Stephen Silas is taking his considerable coaching talents south on Interstate 45.

One of the top assistants to Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle, Silas was announced as the new Houston Rockets head coach on Friday. He replaces Mike D’Antoni, whose contract expired after the Rockets were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

After beating Oklahoma City in seven games in the first round, the Rockets lost to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

So Silas is not exactly inheriting a team bereft of talent and potential.

“A great hire for the Rockets,” Carlisle said. “Stephen did a great job for us here in Dallas helping us get back to the playoffs. Thrilled for him and his family.”

Silas was with the Mavericks for two seasons. He worked with Carlisle primarily on the team’s offensive schemes. He’s developed a reputation as a strong communicator with today’s players and should foster chemistry between him and players like James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Silas also has demonstrated a cool, calm demeanor, something that has also been a strength for Carlisle, picking and choosing his spots to get animated on the sideline.

And Silas has some experience in the big chair. When Charlotte coach Steve Clifford fell ill in the 2017-18 season, Silas filled in as head coach for six weeks. He also became the lead voice on the sideline for the Mavericks on occasions when Carlisle got ejected or could not be on the bench.

Silas, 47, is the son of longtime NBA head coach Paul Silas and has been working in the league either as a scout or an assistant coach since 2000. Before that, he served three years as an assistant director with the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Silas reportedly has lined up a couple of marquee veterans to fill out his staff as assistants: Jeff Hornacek and Nate McMillan, according to KRIV-TV in Houston.

Twitter: @ESefko


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