Carmelo Anthony has made his debut with the Houston Rockets and for the first time in his career, he is coming off the bench. While head coach Mike D’Antoni and Carmelo Anthony have history going back to the New York Knicks, D’Antoni has made his plea of why he thinks Carmelo should come off the bench.
In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic published Friday, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni expressed his belief that bringing Melo off the bench gives Houston its best chance to win: “The only thing I can say is that you have to have a gut feeling, kind of, and you want to look at it. But my gut’s not making the decision. The play, the stats, how we win, that’s what will make the decision. And I think so far, everybody has said, ‘Whatever it takes.’ Then that’s what we play.”
D’Antoni acknowledged that while it can be “hard” for a Hall of Fame-caliber player to accept a bench role, several have done it successfully over the years, including Bob McAdoo, Manu Ginobili and John Havlicek.
To support his decision to utilize Anthony as a bench player, D’Antoni said starting power forward PJ Tucker “is becoming one of the best players in the league.” D’Antoni also called Tucker the “perfect four in modern basketball” and questioned a Sports Illustrated list that ranked him as the 85th-best player in the NBA.
Per Amick, D’Antoni said he believes Tucker belongs in the same class as Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was 13th on the list.
Who the hell are we kidding here. The Rockets were in talks to get Jimmy Butler but weren’t willing to trade Tucker. As a Houstonian, I am not saying that Tucker isn’t a great player at all. I’m simply saying, Carmelo SHOULD definitely be a starter.
The chemistry that he could add with Chris Paul and Harden would make for tough matchups. The leadership that Paul brings would help elevate Anthony to a point that he needs to be at.
Lets not forget, Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and one of the best scorers of his era.
Recently, James was asked for his thoughts regarding Anthony’s situation. In a tweet from Kyle Goon of The Orange Country Register:
LeBron on Melo coming off the bench: “I mean, listen, once he gets in the game – whenever that may be – it’s going to be the same as always. Just that brotherhood, just knowing how far we’ve come in our career to still be at this point in our career. But it won’t be strange.”
Carmelo Anthony is known to be one of James’ closest friends going back to the 2003 NBA Draft where they were drafted first and third overall respectively.