Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey admits that the Carmelo Anthony experiment didn’t go as planned, but he still thinks Melo can contribute to a NBA team.
This summer, the Houston Rockets finally landed Carmelo Anthony after pursuing the star forward for years. Everyone knew that this wasn’t the same Anthony from five or so years ago, but it was hard to turn down acquiring a scorer of his caliber for a veteran’s minimum contract.
Unfortunately, Houston’s experiment didn’t go as planned with Anthony. The Rockets started the season just 4-6 and Houston decided to part ways with Carmelo after he shot 1-for-11 in an embarrassing defeat against the Thunder.
Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds on 32.8 percent shooting from 3-point range. The Rockets net rating dropped to -9.0 when Carmelo was on the floor, which is the second worst of any Houston player that has played at least 100 minutes this season.
Daryl Morey said that Carmelo simply didn’t fit in the way he had envisioned, according to USA Today RocketsWire.
“In terms of, like, how things evolved for us and our heavy use of a switching defense–which we had a mix last year; we ended up finishing using it pretty exclusively, but we had a mix of that last year–that was one thing that wasn’t a perfect fit. It really is mostly on me, honestly. I saw the fit there and it really didn’t go the way that I thought it would.”
Whenever Anthony was on the court, teams used Houston’s switching defense against them. The opposing primary ball handlers would use Anthony’s man to set a screen in order to get the switch, and then attack him off the dribble. With Anthony’s slow foot speed and lackadaisical attitude towards defending, Houston’s defense really struggled when he was on the floor.
Not to mention, Houston’s offense doesn’t really suit Anthony well either. The Rockets have only attempted 106 mid-range shots this season, but Anthony took 30 of those mid-range shots by himself, even though he has missed over half of Houston’s games. Anthony attempted more mid-range shots (30) than he did layups or dunks (20).
Even with Chris Paul and James Harden creating the offense, Anthony struggled to score consistently and efficiently. He’s a player that scores best creating his own shots and he has struggled to fit in a particular role, although at this point in his career he can best help a team as a role player.
Carmelo didn’t fit well with Houston on either side of the ball, but that’s okay. He’s still on the roster, so the Rockets could use him as a piece in a trade or just waive him altogether since he’s on a minimum contract.