Coach Silas’s fierce message helps Rockets break 13-game losing streak
HOUSTON – – During Monday’s shootaround, Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas noticed that his team was going through the motions.
It seemed as if they were there only because they had to be. Even though they were preparing to play the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that had embarrassed them 48 hours prior, extending their losing streak to a season-high 13 games, the young Rockets team looked lethargic and uninterested.
Coach Silas had seen enough and let his team know he was not pleased with what was happening. He needed them to understand that the way they were approaching their upcoming game would get them beaten again by the Timberwolves in back-to-back games. He did it with a tone that immediately got the players’ attention.
“When it comes to the coaching part, the teaching part, and having expectations, if those expectations aren’t met, then the players need to know, and I let them know on yesterday,” said Silas on Tuesday after practice. “It (his speech) was about the importance of preparations, the importance of focus, it was about professionalism, and what it takes to build winning habits.”
The young Rockets players received the message loud and clear as they broke their losing streak by defeating Minnesota 119-114. Second-year shooting guard Jalen Green had a career-high 42 points and attributed coach Silas’s passionate early morning speech as his motivation.
“Today in shootaround, coach got on us,” said Green during his postgame press conference on Monday night. “For not having our mind during shootaround.”
It is a side that most fans don’t see or hear about often when it comes to coach Silas and his coaching practices. He mostly keeps a very calm and positive demeanor when he is in front of the media, but he is known to dig into his team when he sees that they are not attentive and as competitive as he knows they could be.
Reserve guard Garrison Mathews knew precisely where his head coach was headed on Monday when he and his teammates heard the tone in his voice change.
“We were on a 13-game losing streak. Any coach would be upset about that,” Mathews told reporters Tuesday. “Especially when you come into shootaround the way we did. Being lackadaisical and not in tune with what we were doing. Any coach would be upset. We did exactly what he said, he lit a fire under us, and we came out and showed it last night. When coach gets into you like that, people listen.”
Houston will be back in action on Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards at the Toyota Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Central and will be broadcasted on AT&T SportsNet Southwest, NBA League Pass.
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