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Rockets reportedly fire Jeff Bzdelik

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Houston is reportedly moving on from one of their top coaching assistants.

NBA: New York Knicks at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

In a total shocker of a move, the Houston Rockets have reportedly “let go” assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Bzdelik was the primary architect of Houston’s switching defensive scheme that was meant to counter the Golden State Warriors, and this move comes as a complete surprise. Especially considering that Bzdelik retired last summer, and Houston owner Tillman Fertitta reportedly talked him out of of it by dangling a huge raise as a carrot.

For the team to turn around and get rid of Bzdelik less than a year removed from giving him a raise is a curious move to say the least.

My initial reaction was that it was a possible scapegoat move by the Houston front office, but a follow-up tweet by Feigen suggests that Bzdelik was wavering on whether to come back to the team again next year anyway.

This is certainly bad news for the Rockets, as Bzdelik turned the team into one of the league’s top defensive teams in 2017-2018. His return from retirement also coincided with Houston’s emergence from the defensive doldrums this past season, and the Rockets were a top three defensive team after the All-Star break.

It remains to be seen whether Houston will replace Bzdelik or simply rely on assistant coach Roy Rogers for defensive implementation, but there you have it, Rockets fans. The first big change of the offseason. And it’s not a good one.