When the Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul last summer, most people have doubts how the veteran point guard could coexist with a ball-dominant player like James Harden in their backcourt. Harden and Paul had gone through ups and downs in their first few games playing together. However, both superstars found a way to build good chemistry inside the court which greatly helped the Rockets finish with the best regular-season record and reach the Western Conference finals.
If the Rockets succeeded to make Chris Paul fit in their system, James Harden sees no reason why they can’t do the same thing with their newest superstar acquisition, Carmelo Anthony. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Harden expects “to be a breeze” for Anthony to fit in with the Rockets. The Rockets superstar strongly believes that he and Paul can consistently create open shots for Anthony next season.
“We ran our offense, ran our sets, and he was in positions where he was scoring and looked comfortable,” Harden said. “I know what he brings to the table. I’m not out here just running around for me and myself. I know how effective he can be, so I want to put him in positions where he can be effective, and Chris feels the same way. When you’ve got two guys like that that are consistent about putting each guy in their position, everybody’s going to eat. We’re all going to figure it out, and we’re all going to eat.”
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) September 25, 2018
Last season, Carmelo Anthony struggled to make himself fit playing alongside Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder, making some people believe the result could be the same when he teams up with James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston. However, the Rockets are not the Thunder, and Mike D’Antoni uses a different coaching style with Billy Donovan. Anthony revealed that he’s feeling more comfortable with the Rockets than he was with the Thunder last season.
Unfortunately, Carmelo Anthony may not join James Harden and Chris Paul in the Rockets’ starting lineup next season. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Coach Mike D’Antoni is planning to use Eric Gordon as his starter and Anthony as his sixth man. D’Antoni is reportedly considering the idea of pairing Anthony with James Ennis in their second unit to address his defensive issues.
In the recent Rockets media day, Anthony decided not to answer any question about coming off the bench. However, the 10-time NBA All-Star expressed his willingness to do everything he can to help the Rockets win an NBA championship title next season.