Paul Pierce sees his role on Wizards as model for Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony’s role with the Houston Rockets is one of the major storylines heading into this upcoming season. Paul Pierce believes that Melo will fill a similar role to what Pierce himself did during his season with the Washington Wizards:
Paul Pierce on The Jump said he expects Carmelo Anthony to play a similar role to himself in Washington, and to score in the “12-to-15 range” next season.
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) September 12, 2018
With the Wizards, Pierce averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He played around 26 minutes per night and started in all 73 games he played in. It’s still unclear whether or not Mike D’Antoni will use Melo off the bench or as a starter.
If D’Antoni decides to start Melo, Pierce’s prediction for Anthony could be spot on. Unfortunately, Melo still regards himself as a star player in the NBA and doesn’t seem like the type of guy who will embrace a role on the second unit. If D’Antoni decides Melo’s best fit is off the bench, it may take some convincing to get the former scoring champ to buy in.
Either way, Melo should expect similar minutes to what Pierce saw in Washington. Last season, Melo showed that he’s no longer cut out to consistently play 30-plus minutes per game. If he can provide the Rockets 15 points and 25 minutes per game, the Rockets would sign up for that deal.
The biggest question mark is undoubtedly Anthony’s defense. He has trouble guarding anybody on the perimeter and was a serious liability defensively with the Thunder last season. Everyone expects Melo to score his fair share of points in D’Antoni’s high-octane offense, but not enough people are talking about how his defense will impact Houston.
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