Rockets GM Daryl Morey: NBA Season 'Will Be Back For Sure' Despite COVID-19 Suspension
Monday marks the 19th day without NBA due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Rockets remain optimistic as the league eyes a return to play in the summer.
Rockets CEO Tad Brown said "we're going to get this season in," in an interview with RocketsWire's Ben DuBose on Saturday, and Houston general manager Daryl Morey echoed the sentiment in a Facebook Q&A on Sunday.
"I don’t know [when], but we will be back for sure," Morey said after a virtual watch party for the documentary Where Amazing Happened. “We are prepping for playing Denver in case we go right to [the] playoffs. ...I don’t think we will go right to playoffs, though."
The NBA has not set a return date for the 2019-20 season, and what is currently an indefinite suspension could perhaps become a cancelation. Yet there has been discussion of a potential timeline for games to resume.
The league reportedly eyes the end of August as the latest possible end date for 2019-20, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the NBA could return, "hopefully by the middle of May." The NBA could also alter its schedule if games come back. Regular-season games could be cut or eliminated, and the early rounds of the playoffs could become five-game series.
Houston currently sits No. 6 in the Western Conference at 40–24. James Harden leads the NBA in scoring at 34.4 points per game, while Russell Westbrook has reemerged as an All-NBA player over the last two months. Westbrook averaged 31.7 and 6.8 assists points per game in the 23 contests after Jan. 1, shooting 52.7% from the field.