The instincts from the game that shaped Kevin McHale's life are evident again.
It has been a gradual and painful process for the Houston Rockets coach, but his players and assistants are seeing the revival.
McHale has admonished his players for setting poor screens, displaying a casual demeanor on the court and during timeouts and for any other fundamental flaw that he felt required their attention.
"The little things that upset him, a week or 10 days ago, he would not have addressed those things," Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Every day, you can tell he's getting better. In staff meetings, he wasn't as talkative or demonstrative. Kevin's a storyteller. He wasn't doing any of that."
McHale's love for basketball has been one of his strongest allies to help him cope with the death of his 23-year-old daughter, Sasha, who died Nov. 24 of complications from lupus.