After losing two key pieces in Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza, the Houston Rockets are now reportedly determined to sign Carmelo Anthony (when he becomes available). At first glance, this is a bad fit as Anthony is a ball-stopper, can’t play defense, didn’t get along with Mike D'Antoni, and refuses to come off the bench. However, upon second glance, he could be the missing piece.
Adding Anthony will not make the Rockets a better team in the regular season. The floor spacing will become a problem and likely lead to several growing pains if they do, indeed, add the 10-time All-Star. But that doesn’t really matter.
The Rockets have the second-best roster in the NBA and appear to be the only legitimate threat to the Warriors this upcoming season. Nothing matters besides that inevitable matchup in the Western Conference Finals. That is when Anthony’s addition begins to make sense.
When facing the Warriors only two things matter for the Rockets: 1. Scoring. 2. Stops. We know Anthony doesn’t play defense. But Anthony can score.
Anthony will not be asked to be the Melo of Denver, or New York, or even Oklahoma City. He would essentially be the fourth scoring option in Houston behind James Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon. Frankly the Rockets will need all the scoring help they can get with Golden State set to have five elite scoring options.
A lineup late in the fourth quater of Harden, Paul, Gordon, Anthony, and Capela (when needed) would be more dangerous than the status quo. Regardless of his attitude and lack of desire, Anthony is 6-foot-8 and can score from any spot on the court.
Anthony can be on the floor late in games as a scoring threat. He just has to show up four times in a two week-span to complement Harden and Paul during the Western Conference Finals.
It boils down to who has more potential in a big game: Anthony or P.J Tucker and Gerald Green.
He’s not a great player. And, yes, he’s seeing his production decrease. It comes down to risk (losing to the Warriors anyways) versus reward (increase chances against the Warriors). The risk seems worth it.