Mike D'Antoni believes Carmelo Anthony will be a better fit playing for him with the Houston Rockets than he was with the New York Knicks during his prime.
“Well, at different points of people’s careers or lives or circumstances, things are different," said D'Antoni. "In New York, when they gave away half the team (to Denver in the February 2011 trade that brought Anthony to the Knicks) and everybody expected us to win a championship, it really wasn’t realistic. It put a lot of pressure on everybody, and it kind of burst the pipes. I think this is totally different. We’ve got a team that is a whole bunch of veterans that really, we’ve got one thing in mind, and that’s to win a championship, and we have the possibility. We never had a blow-up before, so it’s not he wanted to play a certain way and I kind of wanted to coach another way.
“Back then, there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by (his) gut, and it’s just, you know, styles clash. And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”
D'Antoni envisions Anthony playing a different style.
“The style that we want to play, and we go through that process, it kind of sorts itself out. It’s like USA Basketball. If you’re committed to doing it, and committed to, ‘OK, this is how we’re playing, and then when it’s your turn it’s your turn, but if it isn’t then we’re still within these guidelines.’ Then the more talent you can have, the better the guys are, the better the team is going to be. Look at Golden State, how they had all those guys and you fit in (Kevin) Durant, I mean if you are committed to a certain style, and everybody is committed to the team, it works itself out. ...
“It’s like having Chris and James together (last season). It was relatively noneventful …and I think it’ll be the same thing. ... We’ve just got to make sure we don’t get too far away from taking threes and layups and foul shots. It’ll be a little bit of a learning process. But again, if everybody is committed, then I have no doubt it can work. Whether we can all get it to work? We’ll see.”