A lot of GM’s would look at what Golden State did last season and how that roster is built right now and say, well, looks like we’re playing for second. Honestly, it’s a great situation for some front offices. They can make a move here or there, but then turn to their fanbases and say, of course we didn’t win a title this year, have you seen how good the Warriors are? We can’t compete with that. A lot of general managers and front offices might do that.
Not Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets. Dude is looking to battle. He’s in there throwing punches, looking to get better all the time. There’s no tanking for him. No rebuilding. He’s all about just getting better. He told everyone he had something up his sleeve and then he pulled out Chris Paul. Dwight Howard left after last season and Morey figured out how to win 55 games and then add the Point God.
As he said yesterday, “It’s a weapons race in the NBA. You’re either in the weapons race or on the sidelines.”
Morey has never been one to sit on the sidelines and this time he just jumped into the weapons race with an 8-player deal and a brand new missile system. And I love it. “We felt like this is, with James Harden in his prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams that are out there.”
Daryl Morey ain’t playing around. He’s playing for blood. He’s not happy with 55 wins and the third-best record in the Western Conference. He wants to take down the champs. That’s awesome. That’s how it should be. And it’s not like this is a sure thing. Paul arrives in Houston with just one year left on his deal, and while you’d expect him to re-sign, there’s a chance that he could leave after next year. But Morey is going for it nonetheless.
And yes, there are some kinks to be worked out in that offense. You have two ball-dominant guards in Chris Paul and James Harden. And Paul has tended to favor a dribble-heavy approach while the Rockets have had their success with pace and space. But given that Paul and Harden want to play together, you’d expect them to figure it out.
It gives them two playmakers on offense to share the burden, which means the offense shouldn’t dip when one of them goes to the bench and Harden’s less likely to run out of steam the way he did at the end of this year’s playoffs. For Paul, it means the pressure won’t be solely on him to make a final shot. It’s a win-win.
Is it enough to beat the Warriors? Not at this point. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Morey has more deals up his sleeve. They still don’t have the array of offensive weapons and defensive length that the Warriors have, but even if they don’t make another move, they won’t be intimidated by the Warriors. They won’t be afraid, because their GM isn’t afraid. I don’t know if this group is quite good enough to win a title, but I know this: scared teams don’t win titles. And the Rockets aren’t scared.