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Are Daryl Morey And James Harden Bringing Back The 2014 Houston Rockets Idea?

This Philadelphia 76ers has only made a few changes to their roster. As they were pretty confident in their roster in the season prior, they focused on getting some defensive presence on the court. Till now they have signed PJ Tucker who is in fact a great defender. They also received Danuel House and De’Anthony Melton who have proved to be great shooters.

Harden’s time with the Houston Rockets

But isn’t the pattern ringing a bell? When James Harden was in the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey was the General Manager then. On Harden’s first arrival, he put defenders around Harden and an anchor like Dwight Howard.

It is a different story that the duo didn’t work. But at that time, Harden was the ace of the franchise. Evidently, it was supposed to be a pick roll game between Harden and Howard with the shooters on the wings. But initially, they were giving away too much room on the defensive end. That came to surface in the playoffs when the Portland Trailblazers fizzled them out in the 1st round itself.

The best Rockets team of the 2010s

The following season, their wings were better two-way players. This was supposed to be the true form of the Rockets brand of basketball. The 2014-15 Rockets were best franchise team of the 2010s. Their starting lineup consisted of James Harden playing as shooting guard but was the main ball-handler, Patrick Beverley played as point guard, Trevor Ariza and Josh Smith as forwards and Dwight Howard as the center.

This team did have the perfect balance of offense and defense. They reached all the way to the Western Conference Finals but was subjugated by the Golden State Warriors. At that time the problem they had was Howard and Harden’s beef. They finally separated after the 2015-16 season. It was then that Mike D’Antoni took over as the head coach for the Rockets and focused on small-ball lineup.

Morey rebuilding the old team

Now, let’s look at the current Philadelphia 76ers roster. With the trades they have made the roster would contain, James Harden playing as point guard, Tyrese Maxey as shooting guard, PJ Tucker and Tobias Harris as forwards and Joel Embiid as center. Isn’t the roster molded exactly like the 2014 Rockets?

Of course there are some changes. Like Tyrese Maxey is more offense-oriented than Beverley. PJ Tucker and Tobias Harris are way better all-round players than Trevor Ariza and Josh Smith. But the structure of the team and the purpose is the same.

The pick-and-roll between Harden and Embiid will be the primary focus. As Embiid is comfortable playing either way and a better scorer than Howard, this will be highly effective. The other players will be occupying the wings. Either they will take a 3-point shot or slash to the basket for a layup/jam.

This time the major difference is that both Morey and Harden have learnt from their previous mistakes. They have become better as players and executives since the time they first ran the offense. This time they are going for the gold without hesitation!

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.