When hope seemed lost after Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets swung for the fences, says J.J. Redick.
The Houston Rockets may have fallen short this season, but they made waves during what was expected to be a dominant run by the Golden State Warriors after compiling what was essentially an NBA All-Star team as their roster. Sharpshooter and podcast host J.J. Redick took notice of that recently on his show.
In a discussion with Hall of Famer and newly-hired Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash, the conversation shifted to the Houston Rockets and their efforts to stop the dominant Golden State Warriors.
“Houston almost beating Golden State those two years is almost as big of an accomplishment as Golden State winning,” raved Nash to Redick.
“I just want to say that Daryl Morey and Houston deserve a lot of credit,” agreed Redick. “Because when Kevin signed with Golden State, there was a sense that a number of teams were sort of unwilling to go for it. We’ll just wait this out.”
Given the lethal lineup the Warriors boasted after adding Kevin Durant to a team that already went 73-9, J.J.’s assessment sounds about right. As an NBA fan, I kind of accepted no one would be touching that team for at least a couple of years.
“To the Rockets’ credit, they swung for the fences. They’re up 3-2 the first year, and Chris gets hurt at the end of Game 5,” continued Redick.
How the Houston Rockets kept up
Morey has spoken before about how he went all-in with a high variance strategy to keep up with a team that simply had more talent than everyone else.
“I think we set some record for missing the most threes in Game 7,” said Morey. “Well, yeah, that sucked. But we also have no chance of being in Game 7 against them unless we played this high variance style that gave us a chance to beat them even though they were better than us.”
J.J. then speculated about how things may have gone differently for the Warriors if other teams had the same approach. “I sometimes wonder what would have happened if five other teams went for it? Would the Warriors have won those two? I don’t know.”
Morey’s high-variance strategies might have met their match in the playoffs this season, but given his ability to adapt, I would expect him to find creative ways to keep the Rockets in the mix once again.