Daryl Morey: “We’re Going to Work Hard to Prove Everybody Wrong, but it Sure Looks Stacked Against Us.”October 26, 2009 – 9:06 am by Jimmy Shapiro
Last year the Rockets won 53 regular season games, they made it to the second round of the playoffs, and gave the Lakers all they could handle before ultimately getting trounced in game seven. Despite last year’s success, this is a new season and things could be difficult for the Rockets. Their two best players, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady are hurt again and Ron Artest is now in Los Angeles. On top of that, the Western Conference is loaded again and will be a dogfight just to get into the playoffs. It’s safe to say that Houston’s three-year playoff run could come to an end this season.
Rockets General Manger Daryl Morey joined KGOW in Houston to talk about the expectations of the team this season, how the team changes without Yao Ming, and the addition of Trevor Ariza.
On people doubting the Rockets this season:
“Everybody is. Obviously we’re going to work hard to prove everybody wrong, but it sure looks stacked against us. People are going to have to stick with us. We do have the toughest schedule early, which I like. It’s not like we’ll get overconfident when we have a lot to work on, but in our first seven games, I don’t think we’ll be favored in any of them in Vegas to start the year. Actually we’ll be favored in one of them.”
On the addition of Trevor Ariza:
“I think he’s trying to figure out how to pick his spots. He would basically be yelled at for shooting ever when he was with the Lakers. He’d be taking shots from Kobe and those other guys. Here we’re asking him to pick his spots. We’re not looking for him to be a one or two scorer; we’re really not looking for anyone to be that. We don’t know who that’s going to be. I think Trevor can obviously up his game. We think Aaron (Brooks), Kyle (Lowry), Carl (Landry) and Luis (Scola), just off the top of my head, are guys that can all look to score more. Really in the preseason our challenge has been more on defense. That’s what we’re trying to shore up. The offense has been great. The players and the coaches have done a great job revamping what we do and we’ve been able to score the ball pretty well.”
On the adjustments they have to make without Yao
“We’ve got to use our quickness to our advantage. We’ve got to use our ability to switch screens; we’ve got to use our ability to keep things on the perimeter relative to Yao. ‘Cause Yao was actually a very good defensive player. That’s why we’re a little more worried about the defense. Yao gave us that presence behind, which people talk about and I agree with. But in the past when Yao went out we had guys like Chuck Hayes coming in. Now we have Chuck Hayes in and when he goes out now we’re obviously not as strong. I think that’s really our worry. In the past, we had this luxury of having an underrated, very good player in Chuck and now he’s thrust into a very prominent role and now who will step up behind him to help us out?”
On the beginning of the season:
“We’ve got the tough road trip to start the year against Portland and then back-to-back to start the year. So we have a challenge in front of us, but I think we’ll be up to it.”
(This post was written by Chris Fedor)
Listen to Daryl Morey on KGOW in Houston with John & Lance (audio starts at :55)