The Golden State Warriors, not a championship, appear to be the white rabbit Daryl Morey is chasing on the NBA’s greyhound track. Morey isn’t content with what the Houston Rockets have accomplished through the first tri-mester of the NBA season. The Rockets architect is still obsessed with the defending world champion Golden State Warriors, telling ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo Show that his roster was constructed to beat one team, and it’s not the one that eliminated him in the conference semifinals last May.
“Last year, the Spurs knocked us off, so we’re very worried about the Spurs,” Morey said, “They’re always one step ahead of every organization and guard us better than anyone. But we calculated it — it’s like 90 percent if we’re gonna win a title, we’ve gotta obviously beat the Warriors at some point. So we’re extremely focused on that. A lot of our signings and what we do during the year is based on that.”
Morey’s obsession with the Warriors is an old compulsion. However, while most team execs have been cautious in their approach, Morey has expressed an undeterred confidence in his plans to beat Golden State, even before the Rockets acquired Chris Paul in June. You won’t hear the Cavaliers’ Koby Altman, Danny Ainge, R.C. Buford or Sam Presti brashly discussing their mission to assemble a roster that can defeat Golden State.
Last February, when the conventional thinking was that trying to outscore the Warriors was futile, Morey told Sirium XM Radio that Houston’s agglomeration of 3-point shooters was an attempt to outscore Golden State.
“And we absolutely figured the only way we’re gonna beat ’em is with a barrage of 3-pointers, and it’s probably gonna be a 124-120 affair if we’re gonna get past them.”
Then, San Antonio’s relentless defense threw that plan into the trash compactor during their six game series and Morey adjusted trading for a second ballhandler who could ease the offensive load on Harden. They acquired P.J. Tucker for his defensive prowess. These machinations have paid off, but until Morey beats the Warriors, he’ll have the Warriors on his mind.
Anybody who says the Warriors weren’t good for the NBA can read this and weep. If anything, Golden State’s dominance has pushed the Rockets to raise a competitive rival in the Western Conference.