The Houston Rockets have been one of the elite teams in the NBA this season. While everybody saw teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, and San Antonio Spurs being atop the totem pole this season, plenty of experts saw the Rockets as just a middling Western Conference team prior to the season starting. However, thanks in large part to the fresh foundation laid by head coach Mike D’Antoni and the spectacular play of superstar James Harden, the Rockets have significantly exceeded expectations.
Sitting at the third seed in the Western Conference with a 42-19 record, Houston and their high-powered offense is expected to be the biggest threat to the uber-talented Golden State Warriors. Both teams play a similar run and gun offense, capable of putting up points in a hurry and launching shots from distance. While some might say being so dependent on the three-pointer isn’t a way to get wins during the postseason, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey recently said in an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio that he thinks that’s actually the formula for success, especially against the Warriors:
“We want to win the title, and obviously that’s probably going through the Warriors at some point…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.”
Morey went on to specify their recent acquisition of explosive guard Lou Williams as a key to their offensive plans moving forward:
“We wanted to make sure our spacing was clean throughout the whole game, that we always had shooters in the game… “And Lou (Williams) gives us that. So now in our rotation, every player on the floor except for obviously the 5 is able to shoot the three-point shot well and attack the basket well.”
The addition of sharpshooter Lou Williams should only give Daryl Morey more confidence in his team’s ability to shoot it out with the league’s best. The Rockets ability to spread the floor and now take some offensive pressure off James Harden should make them a scary sight for any team once the playoffs roll around, and that includes the Warriors.
With Harden continuing to play out of his mind and the myriad of help he now has around him, the Rockets could shake things up atop Western Conference more than they already have, come playoff time.