Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone has underlined that the team's goal hasn't changed as they enter the new season hoping to win an NBA Championship with James Harden as their main star. The Rockets haven't missed playoffs ever since Harden signed with the team in 2012 but numerous times they have fallen short in their attempt to win an NBA title.
The Rockets, who traded for Russell Westbrook in the summer of 2019, made the Western Conference Semifinals this past season, before losing to the eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers. "For the last eight years or so, our goal has been to win a championship because we had James Harden," Stone said, per ESPN.
"We've still got James Harden. Our goal is still to win a championship, and if you've got him, you're halfway there. "It's incumbent on me and Stephen and the whole team to figure out the rest of the whole, but the key piece is there."
New Rockets coach doesn't want to mess up chemistry between Harden and Co.
This offseason, the Rockets split with their long-time general manager Daryl Morey and coach Mike D'Antoni. Stephen Silas, 47, who has two decades of experience as an assistant coach in the NBA, was named the new Rockets coach.
Last season, the Rockets played on a non-conventional way as their small-ball lineup had no center in it as they had five players who could run and shoot the ball. Silas says he will make some minor changes but he doesn't want to mess anything up.
"They were sixth in offense, and for me to come in and make wholesale changes, that doesn't make sense to me," Silas said, referring to the Rockets' rank in offensive efficiency with an average of 112.5 points per 100 possessions.
"What I will do is try to make it a little bit easier on those guys, put in a few little actions that will make the defense have to make decisions and make them a little bit harder to guard. Be a little bit more versatile on the offensive end and, again, let those guys to their strengths, but make tweaks here and there so we can make that jump from the sixth-best offensive team to first [or] second-best offensive team.
Hopefully, playing up the floor, letting those guys pass ahead and attack defenses before they're set, getting defenses on the move early in possessions and keeping them on the move, that sort of thing. "Not so much kind of stand around and iso kind of stuff, even though there will be that and there will be times for that, because that's what [Harden and Westbrook] do well. I'm not going to take away from what they did well as a group. I'm just going to add to it and enhance it."