The Rockets Reach for Greatness

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The Rockets Reach for Greatness
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It was only eight months ago that the perception of Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets in some NBA circles had shifted from ahead-of-the-curve trailblazers to borderline laughingstocks who accrued little more than burned-up cell phone minutes. Dwight Howard had joined Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony on the list of superstars who had eluded the Rockets, despite iPad presentations and a nonstop flurry of gain-an-inch deals that had netted Houston some prime trade assets. By August, the Rockets had parted ways with two starting-caliber point guards, splurged on two unproven free agents in Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, and on the surface looked like a franchise without a clear path up from mediocrity. The vultures (and critics) were circling: Perhaps Daryl Morey's approach just didn't work in real life.

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