New Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni wants to set the record straight

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Former Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni is the man tasked with restoring the Houston Rockets back to contention next season after a turbulent 2015-16 campaign which saw them sneak into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.

After composing a record of 41-41, the Rockets met the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the postseason. The fact they managed to even grab one win in the series was greeted with surprise before they were ultimately eliminated 4-1.

However, although D'Antoni is notorious for his uptempo offence, the defensive end is an area where the Rockets need help most. Is the right man to fix that? At his introduction press conference, he insisted his image as an all-out offensive coach was slightly misleading.

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"It's the No. 1 misperception -- that I don't care about defense," D'Antoni said. "I don't know of any coach alive that doesn't want to win and defense is a big part of winning.

"Now I do believe that it's not everything. You can have a great defense or a great offense and get as much talent as you can find to have one or the other be great. But the idea is you want both of them to complement each other, hopefully."

D'Antoni also noted his penchant for winning road games while with the Suns and you can't do that without some defensive discipline.

"The year we won 62 games, we also won 32 road games," D'Antoni said. "There's no doubt that we had some very gifted offensive players. But in this league, you don't win 32 games on the road without playing some kind of defense."

Patrick Beverley
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
James Harden

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