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Stephen Silas: "To think championship right away is exciting to me; and, I'm prepared for it. I'm ready for it."

Posted: November 5, 2020 -- 11:40 p.m. CT

Thursday afternoon, the Houston Rockets held a press conference to introduce Stephen Silas as the 14th head coach in franchise history and also Rafael Stone as the new General Manager.

Versatility on offense and on defense seem to be keys to Stephen Silas' coaching style.

During the 45 minute press conference, Silas discussed his ideas for improving the team and accomplishing the ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship. Silas also mentioned Small Ball is not dead; however, he does have ideas and tweaks he will implement.

"That's one of the things that makes this job so exciting," Silas remarked. "To have the roster that has been put together here; to have 2 future Hall-of-Famers and All-Stars and MVPs (James Harden and Russell Westbrook).

"For me, it being my first head coaching experience and being in a win now situation, that's great. I'm a win now coach; so, to not have to deal with growing and all that type of stuff. To think championship right away is exciting to me; and, I'm prepared for it. I'm ready for it.

"The next steps as far as getting there it's going to take a little bit more of everything. The offense was good last year. It was 6th last year. My goal is to make it 2nd or 3rd. That's what we did in Dallas when we were number 1 in offense."

Silas admits the Rockets need to improve defensively. At one point early in the NBA Restart, Houston's defense was ranked at or near the top. The Rockets' defense did not end the Restart ranked that high.

"Defensively, we're going to have to improve: 15th last year on defense and just do a few more things. It's going to take a little bit more structure. A little bit more preparation. The whole adaptability part as far as what's important in the NBA and what works in the NBA. It's going to take a lot of buy in from the players and them gaining trust in me and me earning their trust is going to be super important.

"There's a lot to it to take that jump from it's hard to get into the playoffs; and, then, once you're in the playoffs, it's hard to make that next step into a second round team. It's hard to make that next step into a championship team; and, that's what I'm here to do. And, that's what I'm prepared to do."

Silas realizes work needs to be done. A lot of work.

"But, it's going to take a lot. It's going to take a lot of work and preparation; and, we're working on it."


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Silas's vision for the Rockets is to add to Small Ball. Enhance it and add more versatility to the Rockets' offense.

"I've had experience with Small Ball in working for Nellie (Don Nelson with the Golden State Warriors, 2006 - 2010)," Silas said. "He was a basketball genius; Hall-Of-Famer; and, (I) learned so much from him.

"And, looking at the (current Rockets') roster, there are lot of things that we did in Golden State back then that we could do with this group. I'm actually in the process of studying the team and making sure that I have a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses and the different things that I can do."

Silas emphasized a key point during his interviews with the Rockets: teams have to play more than one way in the NBA.

"One of the things that Rafael Stone and I have been talking about during the interview process that I wanted to get across is in today's NBA you cannot play just one way," Silas said matter-of-fact.

"You have to have multiple ways of playing," Silas continued. "So, Small Ball can be part of it. But, also possibly having a bigger guy. A traditional-type center where you can roll to the rim or duck in or do different things to where the matchups will be a little bit better and more traditional."

Silas added, "On the offensive end just being a little bit less predictable is what I would say I'm looking to do.

"On the defensive end, the same thing: be a little bit less predictable as far as so much switching; and, getting into maybe playing a little bit of zone."

Silas was on the Dallas Mavericks' coaching staff the last two seasons; and, he was in charge of the Mavs' offense. In that role, Silas spent numerous hours preparing game plans to attack opposing defenses; and, he observed the type of defenses that cause him to spend more time than usual to prepare.

"As an Offensive Coordinator the past two years, playing against teams that have different ways of defending is really tough and it takes a lot of time to prepare for; so, I want to be that team. I want to be the team that you have to spend the day preparing to play the Houston Rockets before the game; so, we make sure you have everything covered."

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