the personnel to make the transition to a 'regular' style.
Mike D'Antoni won't come back as the team's coach months after he and Daryl Morey committed 100% to playing smallball and now, it feels like they just don't have the assets to go back to traditional basketball. That, according to Charles Barkley, takes him "back to the bottom":
"Houston Rockets just lost their coach. I think they are back to the bottom. D'Antoni is the only guy who does that system (microball). Who else can run that small ball? Morey went all in on that style, now they are stuck, 100% they will have to change the way they played. It's going to be really hard for Harden and Russ to completely change the way they play again," Barkley said on Vince Carter's Podcast.
While saying that a team that features Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be "at the bottom" of the NBA seems like a bit of an overstatement, Barkley does have a valid point here.
The Houston Rockets have a lot of work to do this offseason and it seems like they're just in the dark right now. They don't know how's their roster going to look like, they don't know whether they'll be able to move Westbrook or Harden (or even if they should do it), they don't know who's going to coach them. They don't know anything right now.
Moreover, Houston doesn't even have enough future assets to try and pull off a deal because of the Westbrook trade to OKC, which is even more worrying at this point. It seems like we'll just have to wait and see how this pans out.