Now it is time for the traditional counting of coup.
Those who predicted Carmelo Anthony would not work in Houston are free to proclaim such, and we know they will. Others, like me, who saw a path for the future Hall of Famer to contribute on the Rockets are disappointed. Disappointed partly in Carmelo, but mostly in you, Naysayer. Did you want the Rockets to fail? Do you hate us having nice things?
I joke, but I will say that no Rockets fan should be pleased the Carmelo Experiment didn’t work. There was a chance to add a quondam scoring machine to the roster. There was the opportunity to add another dimension to a Rockets offense that seems to largely do the same thing, the same way, every time. Don’t believe that problem has been solved, because it hasn’t been.
What has happened is that Gary Clark and James Ennis have largely filled the holes left by the departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. That doesn’t leave the Rockets worse off, but unless Clark and Ennis have more to show us (and it is possible) the Rockets are roughly where they were last year. Whether you count your blessings to see it after the nightmare start to the season, or wonder what might be added to shore up the offensive firepower, is the topic of another discussion.
It’s useful to ask what went wrong with Melo in Houston. I think some answers are better for the Rockets’ future than others.
- Melo is just old. Father Time is undefeated. The Cliff is called “The Cliff” for some older players because it appears suddenly, without warning, and the player falls off. It’s not “the gentle gradual downhill slope”. It is The Cliff. It could be argued we saw The Carmelo Cliff last year, but it seems impossible to judge other players in OKC’s context. This result is the best for the Rockets. It means the ideas were sound, the spirit was willing, but Carmelo just can’t get it done anymore.
- The only players that can fit in Melo’s proposed role must be able to play Rockets style defense. This is a worse outcome, because it narrows the pool of players who might contribute. Finding high level offense in that case is harder. This is what I think the Rockets themselves believe, given the generous offer for Jimmy Butler. It’ll be a fun exercise for someone to track those picks, and/or Eric Gordon plus two picks and see to what extent they outperform or underperform what Minnesota actually got. (Prediction: They will outperform it.)
- The Rockets offense can’t work with anything outside its context. I think this is unproven, despite evidence for in Carmelo, and against, in Chris Paul. If this is the case, then its sad, because we don’t get to see Mike D’Antoni carve an intricate masterpiece, we only get to see him cut down trees with a chainsaw.
- 2 &3
- 1, 2 & 3
Where does Melo go? When does he leave? Your guess is as good as mine, though I may make a guess or two later.
Which is it?
This poll is closed
Some other combination.
Mavs Melo Manhandles Mockets!