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Rockets: Carmelo Anthony’s role at the power forward position

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 24: The jerseys of Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors as seen during the game on February 24, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 24: The jerseys of Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors as seen during the game on February 24, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Next year, one of the newest editions for the Houston Rockets will be spending quite a bit of time at the power forward position.

The Houston Rockets are looking to improve after coming one win away from the NBA Finals a year ago. One of the ways they are trying to do this is by signing Carmelo Anthony.

Melo has famously been pursued by the Rockets multiple times throughout the year, the last offseason in particular. They could never quite find the deal with the New York Knicks to get it done, though.

That worked out for the better, thankfully. This offseason, he was bought out after having a down season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets were able to swoop in and sign him for the veteran’s minimum. Now, he’ll look to revive his career next to his friends Chris Paul and James Harden.

One thing that worries Rockets fans, though, is the defense of Carmelo. He has never quite been there on that end of the court during his career, normally focusing on his historically great (in his prime) offense. That’s why, according to Alykhan Bijani of the Athletic, Melo will spend most or all of his minutes at the power forward position next year. Check out his full article here:

Film Breakdown: The bad and good of Carmelo Anthony on defense, including possible schematic adjustments the #Rockets can make to better integrate Melo defensively. I also spoke to some of Anthony's former teammates on advice they'd share with him. https://t.co/I3lWmpbuqd

— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) September 4, 2018

Melo’s fit at power forward

Carmelo Anthony definitely fits better on the defensive end at the power forward position. On offense, it doesn’t really matter with the Rockets. He’ll stretch the floor and play the same way at either position. Most small forwards will likely guard him, anyways.

On defense, though, that’s where it can be a great idea. Melo has never been a great defender, but he’s gotten even worse on that end as he’s gotten older and his quickness has left him.

At power forward, Melo can focus on guarding players who are similar to his speed and size. In a potential Golden State series, he’d be guarding Draymond Green instead of Kevin Durant. That’s a slight difference.

In a switching scheme that the Rockets run, Melo might be caught in some bad situations, though. Still, it will be worth it for the times that he has to straight up guard the power forward position. In small lineups, he may find himself guarding small forwards, but normally it will work out for him on defense.

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It will be interesting to watch Melo next season. He’s set up for success on offense, but he’ll need to try just as hard on the defensive end. Let’s hope he can do just that.

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