Daryl Morey Jokes Conference-Less Playoffs 'Huge Advantage' for Rockets

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 28, 2020

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 26: General Manager Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets talk to the media during the Houston Rockets Introductory Press Conference on July 26, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

The NBA is reportedly working out protocols to restart the 2019-20 season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

NBA is making progress on a plan to allow a limited number of family members to join players inside the Orlando bubble, per @wojespn, @ramonashelburne https://t.co/R2aP6owpPN

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor dove into what a "conference-less" bracket a la the World Cup would look like after the league restarts, and Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey joked he was "in favor" of the idea and sees it as "a HUGE advantage" for the Rockets:

Daryl Morey @dmorey

@KevinOConnorNBA @VeniceMase I am in favor of a “Conference-less” bracket for the #NBA postseason. This would be a HUGE advantage for the @HoustonRockets Via @KevinOConnorNBA: https://t.co/5zssFkjbsc https://t.co/MszaDb32B3

Daryl Morey @dmorey

@VeniceMase @KevinOConnorNBA Lakers out in round 2 will hurt the cause though

The 40-24 Rockets were seeded sixth in the Western Conference when the COVID-19 hiatus was enacted March 12. The 53-12 Milwaukee Bucks, 49-14 Los Angeles Lakers, 46-18 Toronto Raptors and 43-21 Boston Celtics were the only teams to have clinched a playoff berth. 

However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the league "has yet to formally rule out" the possibility of all 30 teams returning under a play-in tournament structure:

"There is a playoffs-plus idea that includes 20 to 24 teams, with the NBA including more teams from the Western Conference than the Eastern Conference, sources said. The NBA is considering play-in possibilities with teams like New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio and Sacramento vying for the postseason, sources said."

Sam Amick @sam_amick

Sources: The focus of the NBA's Tuesday's call with team presidents was on 20-team scenarios and the playoffs. Nothing firm yet, but momentum seems to be going against a 30-team approach in Orlando https://t.co/mSJECnhJHB

While the league appears to be nearing a return to play plan, there is not expected to be a resolution by the end of this week:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

While NBA’s Board of Governors meet with Adam Silver on Friday, there’s no current expectation for a decision on a finalized return-to-play plan to emerge from the session, sources tell ESPN. Talks on incorporating the three most serious plans remain ongoing with NBPA and teams.

If and when the NBA returns, the Rockets will take any advantage they can get given how the last few campaigns have ended. Houston has made the postseason every year since 2013 but has lost twice each in the Western Conference Finals (2015, 2018) and conference semifinals ('17, '19).