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Rockets GM Daryl Morey: No. 1 seed important for beating Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 28: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after they defeated the Houston Rockets 101 to 92 in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 28, 2018 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. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The Rockets – in the name of beating the Warriors – pushed hard for the No. 1 seed last season. Houston won 65 games, earned that top seed and hosted Golden State in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

But the Rockets had run out of gas by then. The Warriors demolished Houston in the second halves of Games 6 and 7. Chris Paul, who got hurt amid a heavy workload, missed both games.

Will Houston adjust its strategy this year?

Rockets general manager Morey, in a Q&A with Michael Knight of Space City Scoop:

Knight: Besides winning the ultimate goal of a championship, what other aspirations do you have for the team this year?

Morey: I think the main thing is that getting the one-seed is important, so we’re going to be shooting for that again. I think to take down Golden State, which is arguably the best team that’s ever played NBA basketball, you’re probably going to need homecourt. We do think the one-seed is important, so we’ll be shooting for that.

I think this is the correct approach. Just because it didn’t work last season doesn’t mean it won’t work this season. The best bet is still probably pushing hard for the No. 1 seed and hoping for better injury luck.

Beating Golden State is so difficult regardless. The debate is between underdog strategies.

This is an area where Houston will particularly miss Trevor Ariza, who left for a one-year, $15 million contract with the Suns. He has been so durable.

The Rockets might be the NBA’s oldest team next season. It’ll be grind.

Their best chance to beat the Warriors was probably last season. The window hasn’t closed, but it’s shutting.