With a little more than two weeks left until the regular season, the biggest item on the Rockets to do list is to find roles for the players. The trip to Asia took care of everyone getting to know each other and how to get along off the court, now it’s up to Rockets coach Kevin McHale to figure out a way to get them working well on the court.
“By now I’d like to really kind of monkey around with the big lineup and do some different stuff. But that’s going to have to be over the next couple of weeks,” McHale said on Tuesday. “You want to get your nine, 10-man rotation, then inside of that they’re all going to play at times with each other. A bunch of different combinations, that’s what I want to look at.”
The goal is how his players fit together, not when. McHale bristled when asked about setting a starting lineup, especially at point guard where Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin have split starts.
“I have two starting point guards, either one of them could start. I came off the bench a lot of games, that’s the most irrelevant thing in the world to me,” McHale said. “If that’s an issue you’re so far away from where we want to go it’s not even funny. You’re not even in the same vicinity as where we want to go. It’s got to be about your team and what you can do to help your team and the guys are getting there.”
“It’s all about the team,” echoed Chandler Parsons. “Our goal is to win a championship and not one of us, two of us, three of us can do that on our own. It’s going to take one through 15.”
McHale will be able to start tinkering with combinations on Wednesday against Orlando, but he’ll be doing so primarily with back court players. Omer Asik and Marcus Camby aren’t expected to play.
“By now I’d like to really kind of monkey around with the big lineup and do some different stuff,” McHale said. “But that’s going to have to be over the next couple of weeks.”
In the meantime, he’ll work with the pieces he has. Fortunately, there are still plenty to work with.
“We’re so deep it’s a good thing because we’ve got bodies,” Parsons said. “We’ve got guys that can come in and chip in right away.”