The Rockets should sign Carmelo Anthony, but only under these conditions
1. Carmelo has to cut down on his contested mid-range jump shot attempts
If you watched a lot of Rockets basketball last season, you probably noticed that this team avoids mid-range jumpers like the plague. With the exception of Chris Paul, the other players on the team only attempt mid-range jumpers if they have to.
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The Rockets play by the numbers. Shots from behind the arc, in the restricted area and at the free throw line are the most efficient, so that’s what Houston’s offense prioritizes. This is usually an adjustment for a lot of players, but it usually makes them more efficient once they adjust to this system.
Last season, Anthony attempted 460 mid-range jumpers. As a team, the Rockets attempted just 563 mid-range jumpers. If you subtract Paul’s shots from the equation, Houston shot 77 less mid-range jumpers than Anthony as a team.
But Paul is such a great mid-range shooter that for him, a mid-range jump shot is efficient. Paul’s effective field goal percentage (a statistic that adjusts field goal percentage to account for the fact that 3-pointers are worth 50 percent more than 2-pointers), on mid-range jumpers is 54.2 percent. Similarly, his effective field goal percentage on above the break 3-point shots is 54.7 percent. So his efficiency on mid-range shots and 3-point shots are virtually the same.
For Anthony, it’s a different story. His effective field goal percentage on mid-range shots is just 39.3 percent. But his effective field goal percentage on above the break 3-point shots is 53.7 percent.
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Anthony likes to do most of his work in the mid-post, but that will have to change in Houston. He no longer has the same explosive first step, so defenders are able to play him closer, which negatively affects his pull-up jumper. Carmelo needs to trade in those tough, contested mid-range shots for open 3-pointers and lay-ups in Houston, or else he won’t be a good fit.