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’ Brandon Knight Could Return in December
Houston Rockets guard Brandon Knight, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns prior to the start of the regular season, could make his return to the court and join the Rockets’ active roster sometime in December, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.
Per the report:
A source told The Athletic that the team has been very cautious with Knight and there is a possibility of a return in December. Knight is viewed as someone who can help take minutes from Paul and Harden. Paul is averaging 34.5 minutes per game and Harden 35.8. Knight has been taking shots and going through layup drills before the start of games.
Knight, 26, is still recovering from a knee injury and has not see much action over the past few seasons.
Rockets’ Gary Clark Talks Impact Season for Houston
Houston Rockets undrafted rookie Gary Clark has been a surprise this season, playing so well that he overtook the minutes allotted for veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, who the Rockets eventually parted ways with, and continues to be a player for the team.
Clark has worked hard to gain a spot in the rotation, and it is paying off.
“I used to hear it all the time,” Clark said, according to Maurice Bobb of Bleacher Report. “They didn’t think I could play in the NBA. That was the one thing that I heard more than anything else: ‘This kid, he’s too small, he’s not long enough, he’s not athletic. He can’t shoot it that well, so he can’t play in the NBA.’”
“Gary Clark’s a player,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a player. His defense, his rebounding—smart, right position, shoots the ball. I mean, he’s a player.”
“When it comes down to winning, I do the things that a team needs,” Clark said. “I don’t always score. I will never complain about scoring or shots. But you’ll see me getting steals, rebounds, blocking shots, getting other guys opportunities to score. All I’m about is winning.”
“You can just see it,” Rockets MVP guard James Harden said. “From blocking shots to running the floor to rebounding the ball and grabbing offensive rebounds — just the way he plays — that’s what we need from him.”
Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony Surprised by Chris Paul 2-Game Suspension
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony is a little bit shocked that his teammate, and close friend, Chris Paul only received a 2-game suspension for his fight with Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Rajon Rondo during their game on Saturday.
“I’m actually a little shocked at the number of games that they are missing” Anthony said, according to Martin Rogers of USA Today Sports.
Anthony has a point, as the suspensions seems a bit weird given that Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram was handed a four-game ban for his role as an instigator during the fight, double what Paul, who was actually one of the main culprits, received.
“It actually works in our favor to be honest with you, I have seen it go 10-15 games before – I was the culprit of that years ago. But to see CP – I don’t want to be speaking on CP – but to see CP only get two games… I didn’t know what to expect to be honest.
“I talked to (Chris) before the game, checking in on him to check he was good,” Anthony stated. “His spirits were up, nobody wants to be suspended. I think we all know how much of a competitor he is and to be here missing this game against the Clippers after coming off a big game last night, I am sure he is disappointed. In life things happen, you got to adjust to it.”
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