The question was never “do the Rockets’ rotations make more sense with Carmelo Anthony coming off the bench?” They do. The question was “Will ‘Melo accept this role? Really?”
Unsurprisingly, and as had been reported before, Mike D’Antoni is leaning toward starting Eric Gordon next to Chris Paul and James Harden, with Anthony anchoring the second unit, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
All very logical in terms of on-the-court basketball decisions. The concern was Anthony’s rant at the end of last season when asked if he would come off the bench (for the Thunder) and he said “I’m not sacrificing no bench role. So that’s out of the question.”
In Houston — maybe due to the strong presence of CP3 in the locker room, one of Anthony’s good friends — ‘Melo has been more receptive to the idea.
It’s training camp and everyone is saying the right things. Just consider this a situation to watch as the season goes on.
Houston needs Anthony to accept his role and thrive in it. The Rockets, along with the Celtics, may be the only teams with a legitimate shot to dethrone the Warriors (assuming Golden State is anywhere near healthy, and if they are it may not matter), However, with Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone the Rockets’ margin for error got smaller. Everything needs to work for them, and that includes Anthony.