Mike D'Antoni never fully followed his instincts while with the Phoenix Suns and doesn't want to have similar regrets now that he's in the final season of his contract with the Houston Rockets.

"If you think something's right and the numbers prove it's right, then go all-in," D'Antoni said. "You can't muddy the waters. You can't just go halfway."

D'Antoni wanted the Suns to play in an even more non-conventional way, playing faster and with fewer bigs.


"His instincts in Phoenix -- as you know, he's one of the all-time true innovators -- was to put it at 10," Daryl Morey said. "The noise dialed him back to six or seven.

"Then when he got here, we were like, 'Go full Spinal Tap. Crank it to 11.'"

The Rockets rank first in three-point attempts per game at 45.3, compared to 25.6 per game attempted by the Suns in 05-06 when they broke their own record the season before.

Houston realized they had to match up with the Golden State Warriors' "Hamptons Five" lineup during the 2018 playoffs and that began their small ball shift. The Rockets re-signed Clint Capela in 2018, but the franchise realized by the 2019 offseason that scrapping a traditional center could be beneficial if the circumstances were right.

Houston's Plan A was to sign Jimmy Butler and commit to full-time small ball, trading away both Capela and Eric Gordon. The Rockets instead traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, and eventually traded away Capela in a package for Robert Covington.

Win or lose, D'Antoni at least realizes it won't be due to half-measures.

"People say, 'Well, you can't win,'" D'Antoni said. "Well, we weren't going to win the other way for sure. I get the arguments, I get it, but this is the only chance we have. And I think it's a good chance."