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A very honest Daryl Morey talks Rockets, Lin, 2004 Pistons

Sep 28, 2012, 6:14 PM EDT

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Daryl Morey is a geek. In a good way. And I’m not just saying that because he clearly knows his way around Reddit. Well, that is part of the reason.

But clearly he does. Morey did an IAMA on Reddit Friday — which for the uninitiated is kind of an online Q&A — and in this comfortable setting he was honest. And witty. And worth reading. Check out the entire thing, be a Reddit lurker. But here are what I saw as the highlights.

Starting with: Which is the most intimidating team in the NBA?

Miami. I have consistently said this since the team was assembled

About his push this summer to land an elite player (Dwight Howard, for one) on the Rockets.

You definitely need at least 1 elite player in the top 10-20 of all NBA players (all-star level) to win the championship. There are no counter examples of this. We are not championship contenders right now. All our moves since Yao Ming went down have had the specific goal of acquiring a top level player since that moment. Each change on our team has been designed to acquire players who either have a chance to be an all-star or give us the cap room or trade flexibility to acquire an all-star.

Wait, what about the 2004 Pistons? They didn’t have a superstar/elite player?

(Chauncey) Billups and Ben Wallace clearly were playing at an all-star level in my opinion at that time. Also, 4(!) of them made the all-star team either that year or the next. For those wondering on Ben Wallace, they had the #1 defense in the league and Ben Wallace was for sure the primary reason for it. Omer Asik has the potential to play at an all-star level on defense. We will see if he does.

Well, can Jeremy Lin be that All-Star/elite player?

We were rolling the dice on getting Jeremy Lin but taking smart risks is what we have to do up and down the roster on every move. As only 1 team out of 30 gets to win, you cannot play it safe. A fund manager who beats more than half his peers and beats the S+P 500 is considered pretty good. We have won more games than we lost the past few years (beaten our peers) despite losing our franchise player Yao Ming and it has been appropriately considered disappointing despite the fact that most teams win around one-third of their games after losing their franchise player. We need to keep taking on more smart risk.

What about the trend of small ball? Is there a place for a traditional big man in the NBA?

For sure in the regular season, the general rule of thumb to help you win is put your 5 best players on the floor as much as possible. Because of scarcity, the smalls are generally better than the bigs and also more numerous. This is why “small ball” works.

If you wonder why the media seems to love Morey, it’s not just that we think he makes smart moves, it’s that he is open and honest about what is going on more than most. Honesty is appreciated by all of us (well, until someone runs for political office).

  1. stanb1200 - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    too bad the Rockets suck

    • tigershark49 - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      They do suck. They got some serious rebuilding to do and jeremy lin aint the ticket.

  2. ohsoblessed1 - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I don’t think DM is all that brilliant. Houston is a cool city with no state tax and beautiful inexpensive housing and we suck and we can’t land a superstar. Anyone can achieve the crappy results.

  3. spfoundaway - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    He should have just gone on /sp/

  4. danielcp0303 - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Looks like the fools above me haven’t been paying attention to the last 2 drafts. It’s alright, they’ll learn soon enough

    • bradybbgoat - Sep 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      They remind me a bit of the TWolves from a couple years back. Waiting in the shadows quietly amassing assets for the future.

      Now all they need is a Kevin Love caliber player.

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