Daryl Morey says there’s a ‘good chance’ to see Rockets players resting when healthy
The Houston Rockets will bring back a nearly intact core of players, some of whom have played a hefty amount of minutes during the last few seasons. The duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden is notorious for wanting to play every game of the regular season and bringing that same competitiveness to every matchup, but general manager Daryl Morey is anticipating there’s a good chance to rest them, even if they are fully healthy:
“We don’t like to label it, honestly. Our goal is to peak in April. We need to be smart about it,” said Morey when asked about a potential load management stint for his players, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Keith (Jones, the Rockets senior vice president of basketball operation) and Jason (Biles, the Rockets head athletic trainer and director of performance rehab) are putting together a plan. I think there is a good chance you’ll see some guys resting when healthy.
“It all depends on the context of the season. If we start 7-11 again, I don’t think there’ll be a lot of resting. We’ll be battling for the playoffs. Everything is contextual. We need at all times to be looking at the ultimate goal of wining a title and what is the best decision. That’s why we don’t like to have any hard and fast rules. I don’t think that’s pragmatic.”
Harden built up a lot of minutes last season, racking up over 3,000 minutes of gameplay between the regular season and postseason. He has been doing the same over the course of the last five seasons, putting on some serious mileage on his legs as he hits the age of 30 — a point in which teams start to decrease the workload.
The Beard is a necessity for this franchise, but sitting out a few games (provided the Rockets are winning at a decent clip) should only help his chances to be effective in the playoffs and to have enough fuel in the tank to help this team take the next step.