Another award announced, another Rockets organization member receiving just a few votes.
Kevin McHale guided the Houston Rockets to a 56-26 record, the No. 2 seed in the deepest conference in years and the Southwest Division championship in the toughest division in league this year. He finished sixth in the voting behind winner Mike Budenholzer of the Hawks, Steve Kerr of the Warriors, Jason Kidd of the Bucks, Brad Stevens of the Celtics and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Popovichs.
McHale accomplished the above despite Dwight Howard playing half the season, Terrence Jones playing less than that, three major rotation pieces being brought aboard midseason and five new players brought in over the offseason. The Rockets had more roster and lineup than almost any other team in the league from games 1 to 82, and McHale led the Rockets to the third-best record in the NBA.
He received just 13 third-place votes and no second- or first-place votes. Those who recognized McHale's performance:
- Adrian Chavarria, KEYH 850 AM
- Brian Davis, Fox Sports Oklahoma
- Chris Marlowe, Altitude Sports and Entertainment
- Fran Blinebury, NBA.com
- Hubie Brown(!), ESPN
- Israel Gutierrez, ESPN.com
- Jack Armstrong, SportsNet/TSN
- Joel Meyers, Fox Sports New Orleans
- Michael Wilbon, ESPN
- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN.com
- Sage Steele, ABC Sports
- Sam Amick, USA Today
- Steve Buckhantz, Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic
Look, I don't begrudge people for voting for Budenholzer, he did a splendid job. Same with Kerr, Popovich, Stevens, and Kidd. I don't know the criteria these people take into account when they vote for the award -- Zach Lowe just picks the best coach, which I understand, and he picked Pop, which I also understand -- but McHale did a great job this year. That's all I'm saying.
This was a tough race, and we appreciate The Thirteen who picked our man. The Thirteen have spoken. If only I could invoke Soumai.