NBA@2: What The Heck Is Daryl Morey Doing?
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is a polarizing figure amongst Rockets fans, with some supporting him all the way and some ready to run him out of town on a rail. Even those who support him, however, can’t help but wonder what, exactly, Morey is up to. After all, the only discernible method to his madness is an apparent propensity for collecting tweener 6’9″ forwards who don’t really have the skill set to play the three, but lack the size and physicality to play the four. He has also allowed his entire starting lineup save guard Kevin Martin walk away for little in return.
“I can see that someone looking at our roster from afar might wonder what the heck we’re doing,” Morey admitted to Peter May of the New York Times. “It’s very similar to what Boston did. Hopefully, it will yield the same result.”
What he’s referring to with regard to the Celtics, the team he worked with before being groomed to replace Carroll Dawson in Houston, is the way Boston drafted and developed young players like Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Ryan Gomes, who were later used as trade chips to land Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in Boston. That group, of course, won a championship the following season.
Attempting to follow in those footsteps, Morey has been busy acquiring assets in the hopes of finding a couple of deals that would rocket Houston into the mix of championship-caliber teams in the Western Conference.
Let’s say, for example, that the Rockets were able to land Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Memphis Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay via trade. They have Jeremy Lin at point guard, Jeremy Lamb at shooting guard, one of their rookies at power forward, and Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas and Scott Machado in their primary bench rotation.
This scenario makes a large number of assumptions, which is all we can really do at this point, but it illustrates how two moves similar to what the Celtics did in building their title team can turn the Rockets from a confusing ragtag collection of talent to a sure playoff team.
“Last season, we won more than half our games with a roster of youth and experience,” Morey said. “I liked what we had, but we didn’t have enough.”
What the Rockets were missing was that one superstar player to make the whole thing work, and their ongoing accumulation of young players and draft picks is all part of a bigger plan to land that player. Whether or not it’s a successful plan remains to be seen, but that’s where the Rockets are placing their future as they wait to see what happens in the ongoing drama surrounding Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
Al Harrington’s Troublesome Knee
What was supposed to be a fairly routine knee procedure turned into quite an ordeal for Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington. He talks about the multiple surgeries he’s been through, the difficult recovery process, the Nuggets’ summer league team and more in this HOOPSWORLD Exclusive:
Princeton Offense For the Lakers?
Last season the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching staff was anything but a cohesive unit, and the fact that they were trying to install an entirely new offense on the fly didn’t help matters. Lakers head coach Mike Brown’s efforts to teach his team a new offensive game plan was hindered by the lockout-shortened season, and it was threatened to be hindered even further by the departures of assistants Ettore Messina and Quin Snyder, who received coaching offers from CSKA Moscow that were too lucrative to pass on.
According to reports, Brown has found a solution to his offensive problem, as the Lakers will soon add former Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Eddie Jordan to his staff.
Jordan is a disciple of the Princeton offense, which was developed and perfected at Princeton University by coach Pete Carril. Carril was a long-time assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings and helped Rick Adelman translate the offense to the NBA.
The Princeton offense revolves around constant motion, passing and backdoor cuts, all of which should be familiar to fans of the Kings, Houston Rockets, and now the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Adelman has enjoyed a great deal of success with the offense. Eddie Jordan had less success, though that was due largely to the unreasonable number of injuries he had to deal with as a head coach. Mike Brown believes Jordan is the perfect person to help him implement the same offense in Los Angeles.
HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus says the Lakers have already put a lot of time and thought into how they can go about implementing the Princeton offense, and adding Jordan to the coaching staff may be the final piece to that puzzle.
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