Anyone who thinks Carmelo Anthony playing alongside James Harden and Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets could potentially affect his scoring ability, think again. It his fourteen years in the NBA, Anthony has averaged at least 20 points per season. That includes his rookie year back in Denver.

Great scorer

For his entire career, starting in all games he played, the ten-time NBA All-Star has been the No. 1 scoring option. Plays were adjusted and designed for Carmelo and no one else. We saw him shoot beyond the arc more than a hundred times, drive thru the basket, make turnaround shots, post-up, and follow-through dunks.

Yet, we might be forgetting something. Carmelo Anthony is at his best when the play doesn’t start with him but from other NBA superstars around him - players just like James Harden and Chris Paul. To refresh your memory, here’s a video from the 2012 London Olympics where the USA Men’s Basketball team defeated the Nigerian National team.

Anthony scorched the hoops with 10-of-12 3-pointers on his way to 37 points in just a matter of 14 minutes. With this feat, the 33-year old NBA superstar broke two Olympic records for 3-pointers made and attempted shots. And he did this with four legitimate NBA superstars who can easily make baskets themselves.

“Helluva scorer”

Notice how he got all those points? Aside from having four other players who can destroy the basket, Anthony’s job is quite easy, catch-and-shoot.

But can he do it while playing with Paul and Harden (the second most ball-dominant player last season behind league MVP Russell Westbrook)?

Why not? The Houston Rockets now have two of the league-leaders in terms of assists. According to Basketball Reference, Harden led the league last season with 11.2 assists per game, while Paul averaged 9.2 assists per game, good for the fourth spot.

In fact, George Karl, who coached Anthony back in Denver, admitted that his game reaches the highest when playing with a top point guard, “when we had a point guard that kind of orchestrated the rhythm of the offense.” Well, he’ll play with two top ball distributors of the league should the trade happen.

More importantly, Anthony is willing to play the part of being the second option.

After 14 seasons, the 6’8” small forward from Brooklyn will be relegated as the second option. Yet think of it as a strategy rather than a demotion or some sort. Carmelo Anthony is a pure scorer and unloading the playmaking task makes him concentrate on one thing he does best, scoring.

From the words of Coach Karl himself, Anthony is “going to be a helluva scorer”. But will the New York Knicks really trade Carmelo to the Houston Rockets? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony is willing to waive $8,125,785 trade kicker in his contract to make the trade easier Houston Rockets. We’ll see how it goes.

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