Nathaniel Joseph

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Rockets are off to a slow start as is Melo

While the Houston Rockets are off to a slow start and seemingly so is their big free agent acquisition Carmelo Anthony.

Much has been made about how much he has left in the tank and the impact he would have on the Rockets. The slow start to the season has many believing the 10-time all-star is on the decline.

After starting 1,054 straight NBA games, one has to wonder how much coming off the bench is affecting

him mentally and in his approach to the game. Following the game, one loss to the Pelicans Melo himself called his new bench role “challenging.” Mike D’Antoni, when asked in an interview about Melo new role, said it gave them, “the best chance to win.”

Carmelo in his six games with Houston is averaging 13.2 PPG 5.5 REBS while shooting only 37% from the field and a respectable 34.3% from downtown. Stats via Basketball-Reference. Because of injuries to starting Sf James Ennis and James Harden, the Rockets decided to go with Melo in the starting lineup.

Since entering the starting lineup, Melo production has gone up over the last three games he’s averaging 18PPG 4.3 REBS shooting a much better 40% from the field and 45% from three. It’s unclear whether Melo will stay in the starting lineup when the team gets healthier, but it’s clear he’s more comfortable in a starting role.

Does he fit?

All hasn’t been bad Melo still garners a lot of attention when he’s on the floor. Well known for his scoring prowess throughout his career, he still is respected by opponents giving the Rockets the spacing they want when he’s out on the court. Melo from day one has meshed well in Houston his professionalism, veteran leadership, personality, and friendship to Star PG Chris Paul has been the perfect fit. Melo at this stage of his career seems to be at peace and accepting of his role on the Rockets.

While it’s obvious that Melo is not the prolific scorer he’s been for the better part of his career. The advanced stats suggest everything is ok, he’s just in an early-season shooting slump as the majority of his shots are coming in the flow of the Rockets offense. It’s to early to tell how much of an impact Melo will have for the Houston Rockets. One thing is for sure the Rockets need him, they are thin at the forward position and will continue to give him every opportunity to break out of his early-season slump.

SOURCE: PRO BASKETBALL REFERENCE / ESPN.COM