How Daryl Morey’s obsession and James Harden’s pitches built the Houston Rockets

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.

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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…

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