Sportress of Blogitude

Rockets GM Daryl Morey: ‘We think we can win the title’ despite injury issues


Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey insisted the team has what it takes to win an NBA title, despite recently being bitten by the injury bug, with the most damaging blow to the team’s championship aspirations being starting point guard Patrick Beverley going down with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

Still, Morey expressed complete confidence in the Rockets’ ability to play through the setback and compete in the rugged Western Conference.

“We think we can win the title with or without Beverley,” Morey said on ESPN Radio’s Basketball Insiders, via ESPN. “Obviously it gets more challenging without Beverley; he’s the key to our ability to guard a lot of these very good point guards in the West.”

While the Rockets beat the Washington Wizards on the road by a score of 99-91 on Sunday, its fourth in a row and seventh in its past 10, the team has seen players such as Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas go down recently. But Beverley’s injury, one that may require surgery, obviously is the most troublesome.

Morey also indicated on Sunday night that an ultimate determination on Beverley’s future may come as soon as Monday. Meanwhile, comments also made on Sunday by Rockets head coach Kevin McHale don’t seem to express much confidence in the point guard’s imminent return.

“I’m not sure about Pat,” McHale said. “Probably won’t come back.”

Morey, even with Beverley’s possible absence, nevertheless believes the team has what it takes to make a run at a championship, even if the team isn’t the deserved or presumed favorite coming out of the West.

“We won’t go in as the favorite,” Morey said. “I think Golden State, deservedly so, gets to be called the favorite. They’ve had a very historic season. I think the Golden State training staff hasn’t been talked about enough this year. That team has been healthy and really that showcased everyone in Golden State. Coach [Steve] Kerr has done a great job. We won’t go in as the favorite. We do feel like we can beat anybody in a seven-game series, and we’re pretty excited to get going with the playoffs.”

The MVP-caliber performances being routinely put up by James Harden seemingly on a nightly basis, bolstered by the return of Dwight Howard — who mentioned he is willing to make the “ultimate sacrifice” to aid the team after a lengthy absence — certainly makes the Rockets (50-23, currently the No. 2 seed in the West) a formidable foe. But if Beverley is in fact shut down, it’s obviously a devastating blow to Houston’s postseason prospects.