In light of Daryl Morey’s decision to leave the Houston Rockets, FS1’s Colin Cowherd explains why Morey is making the right decision.
The Houston Rockets find themselves in an unusual situation, as they were one of the final eight teams standing in the playoff race but are also one of only three teams without a head coach, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans being the only other two. Last offseason, the Rockets decided to break up their backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul, as they ushered in Russell Westbrook by unloading a bevy of draft capital to pull off the trade.
Although it took time for Russ to get acclimated to the Rockets, Westbrook turned in a career year of sorts, which included him going on a scoring streak, him posting a career-high in field-goal percentage, and him making the All-NBA team, all within his first season in Houston. Harden led the league in scoring, yet again, and was named an MVP Finalist, which has become par for the course for the Beard.
But although the Rockets boast one of the highest-scoring duos in NBA history, their future has come into question lately, especially following the recent departure of longtime general manager Daryl Morey. Morey was the identity of the Houston Rockets’ style of play of shooting an avalanche of threes, and later sacrificing size for space.
FS1’s Colin Cowherd is the latest to question the Rockets’ future, as he cited Harden and Westbrook’s inability to play together as the reason for Morey’s departure from the Houston Rockets, on a recent episode of The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“It’s just not going to work. Harden and Westbrook are going to eventually face teams in the playoffs and they’re just situationally not built to play together.
They’ll be fun, you’ll win a bunch of games, but I think you’re kind of tied to Westbrook’s contract. I think Harden is obviously an unbelievable scorer but we’ve got history now on the playoff stuff. And will he ever set a screen for somebody, will he get back and guard the best player on the other team?
So I think Daryl Morey is actually making the right move here, I really do. I just think sometimes in business, things run it’s course.”
Cowherd brings up several points that can’t exactly be proven. Harden and Westbrook had a fairly successful first season together in Houston and were defeated by the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers, who they were picked to lose to, and rightfully so considering that the Lakers had the top seed in the Western Conference.
Harden has also become a stellar defender, and especially in the post, where he’s the best post defender in the NBA. The sad reality for the Rockets is that they boast one of the most-hated duos in the league, as Harden and Westbrook have consistently drawn slander from the national media and from many of the league’s insiders almost endlessly.
We’ve heard that Morey’s decision to step down had more to do with the amount of time he’s had to spend away from his family, and especially during the bubble, where he decided to join the players. Add in the fact that both of his college-aged kids are in a “gap year” of sorts, and it’s understandable that he focused on his personal life as opposed to his basketball life.
But there will be takes like Cowherd’s that will continue to exist, unless and until Harden and Westbrook win a title.