After struggling earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets managed to bounce back and as of now, they are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals. Their performance in the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs will determine if the Rockets have a legitimate chance of winning the 2019 NBA championship title as they could potentially face the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
In a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast (transcribed by NBC Sports), Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey was asked by Bill Simmons of The Ringer if facing the Warriors earlier in the NBA Playoffs will be beneficial for his team. Morey admitted that he can’t give a definite answer whether it will be better for his team or not, but he’s very optimistic that the Rockets have a “real shot” at beating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
“As much as we could get injured, so could they. All I know is that we pretty much knew we were gonna have to beat them, so does the order really matter? Probably not. It would have been nice to get homecourt like last year. I think that could be a big factor — last year at Oracle, their fans are great — I do think not having homecourt is a factor. I do think we’re a better team going into the series. Maybe our odds are similar to last year. We do feel very strongly we have a real shot at it.”
Rockets GM Daryl Morey on The A-Team https://t.co/5bSRU01ZIr— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) April 17, 2019
It’s easy to understand why Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey is confident about their chances against the star-studded Warriors. Last season, the Rockets managed to force a Game 7 against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. If Chris Paul didn’t suffer an injury, most people believed that the Rockets would have prevented the Warriors from creating a dynasty and be the 2018 NBA champions.
Simmons thinks that health will be a major factor on the Rockets’ road to an NBA championship title this season. Chris Paul has dealt with numerous injuries in the past and though they have Austin Rivers to back him up, CP3’s absence will deeply hurt the team’s chances. Simmons said that the Rockets should finish the Utah Jazz as early as they can so they will have time to rest before they face the Warriors in the second round.
The Warriors may have lost DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury, but they still have the core that helped them win back-to-back NBA championship titles. Also, before the 2019 NBA Playoffs started, the Warriors brought back veteran center Andrew Bogut, who’s a member of Golden State’s 73-9 win team.