At least the sieve in the Rockets’ super-small, anti-Golden State units is their best offensive player — James Harden. Houston has a deep, versatile roster that can shape-shift depending on the opponent. When the Warriors engage Death Lineup mode, Houston can slot two of P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, Eric Gordon and Troy Williams around the Chris Paul/Harden/Trevor Ariza trio in ultra-small groups.
If Tucker and Mbah a Moute hit enough corner 3-pointers — they shot 40 percent combined last season — those lineups approach anti-Warriors optimization. But Golden State will still slough away from them to clog the lane, and recover in a flash to contest shots; Golden State holding opponents to 32.4 percent from deep, lowest in the league, wasn’t complete luck. The Warriors are long, and they are ferocious, and they do not make mistakes.
Insert Ryan Anderson to juice Houston’s shooting, and the Warriors will eat him alive on the other end. Three-guard setups with Paul, Harden and Gordon are a tad shrimpy.
The Celtics decided to call Bradley first thing the next morning, and the Pistons were going to do the same with Morris. But Bradley didn’t pick up his phone and when the team finally tracked down his wife, Ashley, the Celtics found out Bradley had caught an early flight from Austin, Texas, to Seattle to attend a wedding. It would be impossible to alert Bradley before news of the deal leaked, as Detroit had already successfully informed Morris.
Bradley told Bleacher Report over the summer that he turned on his phone late in his flight and, connecting to the on-board Wi-Fi, was so inundated with messages that he knew immediately he had been dealt. Instead of even scrolling through his messages, he opened a browser window and Googled his name. The first result told Bradley he was headed to Detroit.