History will be made Wednesday night in Houston, as Rockets small forward Carmelo Anthony will be coming off the bench for the first time in his NBA career.
Anthony has been a starter his whole basketball life, but that won’t be the case this season in Houston. The Rockets will be starting Chris Paul, James Harden, James Ennis, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela against the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony and shooting guard Eric Gordon will likely be the first two players to come off Mike D’Antoni’s bench.
It has been confirmed Carmelo Anthony will come off the bench in the Rockets season opener tonight. That means that his streak of 1054 consecutive starts, 2nd longest in NBA history behind Patrick Ewing, will come to an end.#Rockets#NBA#NBATwitter
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 17, 2018
Carmelo Anthony averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. The veteran scorer shot only 40.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc. The hope in Houston is that playing alongside two elite playmakers and passers in Paul and Harden will help Anthony generate easy shots.
D’Antoni is going to stagger Anthony and Tucker this season since both players operate best as power forwards at this point. Tucker is the superior defender, while Anthony is the better shooter and scorer. It remains to be seen which player will close out games in the fourth quarter.
So far, Carmelo Anthony seems to be buying into his bench role, but let’s see if that’s the case all season.