The Houston Rockets finally signed forward Carmelo Anthony, after a lengthy process that involved a trade, a buyout, tons of speculation, and some financial maneuvering, inking the veteran to a deal on Monday.
Many may recall that Anthony played for Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antonio before, when the two were in New York with the Knicks, and that didn’t end well, with D’Antoni exiting amid rumors of a rift with Anthony.
D’Antoni is once again at the helm, but this time, he believes that things will be better because he thinks Anthony is a “better fit” for the Rockets than he was with the Knicks, and he doesn’t forsee any issues in coaching the All-Star.
“In New York, when [the Knicks] gave away half the team [to the Nuggets in the 2011 trade for Anthony] and everybody expected us to win a championship, it really wasn’t realistic,” D’Antoni said, according to USA Today Sports. “It put a lot of pressure on everybody, and it kind of burst the pipes.
“I think this is totally different. We’ve got a team that is a whole bunch of veterans that really, we’ve got one thing in mind, and that’s to win a championship, and we have the possibility.”
Despite the rumors of a rift, D’Antoni admitted that Anthony “never had a blow-up” in New York while also referencing coaching Anthony with USA Basketball.
“We never had a blow-up before, so it’s not he wanted to play a certain way and I kind of wanted to coach another way,” D’Antoni said. “Back then [in New York], there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by [his] gut, and it’s just, you know — styles clash.
“And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”
Years later, a now 34-year olf Anthony will have a different role than he did, back then, with the Knicks when he had much more pressure, many more expectations, and a lot more pressure.
“The more talent you can have, the better the guys are, the better the team is going to be,” D’Antoni said. “Look at Golden State, how they had all those guys and you fit in [Kevin] Durant. I mean if you are committed to a certain style, and everybody is committed to the team, it works itself out.”
D’Antoni was mum on if Anthony would be a starter or come off the bench in Houston.
“I don’t know, and that’s something that we’ll have to work out,” he said. “All I know is that we’ll try different combos — preseason, early season, and the good thing is that with analytics and with gut feelings and coaches and players, we’ll figure out what is the best way to play.
“And again, if everybody is on board, then it’ll be, ‘Hey, this is where we’re the best. This is how we can win the championship.’ I don’t know yet, but we’ll make sure we get it right as good as we can.”
Rockets’ Marquese Chriss Happy With Defined Role
Houston Rockets young forward Marquese Chriss is happy to be on a new team after struggling for his first two years playing for the Phoenix Suns when his lack of production and/or consistency forced the Suns to move on from the former lottery draft pick.
Chriss is embracing his defined role in Houston, and seems to be fitting in just fine, strongly hinting that he didn’t have the same clarity in Phoenix.
“The difference is they know what they want me to do” Chriss said, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. “They’re asking me to do a specific job. I’m trying to do it to the best of my ability. There really is no question about what they want my role to be. They made it straightforward to me when I first got traded here. I embraced it and I’m working to do it as best as I can.”
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has been impressed with Chriss so far.
“So athletic, he can go fast without looking like he’s going fast” D’Antoni said. “He’s got a lot of talent. We need certain things and I think he can give it to us. I think he’s going to be a force. We didn’t do our pick-and-rolls great, but he’s one guy you can lob to. He can block shots at the rim. He gives you another athlete on the floor.”
Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony Looking to Have Fun This Season
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony will be entering his 16th season in the NBA and the Rockets are hoping that Anthony is the missing piece that helps push them over the top for an NBA Championship.
Anthony, who was brought in this offseason after reaching a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks who acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder, is looking to have fun this upcoming season as he joins a promising Rockets team.
“Just enjoy the game and play basketball … I’ve been doing it for a long time,” Anthony said, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. “I still know how to do it. I’ve just got to make it fun. The game just has to be fun.”
Anthony will play once again for head coach Mike D’Antoni, who coached him when the two were together with the New York Knicks several years back.
“He’s a great basketball player, so we just try to make it optimal for him and us,” D’Antoni said. “It’s always a little bit of a challenge, but if you had asked me the same question (last year) about James and Chris I would have said the same thing: ‘Well, it looks good. I’m excited.’ So same thing with him.”
Rockets’ Clint Capela Confident He Will Have a Big Season
Houston Rockets big man Clint Capela is eyeing a big season in 2018-2019 and is hoping to elevate his game to the next level after signing a big contract with the Rockets this offseason, hoping for an All-Star caliber campaign.
Capela feels he was snubbed last season.
“It sucked,” Capela said, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I definitely think I should have been [this year], but I didn’t complain about it. It’s all about the consistency. By just doing the work that I do, for sure I’ll be an All-Star next year.”
Capela hopes to be the best center in the NBA.
“Of course,” said Capela. “As a basketball player, I like to do it. Makes me feel good. So yeah, why not? You never say never. You like to expand your game, and I like to expand my game.”
Capela has been working hard this offseason, as he aims to get in the same shape as former teammate Dwight Howard.
“I’ve been working on that [strength] so it helps,” Capela said. “Of course, getting stronger, more minutes, playing with the same guys helps. I’m just trying to stay engaged. I start off solely to stabilize and utilize to know what I’m doing before every game, what makes me and my body feel good. All of that helps me grow this year.”
“He was dominating,” Capela said of Howard. “He was always taking care of his body. Did his work, and went out there and just dominated. He was huge!”
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