NBA rumors: Rockets fire defensive coach after playoff loss to Warriors

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

NBA rumors: Rockets fire defensive coach after playoff loss to Warriors originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

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Jeff Bzdelik no longer is an assistant coach with the Rockets.

The team fired its defensive coordinator Saturday, a source told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

The move comes eight days after the Warriors ended the Rockets' season for the fourth time in the last five seasons, although it sounds like Bzdelik's exit was only a matter of time.

Bzdelik, who was the team's associate head coach in 2017-18, was credited with building one of the NBA's best defenses over the last couple of seasons. He retired in mid-September, just before training camp opened.

Houston got off to a terrible start, losing five of its first six games, and owner Tilman Fertitta reportedly led the recruiting efforts to bring Bzdelik back to the bench. The 65-year-old eventually returned full time on Nov. 23.

The Rockets boasted the second-best defensive rating in the NBA (105.3) over the final 25 games of the regular season. But against the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, the Rockets' rating slipped to 114.1 (which would have been the sixth-worst mark in the league during the regular season).

[RELATED: Morey's tweet proves Rockets GM still obsessed with Dubs]

Then again, Golden State has one of the best offenses in NBA history, so it's hard to blame Bzdelik for that.

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