Home Sport Daryl Morey ist Oppenheimer für das nukleare Offensivzeitalter der NBA

Daryl Morey ist Oppenheimer für das nukleare Offensivzeitalter der NBA

von NFI Redaktion

It’s Oscar week, which feels like a perfect opportunity to delve into the plot lines and characters of the NBA that could serve as Oscar nominees. Whining or crying? James Harden vs. Daryl Morey | Agree to Disagree

No NBA executive has a more intriguing relationship with the arcs than Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey. Friday marked the opening day of the annual Sloan Analytics Conference at MIT, a meeting point for statistics enthusiasts which Morey co-founded after leaving the Boston Celtics in 2006 to join the front office of the Houston Rockets. Last week, NBA Head of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced that the league is exploring rule changes to curb the offensive explosion that has led to the league-wide scoring record being broken six times in the last seven seasons. The main culprit was Morey, whose innovative views on analytics earned him the title „Dork Elvis.“ From his perspective: „If you’re crazy about analytics, you’re just as crazy about gravity.“

Steph Curry took the league by storm with his shooting skills from downtown, but before the Splash Brothers dominated the league, it was Morey’s Manhattan Project in the Rio Grande Valley – home to the Rockets‘ D-League affiliate – that laid the foundation for the modern NBA. As the Rockets‘ general manager, Morey recruited Chris Finch from Europe, empowered Nick Nurse, and appointed them as heads of his D-League experiment. Under Finch, Nurse, and Nevada Smith, Nurse’s successor, the Vipers led the league in 3-pointers every season between 2010 and 2014, winning two D-League titles and leading the league in effective field goal percentage from beyond the arc for four consecutive seasons. If the Vipers were Morey’s covert basketball laboratory, the 2013/14 season was their Trinity test. During the season, the Vipers attempted half as many mid-range shots as the next-to-last ranked D-League offense, making 12 more 3-pointers than the next most active team beyond the arc. The gap between the Vipers and the second most active 3-point offense was as large as the gap between second and eleventh place.

From Houston’s Moneyball era to Basketball’s Manhattan Project, to James Harden playing MoreyBall, and finally to his exile to Philadelphia where he is building a small ball team around one of the greatest NBA stars, there is plenty of material if Christopher Nolan ever decides to deviate from his obsession with physics and turn to basketball analytics.“ Ancestors. Morey’s legacy in three acts as another braggadocious Prometheus who changed his field for better or for worse could use some context. For first-time users of advanced analytics, eFG% = (FGM + 0.5 * 3PM) / FGA is Hoops‘ E = mc^2. I would like to say it’s not rocket science, but for Morey, it was. In the 2010s, Morey simultaneously made Robert Oppenheimer the father of the NBA’s jump-shooting era. There is still a controversial debate over who exactly invented one of the formulas most used by modern NBA statistical enthusiasts: But, he was the original GM who optimized talent acquisition of his organization by applying advanced statistics that placed a greater emphasis on the three-pointer. It was a decade of success. After Morey acquired James Harden from Oklahoma City, the success of Morey’s Rio Grande Valley experiment set the direction for the Rockets. Between 2014 and 2019 – the peak of the Golden State – Houston attempted 3,000 more threes than the Warriors. During the 2014/15 season, the Rockets attempted more threes than the Dubs on their way to the title. In 2016, Golden State led the league in 3-point attempts for the first time, and Houston countered by hiring Mike D’Antoni, letting go of Dwight Howard, replacing him with Ryan Anderson, and acquiring Eric Gordon. Howard’s dismissal signaled the official transition to long-range battles and stopped the bitter low-post struggle that characterized the last 60 years of NBA basketball, sparking a Cold War behind three-point basketball that began as a territorial conflict between the Rockets and Warriors before spreading to the rest of the league.

The rise to D’Antoni was an odd coach willing to amplify Harden’s strengths. D’Antoni turned Harden into the leading heliocentric guard of this offensive age. Since entering the league, his skill in mid-range jump shooting has been his weakness. Together, they built an H-bomb around him backwards Melo. Harden flourished by making Euro-steps to the rim and making threes with the step-back. Screenshot: NBA When Harden went nuclear, he was a hydrogen bomb destroying defensive fortifications at unimaginable temperatures. But he also had meaner cold streaks in pressure situations than any superstar in the league. Harden and the Rockets played MoreyBall, but Curry and the Warriors generated waves from deep, as if it were their biological imperative. The pinnacle of Morey’s engineering prowess was the 2016-17 Rockets, who attempted 600 more threes than any other team in league history – and collapsed in the conference finals with a 3-1 lead against Golden State. That’s not what „Live by the 3, die by the 3“ is supposed to mean, but the final compensation for the original sins of the Rockets‘ Morey era, culminating in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Semifinals in Houston managing to score 27 consecutive triples on the stretch. As if that weren’t bad enough, Morey’s personal admiration for Harden turned him into a victim of his own creation. Interpersonal relationships have never been Morey’s strength, but Harden is as much a legacy of the hollow MoreyBall era in Houston as anyone else: he won three consecutive scoring titles and never reached a final. All those flashy hoopers casual fans get or Mark Jackson They complain about Curry’s influence on the playground ball while stepping back. The 30-foot players are actually looking at mini James Hardens. You don’t see weekend hoopers or AAU shot-chuckers running off screens or jumping from give-and-gos like Curry to the rim. Harden is the devil on the shoulders of every microwave scorer. Morey unfolded his quirky talents and nurtured them for better or for worse.

However, that didn’t stop Morey and ESPN’s visual statistical talent Kirk Goldsberry from claiming that Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan. After retiring from the Rockets‘ front office before the 2020 season, Morey thanked the city in a full-page ad, with a bolded section specifically thanking Harden. „James Harden has changed my life,“ wrote Morey. „He has not only changed my life but revolutionized the game of basketball – and continues to do so – like few before him. Thanks to James, the game is played differently and studied and imitated on every playground in the world, inspiring the next generation of talent.“

Morey’s next job as president of basketball operations in Philadelphia led to a reunion with an older, thicker, slower version of Harden. For a season and a half, Harden was an excellent complement to reigning MVP Joel Embiid. You know the story by now. A routine contract dispute after the season dispute escalated into an open conflict when Harden announced from a crowded gym in China, „Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be part of an organization he is a part of.“

Harden must have felt a cosmic connection to Lewis Strauss sabotaged Oppenheimer over a minor complaint. Harden’s MO is to stab his front office and teammates in the back, and Morey found out that he was not immune when he didn’t throw $300 million at Harden’s feet or trade him overnight to the Clippers. When push comes to shove, Harden blows up relationships, potential title teams, even entire possessions in the game. He is the basketball Grim Reaper, the destroyer of teams. Morey discovered that every creator eventually gets destroyed by his own Frankenstein.

Find DJ Dunson on X: @Brainsportex

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