Jan 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives the ball during the fourth quarter as Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) defends at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Knicks 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4 Reasons Carmelo Anthony Would Not Improve Rockets Title Chances

It’s thought that the best way to matchup with the star-laden teams atop the NBA is to add another star. Yet, James Harden already said (via Adam Wexler, CSN Houston) that he does not feel the team should add a third max-contract superstar. This is a direct condemnation of the choice to pursue New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony.

1) The main issue with a Harden-Anthony tandem is usage.

Both are players who require the ball often in isolation to be most effective. Having two ball stoppers in an offense can be crippling.

More to the point, Dwight Howard would find himself with very few touches, and when D12 isn’t involved offensively, he mentally checks out of the game. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which the rock could be evenly shared among a Harden-Anthony-Howard lineup. Someone would always be in the want for more shots.

2) The power forward spot is still a weak point defensively.

Carmelo Anthony would likely see a lot of time at both forward spots in Houston’s lineup, but the Rockets still don’t have a good post defender at the 4-spot. Terrence Jones is too thin. Anthony is not known for his defense. The same problems that were encountered with LaMarcus Aldridge would be continually re-realized with Anthony and Jones defending premier power forwards. With Blake Griffin, Aldridge and (at this point) Kevin Love all in the West, it is prudent to acquire a power forward who can help control their respective damages.

3) Depth would be sacrificed.

The Rockets lacked depth this season. Adding another max star only perpetuates and worsens this issue. The team would be far better suited to build a strong rotation. The Spurs are proving the value of being able to go 10-11 deep. No starter played more than 32 minutes per game, and that was Tony Parker. All others saw less than 30. While James Harden will always see 34+ minutes per night, it doesn’t need to be 38 per game like it was in 2013-14.

4) Chemistry, who can explain it?

Chemistry can’t just be captured in a bottle. The Rockets came together and flourished as a unit offensively in 2013-14. There’s a good chance that adding another big mouth to feed just completely blows that out of the water. There is the argument that the risk could be worth the reward, but the furthest Carmelo Anthony has made it in his career is the Conference Finals with Denver.

There’s simply not much evidence to suggest that the Rockets could get any further with Melo aboard.  In fact, the one time he was paired with another megastar in Allen Iverson, the Nuggets tandem failed to ever advance past the first round.

It’s difficult to imagine a team that can flourish with two isolation talents.  Part of what has driven the Miami Heat’s success is LeBron James’ ability to facilitate for Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade so often.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Dwight Howard Houston Rockets James Harden

  • Jimbo

    Who are these morons running the rockets. Their team has one of the worst defenses in the league and they think melo will help them? And thier gnna give up asik to get him? Where is the logic in that. They already have a potent offense and could keep parsons for under 1 mill but Instead they think they need to add MORE offense?? Are these idiots in charge even watching thier own games? Stupid teams like this just want to chase big names so they can fill thier seats and don’t know anything about putting together together a championship team. Seems like every time a big name is in the free agent market the rockets are willing to gut their team for them whether they fit or not. Hopefully Hopefully melo is is smart is smart enough to realize the the rockets will not improve with him on the team.

    • Brett David Roberts

      I really hope Melo just goes to Chicago, because I don’t think Morey can resist him. I thought Daryl Morey was a good GM, then I re-considered the Asik/Lin contracts and how Harden essentially fell into his lap, as it was. It has been mostly luck. He now proves if he is a good GM by trying to turn this team into a LEGITIMATE contender. At this point, most realize the Rockets are pretenders and not real threats to run the West. Howard & Harden still aren’t really integrated with one another and don’t enhance each other at all. Even Jameer Nelson found Howard 3-5 lobs per game, just by keeping his head up when he dribbled. There’s a lot of issues, but Harden’s role will have to be tempered for the team to succeed. He can’t be taking 38 field goal attempts in a playoff game; there’s no good reason for it.

    • Paul Bradley

      Jimbo… they know how to win. They have 2 championships. The moves that have been made had unforeseen consequences. Allow me to elaborate. Steve Francis (had the makings for a great 2nd or 3rd star but needed help and knees burned out), Tracy McGrady (was the biggest scoring threat in the league at that time, checked out mentally and ankle problems), Yao Ming (a few great seasons, but body broke down after time and minutes against a stacked Western Conference), and keep in mind all of these guys were max contract players. That is half a billion dollars in money that, regardless of injury, has to be paid at least proportionately. Imagine the cap space that isn’t available after so many lost investments, not gambles… they were proven stars. Now they are building a quality product that will hopefully pan out. They know how to win, it just has to come together.

      • Jimbo

        It still doesn’t change the fact that they need to improve on DEFENSE not OFFENSE

      • QQ

        The championships came before the current front-office regime. Even If, by citing their past championships, your assertion is that they somehow thereafter absolve the relevant GM and his underlings of all future acts of moronity, in this case, as Morey and his FO team were not the engineers of the championships, they do not have the benefit of having received any immunity from (more often than not, deserved) accusations of moronity.

        • Paul Bradley

          You are right about the front office, but the guy who hired the championship front office and this front office remains the same person(Leslie Alexander). He won those rings with good decisions of hiring and knows what it takes. The owner,, at the end of the day, calls the shots and writes the checks. Again, they know how to win… it just has to come together.

  • Paul Bradley

    I agree with this article 100% Houston needs a solid 6th, 7th, and 8th player and to address the defense at the 4 spot. Carmelo is very likely staying in New York anyway, so a lot of this speculation is just “what if”. The New York market is too rich to walk away from, plus New York has the money to add some compliment pieces around him. They should pursue someone affordable of the 4 and deepen the bench (they’ll have to in order to compete).