With two of their best defenders gone, the Houston Rockets is looking to add scoring champ Carmelo Anthony

By Klyde Manansala | Photo from Instagram

The Houston Rockets are reportedly eyeing Carmelo Anthony once the dominant scorer officially becomes a free agent.

Just recently, the Rockets lost two integral defense specialists in Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute—both of whom are capable of efficiently holding off any team’s perimeter shooting.

At this year’s free agency, the Rockets opted not to re-sign Ariza, who is now with the Phoenix Suns, and Mbah a Moute, who could draw upon all his experience to lead the slumping Los Angeles Clippers.

In a nutshell, the West’s second best team basically let go two non-stars who could stretch it from the outside and at the same time play intense defense, only to try and settle for a ball-dominant and defenseless Anthony.

The Rockets almost had the Warriors to the ground last season. They were up 3-2 before failing to take the eventual champs out of the picture in a do-or-die Game 7 in the Western Conference finals.

Now, with the defensive prowess of Ariza and Mbah a Moute gone—and looking to replace it with a star like Anthony—the Rockets may not be the same team intentionally built to pose a serious threat to the Warriors. Here’s why:

Last season, among the 24 players who took no less than 1,687 shots, the 34-year-old Anthony was ranked last in that group with a field goal percentage effectivity of .476 on his 1,168 shot attempts. Add that brick-throwing misery to the fact that he was ranked 72nd out of 82 power forwards in points allowed per 100 possessions. And to top it all of, Anthony shot a measly 35.7 percent from beyond the arc after marking his career-high 169 three-pointers out of 474 attempts.

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If the Rockets happen to add Melo—which will most likely take place given that his pal Chris Paul is on a personal mission to recruit the star—they will have a hard time keeping up on keeping a steady defense the game demands. Plus, the only thing that’s common between Anthony’s style of play and the Rockets’ last season is that they live and die by the three—the root cause of their failure to upset the Warriors. Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s length on defense and ability to play and defend multiple positions helped them mow down teams. But could targeting a player like Anthony really help them?

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