Chris Paul: Carmelo Anthony Disrespect Is 'Unbelievable' After Joining Rockets

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2018

Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) rubs the ball before the start of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Chris Paul is baffled at the way Carmelo Anthony's commitment to the Houston Rockets has been portrayed since he joined the club in August.

"Obviously I'm a little biased because that's one of my closest friends," Paul told ESPN's The Jump"But, you know, the disrespect that comes at him at times is unbelievable, you know what I mean? So for us, having one of the best players to ever play the game on our team, that's a no-brainer.

"I think that's up for all of us, you know, some of the smartest guys to play the game, to figure out how to make it work."

Paul also dismissed the perception that Anthony will have a hard time adapting to life with the Rockets. Rather, he noted Houston's free-flowing system that encourages shooters to let the ball fly whenever they have breathing room will be a natural fit for Anthony's skill set. 

"I think we just hoop," Paul said. "I think that's been the cool thing about bringing in different players that have played in different systems. Hell, me last year. I came into a different situation. I had seen it. Coach [Mike D'Antoni] had talked about it. But it's a different thing to play within the system.

"With Melo, we just hoop, you know what I mean? If you're open you shoot it. If not, you pass it, you dribbleit's a fun way to play basketball."

Through two preseason games, Anthony has looked like a seamless fit in head coach Mike D'Antoni's offense. The 10-time All-Star 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting in his exhibition debut against the Memphis Grizzlies, and he followed up with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting versus the Indiana Pacers

The big adjustment for Anthony likely will be cutting down on his mid-range field-goal attempts and jacking up more threes. According to NBA.com's player-tracking data, Anthony attempted 609 two-point shots compared to 453 three-point shots last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder

But now that he's on a Rockets team that set an NBA record with 1,256 conversions from three ast season, it stands to reason he will primarily be stationed beyond the arc as the Rockets aim for a breakthrough against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. 

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