It’s revenge season for the Houston Rockets. After coming so close to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1995, the Rockets fell short to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
It ended as a season of “what ifs,” as superstar point guard Chris Paul went down at the end of Game 5 with a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the next two games and was a huge factor in the Rockets’ subsequent collapse. Paul was destroying the Warriors before he suffered his injury, and if the Rockets had him on the floor in the last two games, we could be talking about a different NBA champion right now.
Be that as it may, the Rockets have aimed to get better this offseason. They may have said goodbye to versatile wing Trevor Ariza and defensive stopper Luc Mbah a Moute, but they re-signed athletic big man Clint Capela and brought in scoring machine Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony’s arrival in Houston has been brewing for a while now, and after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder and bought out by the Atlanta Hawks, Anthony’s free agent decision to sign in Texas was an easy one for him.
There’s a fresh air of confidence around the franchise, and Paul caught up with NBA TV to discuss Anthony’s arrival.
“A lot of things, Melo like a lot of the guys on the team always play like we have something to prove. And obviously the friendship, brotherhood that we share. It’s always nice to play with someone you’re close with.”
"It's always nice to play with a guy that you're that close with."@CP3 is excited to welcome Melo to H-Town! #GameTime pic.twitter.com/Zb1nzMUsSO
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 10, 2018
Anthony is a good friend of Paul, and the transition and settling period will be made a lot easier by his long-time buddy. Needless to say, Paul is super excited to have Anthony as his teammate. The All-Star point guard silenced his doubters last season and he was an integral part of a winning team that got past the second round, something people thought he could never achieve.
Anthony is now presented with the opportunity to change how people perceive him. His doubters have grown in recent times as they believe his iso-heavy playing style is detrimental to a team trying to be successful, but like Paul said, he’s hungry and will be looking to reverse his reputation.