Small ball appears to be the emerging rage in today's NBA. Carmelo Anthony certainly has the potential to play as a stretch-4 alongside Dwight Howard at the 5. That could be one of the many advantages Anthony could see if he decides to make the Houston Rockets his new team this summer.
Houston lit up the scoreboard, and adding one of the best scoring machines in the league would certainly help even more in that department. The union between Houston and Anthony could have an influence on one specific part of their scoring attack.
While the Rockets pushed the pace and enjoyed letting it fly from 3-point range -- shooting the most 3-pointers in the league last season -- they finished in the middle of the pack in terms of 3-point percentage, at 35.8 percent. Anthony has seen an incremental increase in his perimeter shooting percentage over the past three seasons, with a career-best 40.2 percent mark in 2013-14. Playing within a small-ball setting, having Anthony stretch the floor with his threat to shoot from range could continue to open up the lanes to the rim for James Harden.
With the threat of Howard on the inside and Harden attacking, the drive-and-kick and kick-out options would be very explosive for the Rockets on the offensive end of the floor. Already considered one of the more potent offenses in the league, adding Anthony to the mix could potentially make their attack better than they've had in recent seasons.
From the personnel angle, Houston presents an opportunity for Anthony to join a new core, one with already established stars. Anthony has had to do most, or all, of the heavy lifting over his previous 11 seasons in the league. While the likes of Chicago, Dallas and New York have pieces in place, Houston's younger core provides stability and continuity potential for the future. That longevity can benefit Anthony and the Rockets as the Western Conference continues to remain one filled with talented teams.
The ace in the hole for Houston is that they would still have Patrick Beverley and potentially Chandler Parsons in the mix to fill in the gaps for the roster. If you have a new emerging big three in Houston with Anthony, Howard and Harden, players could slowly start to follow them. That is what happened in Miami with the Heat. While they wouldn't be star players that sacrifice huge contracts to join a contender, the players who join them in Houston would be competent role players, probably on the older end of the spectrum.
Houston and Anthony would have to remember that while Miami's big three ultimately won championships, it took some time. The Heat didn't win it all in their first season, but they did make it to the NBA Finals. Getting the superstars is the hardest part to the big three equation, but part of the process requires time as you continue to slowly add assets to the mix as the franchise continues to manage its finances with the salary cap.
The Western Conference is full of contenders, many which aren't going anyway anytime soon. Houston recognizes that, and they are trying to shift the balance of power in their favor by adding Anthony. While he has a tough decision to make, Anthony will have to consider the Rockets.