After losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, the Houston Rockets decided to aggressively pursue Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets succeeded to add the 10-time NBA All-Star to their roster, but as of now, most people have doubt if the acquisition of Anthony makes Houston a better team than they were last season. The 34-year-old small forward may have been an explosive scorer, but he can’t replicate Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s performance on the defensive end of the floor.
Also, being a ball-dominant player, it remains a big question mark if Carmelo Anthony can coexist with Rockets superstars Chris Paul and James Harden. Harden doesn’t seem to be worried about Anthony’s fit in Houston. The reigning MVP strongly believes that the arrival of Anthony will make the job easier for him and CP3.
“Coming off an MVP season, now you got to add Carmelo Anthony, it’s going to be easy,” Harden said, via The Players’ Tribune. “The transition is easy. When you got that many talented, high-IQ guys around who love to communicate and love to figure things out, the job is easy.”
It is easy to understand why some Rockets fans are concerned that Carmelo Anthony might ruin the team’s chemistry. Despite successfully forming their own “Big Three,” Melo’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, failed to live up to expectations and suffered an early playoff exit in the hands of Donovan Mitchell-led Utah Jazz. Anthony was one of the players who’s taking most of the blame for the Thunder’s disappointing season.
However, the Rockets are not the Thunder, and Coach Mike D’Antoni has a different coaching style than Billy Donovan. Unless they see them play together inside the court, no one can accurately predict if Carmelo Anthony is really a bad fit with James Harden and Chris Paul. To maximize the potentials of all the superstars on their team, Harden believes they should maintain a good line of communication with each other on and off the court.
“The job gets hard when you don’t communicate. That’s what it’s about. That’s where it’s misconstrued. You got guys that are, ‘Oh, how are they going to work?’ As long as we’re on the court and we communicate, things will be a breeze.”
As of now, the Rockets are hoping that the arrival of Carmelo Anthony will increase their chance of winning an NBA championship in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. If Anthony fails to make himself fit into the Rockets’ starting lineup, there is a strong possibility that Coach Mike D’Antoni will demote him as their sixth man next season.