Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets says that a lot of the criticism that is thrown Carmelo Anthony‘s way is ‘unbelievable’ and says recruiting Melo to join the team was a ‘no-brainer.’
The Rockets had been on a quest to acquire Carmelo Anthony for years. They finally landed the 10-time All-Star this summer, but many critics thought signing Anthony was a bad move for Houston. Chris Paul, who’s a longtime friend of Anthony, told ESPN’s The Jump that some of the criticism Melo receives is unbelievable.
“Obviously I’m a little biased because that’s one of my closest friends. But you know, the disrespect that comes at him at times is unbelievable, you know what I mean? So for us, having one of the best players to ever play the game on our team, that’s a no-brainer.”
Mike D’Antoni, James Harden and Chris Paul obviously were excited about the chance to add Melo to the Rockets on a minimum deal. They assumed Anthony, one of the most gifted bucket-getters in league history, would thrive in Houston’s free-flowing offense.
So far they’ve been right. In his first two preseason games in Rockets Red, Anthony has scored 29 points and nailed 7 3-pointers. P.J. Tucker has been out with a minor ailment, so Anthony has started both games, although Mike D’Antoni is reportedly leaning towards bringing Melo off the bench.
Chris Paul explained to ESPN’s The Jump that getting Anthony acclimated to the offense is pretty straightforward.
“With Melo, we just hoop, you know what I mean? If you’re open, you shoot it. If not, you pass it, you dribble — it’s a fun way to play basketball.”
We’re just two preseason games into the season so despite Anthony’s stellar performances, some people will still be skeptical. Although, Daryl Morey thinks Anthony will have the best season he’s had in a while, according to ESPN’s The Jump.
“Carmelo’s an extremely talented player; he’s a Hall of Fame player. And our coaching staff, and Chris and James [Harden] and them all working together — he’s going to have, I think, his best season he’s had in a long time.”
In his very short stint with Houston, Anthony has already drastically changed his shot selection. With the Rockets, 70.5 percent of Anthony’s shots have come from 3-points range, compared to just 30.3 percent a year ago.
We’ve seen Melo attempt his patented pump fake one dribble mid range pull up a couple of times already, but Anthony has embraced the let it fly from deep culture that Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey have instilled in Houston.
Everyone on this team is on the same page and the players and coaching staff are really pulling for Anthony to have a big year. Paul standing up for Anthony in the media will strengthen their already tight bond and it’ll help bring the locker room as a whole together.