Sayeth Morey of small-ball oriented play:
“It’s sustainable,” Morey told reporters on Thursday. “If you look across the league, when teams play small, they play well. Your offense goes up. Your defense goes down, but your offense goes up more than your defense goes down. So a lot of teams are playing small. We’ve got the personnel to do it. We’ve got the style that fits. I absolutely think it’s a sustainable way to play against almost any opponent.”
Now, sayeth McHale, specifically about Delfino has a 4:
McHale doesn’t seem to be completely on board with that sentiment, saying that the Rockets can play Delfino at the four “situationally.”
And then the interesting, and fairly true, summation from Schuhmann himself:
The bottom line is that the two trades took two guys out of McHale’s rotation and replaced them with a question mark.
First, I find Daryl Morey to be pretty astute and near-brilliant as a GM. I'm an admitted fan-boy, to be sure. However, is his desire for breakneck small-ball a winning formula? I'll be curious to watch it unfold because I think it points to a more sustainable model for lesser-market teams, and that being, combining shooting, ball-handling and rebounding specialists throughout your roster may be a better plan than the focus on multiple max contract super (or sometimes not even) stars.
I offer this up as a possible winning path for a Pek-less future. I know, I know...the counter-punch to the small-ball revolution is reverting to a smash-mouth front line and the Wolves can play that style with Pek-Love. [NOTE: What I'm suggesting is, if for whatever reason, Pek is not adjudged to be a Wolves keeper. I'm not making the call and sayng "Get rid of Pek!" so don't shoot me. On the contrary, I'm attempting to offer up what should/could be an alternative type of playstyle to keep the fans and bean counters happy.]
I would suggest that a hyped-up offense, geared to Ricky and Alexey's ballhandling (much like Lin/Harden) may be a solid alternative path. Shooting specialists don't seem to cost as much as perceived two-way players. In some respect, I'd quite like to see a Wolves team that rocked with with floor spacers like Bud, Korver, Morrow and Dorell Wright flying up and down the court with Kevin and say a Sammy Dalembert-type lone big concentrating on corralling misses. Basically, I'd rather trust in Morey's metric-based assessment than in whatever the Wolves are tuned to. He seems to suggest that there is a tipping point where in a small-ball offense simply becomes too difficult to deal with and outshoots its defensive deficiency more routinely than not.
Second, I found this trade as being quite illustrative of the GM-Coach dynamic, essentially because RA worked under Morey in Houston and now must suffer Kahn in Sota.
Morey has all the hand, as it were, in Houston. If memory serves, Morey has done this in the past while Adelman was there (i.e. Thabeet and Terrence Williams). In those instances, Adelman decided he wasn't going to waste PT on guys who weren't integrated into the team and, as a coach, he wanted Ws at the end of the day. But this time around, Morey made sure to leave McHale with little to no recourse but to play the style Morey is endorsing. Patrick Patterson had a PER of 15.6 while his backup Morris was a reasonable 12.2. By bringing in talented-but-struggling rookie Thomas Robinson, Morey quite possibly guarantees Mac has no recourse but to stick with Carlos at the 4 (who played 36 minutes last night in the first game of the test) while at the same time securing a player in Robinson who can fit that role of rebounding specialist to assist Asik in that responsibility on the roster. Diabolical!
Contrast that with RA and Kahn. I don't think it's any secret that Adelman arrived here with assurances from on high that he'd have waaaaaaay more input on personnel than he enjoyed in South Texas. Doogie said as much recently before the trade deadline that no deal would be made without Coach signing off. Given what we know we know about Kahn, this is probably for the best. In the end, it will be interesting to see how Team Adelman tacks if it is decided that they (or Glen's wallet) prefer to go ahead without Pek.
If they do, I think Daryl Morey is pointing in a successful direction.