The Philadelphia 76ers made a splashy hire when they brought in Daryl Morey to be their new President of Basketball Operations over the weekend. It was a move that was shocking to most as their roster does not exactly scream “Morey Ball”.
During Morey’s time with the Houston Rockets, the team went extremely small a majority of the time in order to keep up with the times. The league is so predicated on shooting and the ability to run and gun and the Rockets took that idea and they magnified it by 1,000. The Sixers are a team that relies on their size led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons along with Al Horford upfront.
“We played the way we played in Houston because that was the best way to utilize the talent we had in Houston,” he explained. “Doc (Rivers) knows how to win more than me, frankly, he’s one ring ahead of me. He’s going to figure out how best to use it. It doesn’t have to be a three, it can be in transition.”
The 2020 version of the Rockets ran the 6-foot-7 Robert Covington at center and the 6-foot-5 P.J. Tucker at power forward and the team launched 45.3 attempts from deep per game. The Sixers are obviously a big team and they only averaged 31.6 attempts from beyond the arc. That does not scream “Morey Ball”, especially with Embiid in the middle, but Morey also wants to set the record straight on all of it.
“The goal is not to shoot 3-pointers. The goal is to win,” he stated. “You can score on offense in a whole bunch of different ways. Joel happens to be one of the most efficient post-up players in the league. I used to get the question in Houston which was like ‘What would you do if you had Shaq?’ My answer was ‘I would give Shaq the ball 100 times a game’. Joel is a talent on both ends.”
Daryl Morey, on Houston’s 3-point volume: “I used to get the question in Houston, ‘What would you do if you had Shaq?’. My answer was I would give Shaq the ball about 100 times. Joel is a talent on both ends.”
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) November 2, 2020
As of right now, the Sixers are not a favorite to win a title in 2021. However, they do have a lot of talent and Morey has a history of being a creator in terms of how his teams win. They will have to bring their best effort night in and night out to make sure the league takes them seriously.
“I start with championship probability and basically work backward from that,” explained Morey. “Over a time frame of 1-3 years, basically, we are currently not considered one of the favorites out there. I think we all feel very good about the roster and the fact that with a healthy Joel and a Ben Simmons and a group that Doc is coaching, we feel that people are underrating the Sixers right now. We need to go out there and prove it.”