Despite all of the excitement in Houston going into the season, Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to try and manage expectations. Morey says the team’s window of opportunity to win is now, but admits he’s not quite finished tinkering with the roster.
Omer Asik asked for a trade when the Rockets signed Dwight Howard, but the team wants to make the big man partnership work.
If it doesn’t, Morey won’t hesitate to pull the trigger (he has, after all, made a staggering 12 trades since the end of the 2011 lockout).
“We’re not all the way there, we’re not a finished team,” Morey said. “We’re going to be experimenting. We want to be a great team by mid-April.” The first experiment seems to be more formal than anything. Coach Kevin McHale intends to be play the 7-foot Asik and the 6-9 (by his admission) Howard together for stretches. “If it works really well, it’ll be a lot. If it looks like crap, it won’t be much,” McHale said of how much he’ll play his two true centers. “We’re going to find out and we’re going to give it every opportunity to work.”
“We’re focused about winning now,” Morey said. “We know firsthand in Houston — we had Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady when they were very young, and it looked like that run was going to be a long time. Your chances to be very good in this league are special, and when you have them, you have to focus 100 percent on getting as far as possible.”
The Rockets played loose and fast last season, placing a premium on three-point shooting and getting to the free throw line. Can they adjust with two big fellas clogging the lane, or are they simply hoping they can build up Asik’s trade value before shipping him out?
Omer Asik’s saga in H-Town will certainly be one of the more intriguing storylines to follow throughout the 2013-14 NBA season.