HOUSTON — Daryl Morey has been planning for this series for a full year.
The 55-win Houston Rockets, eliminated in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs, weren’t good enough to get a shot at the mighty Golden State Warriors last postseason. But the Rockets’ GM thinks big. Incremental improvement wasn’t enough.
The Houston Rockets dismissed the idea that they relied too heavily on isolation plays during Game 1 of the West finals. “That’s what we do,” James Harden said. “We’ve just got to do it better.”
Rockets reserve forward Luc Mbah a Moute, 0-of-6 from the floor in 17 minutes Monday night, says he doesn’t have enough confidence in the right shoulder he dislocated twice this season.
Houston had a great regular season, even better than Golden State’s. But it took the Warriors just 48 minutes to get home-court advantage back.
Morey wanted to dethrone the Warriors’ dynasty. He is “obsessed” with it, as Morey himself put it during a headline-grabbing appearance on ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo Show in December.
The Rockets rolled to the NBA’s best record (65-17) and earned their chance to meet the defending champions in the Western Conference finals in large part due to a series of summer moves Morey executed with beating the Warriors in mind.
The blockbuster trade for Chris Paul was about closing the talent gap with Golden State. The Rockets needed to get Hall of Fame-caliber help for James Harden to have any hope of challenging a team that features a pair of former…