Two nights ago, on the road and with their starting backcourt unavailable for duty, the Rockets defeated Oklahoma City—the team that most consider to be the Western Conference’s likely NBA Finals representative.
Inspecting it on a micro level, in the context of a single game, the win means very little. It’s one notch in the standings for a team that as of this moment probably has less than a 50% chance at making the postseason. But on the macro level, this win tells Daryl Morey (and, equally important, other general managers across the league) a bit about who this basketball team is right now. (For example: guys like Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, and Chandler Parsons are capable of competing in big minutes, in big spots, against big-time competition. Not to say they were terrible before, but this game was a different substance.)
Taking into account Houston’s recent past, their innovative and adventurous GM, whispers from national NBA reporters, and the general wide open field standing in their way, it’s more than likely that this team strikes a deal before the arrival of today’s trade deadline. And looking at the roster, it’d appear the Rockets are in a wonderful position to do so. Their depth is truly outstanding; even the players they don’t play could be viewed by a rival executive as having upside if brought to a new environment. All it takes is one believer. Daryl Morey has plenty of options. Let’s investigate why. [read more…]