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Rockets Darryl Morey on closing gap with the Warriors: We have to take risks

Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are willing to take risks in order to win a championship.

Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets have positioned themselves to dethrone the Warriors in the West.

Even if they’re not the favorites to win next season’s title, Houston appears to be the second best team in the West, with respect to San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

With the pairing of Chris Paul and James Harden, the Rockets have a top-two backcourt in the NBA. Couple that with the acquisitions of Luc Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker, Houston should have a more stingy defense next season too.

The Rockets are a deeper team across the board than they were a season ago, and that is by design. Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently made an appearance on the Woj Pod, and he is focused on one team in particular – the Golden State Warriors.

“Generally I felt like prepping or thinking about one team in your strategic planning was a mistake. That is what I would’ve answered for the last 15 years. Now we’re in the situation where we have a good chance to be the second best team in the NBA. I am actually forced to think about the Warriors, because the reality is that we’re here to just win the title, that’s all I think about.”

Indeed, the Rockets are likely to finish with the second best record in the league. The Celtics added more star power with the acquisition of Gordon Hayward in the offseason. Although losing their best defender in Avery Bradley limits the potential upside of that deal. Cleveland didn’t improve much in the offseason, and no one knows what will happen with Kyrie Irving. The Spurs added Rudy Gay, but its unclear how much athleticism remains after his torn Achilles tendon. Not to mention that many of the Spurs main vets are starting to show their age.

This Rockets won 55 games last season, and the acquisition of Chris Paul was likely the biggest splash of the entire offseason. The Rockets are poised to make a leap in the Western Conference standings.

Related Story: Chris Paul ranked as the best offseason addition by ESPN

Daryl Morey is willing to take risks.

Daryl Morey also told Adrian Wojnarowski that he is willing to take risks, via the Woj Pod.

“You not only want to add players to get you closer, which I think we’ve done with Chris Paul, but you also need to take more risks. We’re going to continue to end up being in the news because we’re going to continue to take risks to get better.”

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Houston doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for the Warriors to get old or break apart because of some contractual dispute. In order to have a shot at winning a title, teams need at least one top-10 player. The Rockets certainly have one in James Harden, who will turn 28 years old before the start of the season. Pairing him with Chris Paul was made in an effort to win now.

The Rockets have the third most wins in the past decade. Much of that success should be attributed to owner Leslie Alexander. He provides Daryl Morey with the job security to take risks even if they don’t pan out.

The Rockets are willing to do whatever it takes to bring a title back to Houston, Texas, as Morey told Wojnarowski, “To close the gap with the Warriors, we have to take risks, and ones that may not even make sense to some people on the surface.”