The Houston Rockets took a lot of flak after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors for the second consecutive season. While much of that criticism stemmed from the basketball's world's deep-rooted frustration with the on-court histrionics of James Harden and Chris Paul, some of it related back to the foibles of Houston's utterly unique playing style.
Might the Rockets have been best off employing an offensive strategy that placed a lesser burden on Harden, thus allowing them to better keep up with the greatest collection of offensive talent in NBA history? A loud, sizable contingent of basketball followers were adamant that Houston would have had a much better chance of dethroning Golden State if the team took a more egalitarian approach to scoring, and used that belief to forcefully object to the Rockets' big-picture identity.
General manager Daryl Morey, the architect behind Houston's all-encompassing philosophy, is clearly undeterred by those negative judgements. On Saturday, he tweeted the records of every Warriors playoff foe over the last three seasons, noting that the Rockets collected as many wins against Steve Kerr's team as the rest of the league combined.
vs the Warriors the last 3 years in the playoffs —
Rest of NBA: 5-34
— Daryl MorΞy 🗽🏀 (@dmorey) May 18, 2019
Morey has never been reluctant to admit that he constructed Houston's roster with the explicit goal of beating Golden State. While his team has proven unable to do so, the Rockets have still come far closer than any other competitor since Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors three years ago.
Through that narrow lens of analysis, Morey's achieved his goal. Maybe if Durant leaves Golden State in free agency, Houston will have another, better opportunity to accomplish its ultimate one of ending the Warriors' reign.