The Houston Rockets have championship aspirations next season. But it appears their chances will go down if they sign Carmelo Anthony.
Carmelo Anthony’s heading to his third team in three years. Unless something drastic happens, it appears that Melo will make his new home with the Houston Rockets. But how much does a Melo acquisition improve Houston’s chances at winning a championship?
According to SportsLine, it doesn’t. In fact, the Rockets’ championship chances are actually worse with Anthony.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 23, 2018
Houston is in desperate need of outside shooting. Melo can certainly fill the role of a three or a small-ball four. If Melo buys into Mike D’Antoni’s system, he should find success on the offensive end. He’s still a knockdown shooter and with James Harden and Chris Paul feeding him the rock, he should see a lot of open looks.
But Melo’s problems aren’t on the offensive end. They’re on the defensive end. Anthony’s lateral quickness is down from his younger days and he has immense trouble covering ballhandlers on the perimeter. He still has the size and strength to bang on the inside. But he’s a complete liability when teams pull him out to the three-point line.
While Houston is usually viewed simply as an offensive juggernaut, their defense was among the tops of the league in 2017-18. Houston was sixth in the league in defensive rating last season with an impressive figure of 103.6.
Anytime a team loses two defenders like Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the defense undoubtedly takes a step back. If Melo is taking a large chunk of the minutes vacated by Ariza and LRMM, the defense will suffer even more than originally expected.
At the end of the day, SportsLine’s percentage means little to nothing. Everything is ultimately settled on the court.
Regardless, Melo’s liabilities could outweigh his strengths and hamper Houston’s championship aspirations. The #StayMe7o crew doesn’t want to hear that, but at the end of the day, it’s probably true.