The newest starting lineup for the Houston Rockets has Carmelo Anthony on the outside of it. This is perfectly fine and is actually ideal for both sides.
The Houston Rockets are experimenting with some starting lineups as training camp progresses. With the loss of Trevor Ariza this offseason, a change to the starters is required for the upcoming year.
Today, it was revealed that Eric Gordon is practicing with the starting squad and could start the year at that small forward position. This small, three-guard lineup would devastate other teams as it was one of the best the Rockets put out last season. It would also move Carmelo Anthony into the sixth man role held by Gordon in years past with P.J. Tucker a lock for the starting lineup.
Kelly Iko of the Athletic dug into the numbers a bit on this lineup:
Contrary to the trade rumors, Eric Gordon is certainly in Mike D’Antoni’s plans for the future. The three-guard lineup brought success last season and he could open the year with Gordon starting at the 3, and Carmelo as 6th Man. More here https://t.co/UNYGKwJYa7 pic.twitter.com/xXHHCBSZuY
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) September 26, 2018
As you see, the offensive rating itself of 134.7 with the Paul/Harden/Gordon trio is enough to consider starting them. Pairing that with the acceptable defensive rating of 105.8 confirms that Gordon should probably start.
Melo coming off the bench is a great idea
Even if Gordon wasn’t going to start for the team, though, bringing Melo off the bench is still a great idea. The Rockets could play him a certain amount of minutes to where he can be effective while also putting him against the second units of opposing teams.
Bringing Eric Gordon off the bench a few years ago proved to revitalize his career after starting for most of it. Last month when we interviewed Matt Bullard, he had this to say about the matter:
“…if he is able to embrace that role, he could easily be Sixth Man of the Year. Wouldn’t that be a great accomplishment for everything he’s done in his career up to this point now to embrace a different role? I know James and Chris have been talking to him about that, saying that [they’re] gonna try to get [Carmelo] Sixth Man of the Year and that will be just another accolade to look back on when he’s an old man.”
Eric Gordon was able to accept it and become the Sixth Man of the Year, putting up better numbers than most of his years as a starter. Would Melo be able to succeed in a similar role?
Anthony seems ready to accept any role given to him, something we’ve never seen out of the former All-Star. He looks ready to win a championship at whatever cost, and that is the perfect mindset for him to have at this stage of his career.
We look forward to the rest of training camp! Stay tuned for more news as the season approaches!