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Mike D’Antoni says Carmelo Anthony open to coming off the bench, but Rockets coach undecided

If Carmelo Anthony can accept the role the Rockets want him to play, the reunion of Mike D'Antoni and Anthony may work.

The Rockets officially signed Carmelo Anthony today.

But the far bigger revelation given Anthony’s previous statements: Houston reportedly plans to bring Anthony off the bench.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t quite confirm that, but he revealed Anthony’s willingness.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Mark Berman of Fox 26:

Anthony didn’t just chafe at coming off the bench in Oklahoma City. He also blamed the Thunder not having a plan for him, due in part to his late arrival.

That won’t be the case in Houston. D’Antoni coached most of the rotation-level Rockets last season. He also coached Anthony with the Knicks. Nearly all the relevant players are veterans with established styles and abilities.

D’Antoni can experiment with different lineup combinations in training camp. But, at this point, how much more can D’Antoni really learn before the season?

Anthony’s shot creation helps more when he’s not sharing the court with Chris Paul and James Harden, two superior playmakers. Houston should bring Anthony off the bench to limit his time with those star guards and hide his defensive shortcomings.

That appears to be where D’Antoni is headed – even if he won’t say so yet.