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[Chron] Morey's outlook

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by ROXTXIA, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    Was this posted? If so, delete.

    Rockets' underachievement, Howard's status cloud Morey's outlook

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spo...hp?t=6e92081fb4438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

    Brian T. Smith

    The architect of it all leans against a wall in a dark hallway inside a buzzing Toyota Center, joking about his personal-stress level before the misfiring Rockets are embarrassed by The King on national television.

    The man who shocked the NBA by uniting The Beard and Superman on the same downtown Houston marquee sounds noncommittal for the first time when asked if Dwight Howard will be wearing red this time next year.

    The general manager who intentionally added troubled Ty Lawson to a Western Conference finals team, then fired Kevin McHale just 11 games into a new season, is delivering his candid midseason report card for one of the NBA's most disappointing teams when Lawson walks by, interrupting a question about the even more disappointing backup point guard.

    "Hey. What's up, Ty?" said Daryl Morey, finding Lawson's eyes a couple of hours before it became 91-77 LeBron James and the Rockets let us down again.

    Lawson looked up and smiled before disappearing into the darkness.

    Then it was back to Morey assuring his inquisitor he's holding up just fine and there is a way out of this mess for his 2015-16 Rockets.

    "Don't you worry about me," said a GM whose 10-years-in-the-making master plan is being challenged nightly in arenas across the country. "I obviously love my job. It's stressful for everyone that's part of the organization that we're not where we wanted to be."

    I always enjoy catching up with Morey. He's decently intelligent for a Northwestern and MIT guy, witty and low-key, funnier than you would expect a stats nerd to be and plays the self-deprecating card to perfection.

    I also haven't seen Morey smile much since this off-and-on season began. Which partly explains why Rockets fans have been noticing for months that their social media-friendly GM has been less active in the unforgiving Twittersphere.

    "When things are going poorly, what do you tweet about?" Morey said. "Another (bad) game?"

    The lack of public positivity captures the uncertainty shadowing a franchise that ended last May as the most thrilling in the city, then suddenly started out-Texaning the Texans for the most frustrating and confusing team in a region that lives for its pro sports.

    Shrug off stress

    "There are people that have real jobs and are working hard that have much more stress than me," Morey said. "I live and die with it. But so does every person from Mr. (Les) Alexander on down. The reason we're in this is for the ride. And sometimes the ride is bumpy."

    It's shock-check time for the "volatile" Rockets.

    Morey chose that last quoted word, not me. And he's about to earn every cent Alexander puts in his check.

    James Harden's nightly focus and the immediate Houston-based futures of interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Howard and Lawson are up for debate. Then there are the long-term homes of role players Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas, who'll be restricted free agents once these unpredictable Rockets become whatever they're going to be.

    With the trade deadline just a month away, a misguided 21-20 team is pursuing two Western Conference kings that claim a combined 72-10 mark. The Warriors and Spurs have no patience for fakers who initially thought they were too cool to care. Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers also are playing for keeps.

    "We're middle of the pack. You watch (Cleveland), that is a playoff-, championship-ready team," said 17-year veteran guard Jason Terry, one of the few Rockets who always sees the big picture. "San Antonio is ready. Golden State is ready. Anybody else, you're middle of the pack. That's where we're at."

    Where are the Rockets and Howard?

    That's the question that's not going away as the second half of the season awaits.

    Dilemma with Howard

    Before all the disappointment began, I was told multiple times by people who make big decisions that there was no way Superman wasn't coming back. He would be re-signed. He would not be allowed to leave Houston, even with a $23.2 million player option lingering, the Rockets currently pushing the limits of a soft salary cap and Howard potentially seeking new max money on the market.

    Morey praised Howard. There would have been no Western Conference finals without him. His January surge (17.5 points, 12.8 rebounds per game) was a critical component in the Rockets' recent five-game winning streak and climb back above .500.

    But there also was this.

    "We're just focused on this season. So is Dwight," Morey said. "If … he as a player play(s) like we know he's capable (of) … all that stuff takes care of itself."

    Howard describing the state of the Rockets halfway through what could be his final season in H-Town: "We've got to decide what we're going to do. Middle of the pack doesn't sound good and neither does it look good."

    Remember those takes in July, dear readers, if the Rockets are discussing Howard's departure like they explained McHale's.

    Speaking of the ol' ball coach and his 11-game replacement …

    Morey connected with McHale after 2016 rang in. The GM has replayed a stunning Nov. 18 firing back in his mind, but he believes the franchise made the right choice at a difficult time. The grumpy but gritty McHale hasn't given up on the team.

    McHale watching

    "It was good just to catch up," Morey said. "When my day comes, I'll keep watching the Rockets. After (the firing), he's still watching us and he had good thoughts on things that he's seeing. It was very helpful and I appreciated it."

    Bickerstaff received an "excellent" early grade from Morey. But an initial 17-13 mark - highlighted by improved intensity and execution on both ends of the court - could easily be erased by a quick out in the playoffs.

    "We committed to him to go through this season," Morey said. "We're obviously going to have a tough decision. And he's very good - he'll have a tough decision, too."

    More open-ended answers. More franchise-defining questions that aren't going away.

    So where does Morey's optimism come from? How does he shake off the pain?

    Well, when the Rockets have been good - when they've locked in, tried and cared - they've beaten the best in the West. With 41 games to go, Morey believes the team he created is going to show up when it must. And as bad as 21-20 feels, Harden and Howard could start the postseason on their home court.

    "I know that when we make the playoffs … we'll definitely be one of the teams that no one wants to play," Morey said.

    The Rockets have to get there first.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Accountability is lacking on this team until Morey decides to hire a coach the players respect, it will be turmoil.

    DD
     
  3. Rocketball

    Rocketball Contributing Member
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    Well I love Morey and all, but I really don't think the way this team is playing right now, that the upper teams are saying to themselves, "I hope we don't face the rockets in the playoffs." I think we can stop saying that nonsense......
     
  4. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    Thanks Morey, didn't know Bickerstaff was really good.
     
  5. rocketsballin

    rocketsballin Member

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    from my unconfirmed and unreliable multiple sources
     
  6. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    "When my day comes, I'll keep watching the Rockets."
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    The Rockets were supposed to be contenders not spoilers.

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    Keep this guy off the podium. He really sucks at it.

    Who here felt relieved by his outlook?
     
  9. CertifiedTroll

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    If I was the coach I would play Trez every minute, tell the team he is the leader, and ask him to hold wveryone accountable. I mean srsly who is going to argue with that crazy mfer o_O
     
  10. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
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    pretty much this.
     
  11. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Who is this Smith guy? New kid on the beat?
     
  12. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    It is all about expectations.

    If our goal is to make 2nd round or 3rd round then we would be happy, we achieved that.....

    Want more? well you got to be better
     
  13. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    New slogan

    #MiddleofthePack instead of #Pursuit
     
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  14. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member
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    Who the F is Brian T. Smith?

    If its not a credible Rockets reporter like jonathan Feigen or the old Jason Firedman, then I will take it with a grain of salt

    Either way this is typical Moauri PR speak. "We'll be good once playoffs come, no one wants to face us in the playoffs" and then when we lose "it was a coin flip"
     
  15. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    It's just not a very good team. This is what we expected when we lost Chandler Parsons and replaced him with Ariza.

    This team isn't going anywhere.
     
  16. T FOR 3!!!

    T FOR 3!!! Member

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    Good grief.... If Dwight is allowed to walk, Harden will be right behind him. People who think Capela can replace Dwight right now are insane. Gotta make a run at that third player. Horford is unrestricted, I wish the Hawks weren't winning so he could be had.
     
  17. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I'd rather have Trevor and his contract than egomaniac Parsons and his absurd deal. Better D, more consistent play, far better deal.
     
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  18. Htownballer38

    Htownballer38 Member
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    No great coach will take on this job until after the season is over. They weren't going to take this job after 11 games played. You should know this already DD.
     
  19. DieHard Rocket

    DieHard Rocket Contributing Member

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    I believe that he is Chron's Texans beat writer these days, but he's been in Houston since 2012.

    I usually like his writing for the most part, but he is quite pessimistic and has some absolutely ludicrous takes on Twitter if you follow him during games. Takes after Mcclain in that aspect.
     
  20. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    i can see les cleaning house altogether and starting from scratch this offseason -- morey included
     
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