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Rockets Will 'Continue to Be Extraordinarily Aggressive,' Says GM Rafael Stone

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent INovember 5, 2020

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) argues a call during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets have hired a new general manager and a new head coach, but the team's goal hasn't changed this offseason. Newly promoted general manager Rafael Stone told ESPN's Tim MacMahon that the team will be "extraordinarily aggressive" in its pursuit of a championship.

"We're going to continue to be extraordinarily aggressive," Stone said. "We're going to shoot for it. Whether we get there or not, I don't know, but I can guarantee you that we're going to shoot for it, and I'm really, really looking forward to it."

The Rockets are tied down this offseason by max contracts assigned to James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but per MacMahon, team owner Tilman Fertitta is ready to pay the luxury tax if doing so is necessary to acquire players who will finally bring the Rockets to a title after eight straight playoff appearances.

Newly hired head coach Stephen Silas, who most recently served as the Dallas Mavericks offensive coordinator and is replacing Mike D'Antoni in Houston, said he is "a win-now coach." He also said he will only make "tweaks" rather than any substantial changes to a Rockets offense that looks to isolation plays from Harden and Westbrook to light up the floor: 

"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."  

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