James Harden, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony in Rockets team photo
With their experience of pushing the Golden State Warriors to the brink last season, the Houston Rockets are primed for take off this year. As the training camp is just waiting around the corner, Chris Paul tweeted out a photo with James Harden, Carmelo. Anthony, and the entire Rockets team while they were on a beach.
— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 6, 2018
The team’s Big 3 are present in the picture with Carmelo Anthony posing in his signature hoodie and reigning MVP James Harden standing behind him. Michael Carter-Williams, James Ennis and Bruno Caboclo are among Houston’s new acquisitions joining the photo-op.
May it be for vacation or for a team workout, the Rockets are surely building some off-court chemistry that will prove to be significant in the team’s rigorous journey to beat the Warriors and get back to basketball’s biggest stage.
The Rockets signed Melo to a one-year deal this season, partnering him up Paul and Harden to form a deadly trio especially on the offensive end. Mike D’Antoni’s pace-and-space offensive system will be catered to Anthony’s tremendous outside shooting, but the latter’s inexplicable troubles in the defensive end could spell doom for the Rockets’ championship hopes.
Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated gave his take on why Melo will be a liability on that end of the floor.
“In terms of what the Rockets need to get past the Warriors and reach the Finals, Anthony is a clear downgrade from Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute,two forwards who left Houston this summer. Unlike his predecessors, Anthony plays defense like someone who hasn’t been asked to and isn’t about to start now. He has no chance handling an elite small forward like Kevin Durant in one-on-one coverage, he struggles navigating through multiple switches, and he’s ripe for exploitation when trying to contain guards in space.”
With that said, the team hopes that defensive players Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker could cover up for Melo’s weaknesses on the defensive end, especially when they face a Warriors team reinforced by newly-acquired superstar DeMarcus Cousins.
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