Behind General Manager Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets made plenty of moves after losing three-and-D specialist Trevor Ariza in the first day of free agency, inking Chris Paul and Clint Capela to long-term deals while securing the signing of Carmelo Anthony after he was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder and later bought out by the Atlanta Hawks. Morey noted these moves, among others were made in order to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, a team the Rockets will ultimately have to go through to reach the NBA Finals.
“I’d say a lot, a very high percentage,” Morey admitted, when asked how much the acquisitions and rotations were made to counter the Warriors, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “A lot of those decisions work against every team. Same as last year, it’s very likely to win the title we’re going to have to beat the Warriors at some point. We’re doing what we can to prepare for them.”
“To me, that’s what any rational person would do. I’m intrigued by some thinking it’s odd that we say that. Maybe because it’s not a norm. Ask any fan, ‘Who do you have to beat to win the title?’ They’re going to say ‘the Warriors.’ It seems like GM speak or coachspeak to not say that.”
Morey wasn’t shy of admitting his obsession with beating the Warriors last offseason, and he’s not shy of admitting the high expectations his team now has after falling a game short of reaching the NBA Finals this past postseason.
Asked if it’s championship or bust, Morey nodded.
“Yeah. To me, it’s similar to our players, from one to 15, from the front office staff to the coaching staff, we have done everything but win the title,” he said. “That’s what’s left.”