Mike D'Antoni 'Glad' Carmelo Anthony Landed With Blazers After Rockets Release
Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said on Wednesday he is "glad" Carmelo Anthony landed in Portland after parting ways with Houston in November 2018.
Houston appeared to be Anthony's last NBA stop after just 10 appearances with the Rockets in 2018-19. Anthony did not play a game for 12 months, missing the first 14 games of 2019-20 before signing with Portland.
"I'm glad," D'Antoni said on Wednesday regarding Anthony's signing in Portland. "After at least a year he wasn't in basketball so I was a little surprised, but he kept working and kept his head up and got into a good situation."
Anthony struggled mightily in his brief stint with the Rockets in 2018-19. He averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game, shooting 40.5% from the field and 32.8% from three. The Rockets were outscored by 9.9 points per 100 possessions with Anthony on the floor in 134 minutes.
"When [Anthony] was here he did everything we asked," D'Antoni said at the Toyota Center. "We tried to make it work just for whatever reason it didn't work."
Anthony addressed his feelings upon returning to Houston on Monday.
"I honestly don't have any feelings about going back,” Anthony told media in Portland. “I was only there a couple weeks. I don't really have any type of feelings going back."
The 10-time All-Star has posted a strong season in 26 games with Portland. He is averaging 16.3 points per game and shooting 39.4% from three, his best mark since 2013-14.
Portland still lags behind the top eight in the Western Conference despite Anthony's contribution, sitting 10th in the West at 17–24. The Blazers have not missed the playoffs since 2012-13.
Houston fell to 26–13 on Tuesday with a loss to the Grizzlies. Tip-off on Wednesday night is slated for 8:30 p.m. CT.