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Rockets: Coach D’Antoni speaks about Carmelo Anthony’s role

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- DECEMBER 25: PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder exchange a hug after the game between the two teams on December 25, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- DECEMBER 25: PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder exchange a hug after the game between the two teams on December 25, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
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Coach D’Antoni talked a bit about one of the newest additions to the Houston Rockets and how he views his role.

Throughout the offseason, there has been a ton of speculation about Carmelo Anthony, as expected. He joined the Houston Rockets after a tough season with the Thunder in which he averaged career lows in many categories.

This time in Houston, though, he’ll be playing with two Hall of Fame level playmakers that will only help him improve his game. But will he be doing that at the start of games? There have been debates about whether or not he should join the starting lineup in replacement of Trevor Ariza.

The answer got a little bit clearer yesterday. By the looks of things, it will be either Melo or P.J. Tucker starting that the power forward position this year, at least at the beginning. Kelly Iko talked to Coach D’Antoni and had this to say before he posts the full interview:

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

While that doesn’t mean they can’t start games together, it seems that the majority of the time, they’ll be replacing each other on the floor.

Is this good?

While both players bring completely different games to the table, this is probably a good thing for the Rockets. It allows both players to play positions that fit them both well at this point in their respective careers. In a lineup together, Tucker would likely be tasked with guarding small forwards. While he’s capable of that, it’s probably for the best that he sticks at power forward.

Carmelo Anthony can almost exclusively only guard power forwards, though. No matter what, he needs to be playing that position at least on defense.

This could mean that one of these guys will be coming off the bench. Likely, that would be Melo’s role. That has been discussed this offseason and earlier when he signed, he said he was willing to do that if necessary. Tucker brings the much-needed defense to the starting lineup.

Next. The regular season is fast approaching

We’ll have even more answers as Media Day and training camp come next week. We’ll be sure to keep you covered!

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