The pressing question about the Houston Rockets is how coach Mike D’Antoni intends to fit Carmelo Anthony into the team’s lineup. On Friday, D’Antoni offered a clue. He said that Anthony and P.J. Tucker likely wouldn’t share much time together, with both of them being viewed at 4s.
What we do know is that Anthony has no intention of coming off the bench. It seems likely that both Anthony and Tucker will see healthy minutes, perhaps based on who’s performing best or who is the better matchup for a given opponent. Don’t be surprised if there’s a lot of tinkering during training camp and even early in the season.
Here is a Q & A with Daryl Morey about Carmelo Anthony:
Q. There is an impression that Carmelo Anthony’s taking some of Ariza’s minutes diminishes the defense. But is Anthony in this system exclusively or nearly entirely a four?
A. That’s up to coach D’Antoni. Carmelo has been successful at either position. I think it’s maybe natural to view him as a four given his skillset and how the league’s getting smaller in general. But I wouldn’t prescribe or proscribe either. Coach is going to look at it and go with what’s best.
Q. How does Anthony fit offensively?
A. That I think is easy. Two things are happening. Shooting has become more important and he’s always been a plus shooter. With all the switching that happens, people that can score one-on-one in isolation are very important and Carmelo has been one of the best in the league at that. We feel like we have three of the best one-on-one, isolation scorers in the league in Chris (Paul), James (Harden) and Carmelo which is an asset not many teams have.”
A. We go towards talent. The reality is Chris especially is maybe top three ever shooting a shot from anywhere on the floor. Anywhere outside of three feet Chris Paul has been elite at shooting. Carmelo has been elite at being a one-on-one scorer and a lot of that is being able to score in those situations so we’ll take talent wherever we get it. I understand that fit-wise there are question marks, but there were question marks about Chris, and Mike makes it work.”
More will come next week but here’s an interesting part of my conversation with Mike D’Antoni:
The projected CP3-Harden-Tucker-Melo-Capela lineup won’t be seen much. Ideally, MDA wants Carmelo on the floor when Tucker is off, and vice versa. He sees them both as 4s.
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) September 21, 2018