The Houston Rockets made an interesting move at this season’s trade deadline, dealing Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a four-team transaction. As a result, the Rockets are now without a traditional center, but general manager Daryl Morey says everyone on the team is on board with “small ball.”
“It’s definitely a talking point,” Morey said of Houston’s smaller lineup. “But that’s who we are now.”
The Rockets managed to top the Western Conference-leading Lakers in their first game after trading Capela. However, Houston has been defeated in their last two outings — one to the Jazz and another to the Suns. Still, Morey says the Rockets are working towards the ultimate goal.
“My job is to win and we are always going to chase whatever gives us the best chance to win,” Morey said. “This team is working together, working on key things and (D’Antoni is leading them in the right direction.) It’s exciting. Everyone is on the same page. Everyone wants to make this work to win the championship.”
Can small ball work for the Rockets against some of the league’s best big men? Will it be a sustainable format to use into the postseason? So long as they make their shots, the plan can work.
In Sunday’s 114-113 loss to the Jazz, Russell Westbrook had 39 points on 18-of-33 shooting from the field. James Harden had a triple-double, notching 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. However, The Beard went just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. Robert Covington, who was acquired in the Capela deal, had 14 points.
For now, it seems the jury is still out on Houston’s decision to play small ball. Let’s see how the team fares as this season plays on.