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Why Melo failed in Houston

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When the Rockets signed him last season, everyone worried about the offensive fit. Can Melo, the king of pulling up from midrange work with the Rockets, a team than preaches layups and threes? It turned out offense wasn't the part we should be worried about. 

It started on the first day of Rockets' training camp. The coaching staff began to look at each other and whisper. Melo just could keep up. His feet were slow, and the treatment Donovan Mitchell put him through last playoffs wasn't an anomaly. Utah Jazz nurture ball movement and avoid isolation play like the devil, but Anthony was so bad on defense Mitchell hunted him on every play - it worked. Billy Donovan had to pull him to the bench.

The Rockets tailored their defense to challenge the Warriors. That meant everything was switched. Melo was decent in defending in the post, could maybe even stay in front of a wing guy, but switching so much revealed something no-one on the Rockets expected. Carmelo was barely playable. As Baxter Holmes wrote in his story:

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