Houston Rockets Coach Opens Fire About NBA Officiating

Ime Udoka, Rockets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The culture of the Houston Rockets officially changed when they hired Ime Udoka to become their next head coach during the 2023 NBA offseason. Udoka was going to bring a major change to the franchise, as the days of tanking for draft picks were over.

He wanted to set a new tone for the franchise, which included being active in free agency. The team came away with veterans Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks and Jeff Green to help the team take steps toward getting out of the NBA’s cellar.

While the Rockets gave it a good run, they are going to fall short of the NBA Play-In Tournament. But, this season should still be viewed as a success as Houston is on the rise in the Western Conference.

However, the style of play which Houston brings to the court is not for everyone. They have turned into a hard-nosed, defensive-minded team under Udoka, as he brought the same mentality to this job as he had with the Boston Celtics when he oversaw them going to the NBA Finals in his first season.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Ime Udoka, Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets Updates

This Rockets team is as tough as anyone in the league, as they are not afraid to play a physical brand of basketball. At times, that does get them into trouble in games as they will rack up fouls at an alarming pace.

Alas, that is something Udoka is okay with, as long as it is a strategic play. Getting ejected for a foul, as Amen Thompson was earlier this week against the Dallas Mavericks, certainly isn’t ideal. But, Udoka came to the defense of his player, calling out NBA referees.

“That might have been a normal technical 10 years ago,” said Udoka. “But again, the bumping match, and if he’s grabbed and gets the guy off him, like I said, it’s a little soft nowadays,” Per Fan Nation Inside The Rockets.

Udoka has shown in his first season with the Rockets that he is willing to go to bat for his players when he feels it is necessary. He is going to continue building up this kind of culture in Houston, which should lead to them contending for spot in the NBA Playoffs once again next season.

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