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!”
Suns Land Ryan Anderson, De’Anthony Melton in trade with Rockets
The Phoenix Suns have acquired forward Ryan Anderson and guard De’Anthony Melton from the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Marquese Chriss and point guard Brandon Knight, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Anderson agreed to reduce the guarantee on his $21 million salary in 2019-20 to $15.6 million to help facilitate a move out of Houston, who had been attempting to trade Anderson for two years due to his lofty salary.
Phoenix will have until July 10, 2019 to decide on guaranteeing the full amount for the final season of Anderson’s contract, and if they choose not to they can waive him and pay him his $15.6 million.
Chriss is the main piece heading to Houston. The Suns selected him with the 8th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but Chriss has been a bust during his Suns tenure, often times looking out of place on the court and succumbing to a number of mental errors.
Chriss’ attitude has also become an issue and he had had trouble staying in shape, which motivated the Suns to move on from him despite trading for him on draft night.
Knight is expected to play backup to Rockets’ starting point guard Chris Paul.
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