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Houston Rockets

Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni Believes Carmelo Anthony ‘better fit’ with Rockets than Knicks

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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.”

Golden State Warriors

Rockets’ James Harden Prefers to Play in a System Versus Hero Ball

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Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has been having a phenomenal season offensively, but many people aren’t a fan of his “hero ball” style of play to rack up the stats.

Golden State Warriors’ guard Steph Curry said that he spoke with Harden, and that Harden stated his preference to play in a system, rather than play “hero ball”.

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2019 | @stephencurry30 on conversation with @jharden13 “I talked to James in the back… obviously complemented him on what he’s done. First thing he says is, it’s fun, but I want to play different. Playing by myself or whatever , heroball — the people wanna play in a system where they actually can play beautiful basketball with guys that know how to play.”

A post shared by Sounds Of The NBA (@soundsofthenba) on Feb 16, 2019 at 12:04pm PST

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Houston Rockets

Rockets Interested in Markieff Morris

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The Houston Rockets are keeping an eye on one veteran free agent as they prepare for the stretch run following the All-Star break, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.

That veteran free agent is Markieff Morris, who is currently out with a neck injury but is expected to be ready following the All-Star break, according to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner.

Morris averaged 11.5 points per game for the Washington Wizards this season, and could provide a versatile forward to the Rockets offensive arsenal.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks’ Wesley Matthews Generating Interest from ‘Multiple Teams’

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New York Knicks veteran swingman Wesley Matthews may be on limited time with the Knicks as he is generating interest from a number of teams.

According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knicks have received
“multiple inquiries” about Matthews, with the Philadelphia 76ers expected to have interest as well.

Per the report, the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors are hoping that the Knicks buyout Matthews so he can hit the free agency market.

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