Carmelo Anthony Says He Will Enjoy Coming Off the Bench

Carmelo Anthony is ready to embrace coming off the bench in Houston, marking a first in his 15-year NBA career.

“I have a clearer understanding of what my role is,” Anthony says.

Melo, 34, was a sixth man in the Rockets’ final three preseason games.

Per the Houston Chronicle:

“It’s hard. I haven’t even got myself mentally prepared to think like that,” Anthony said about the possibility of winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. “It’s even hard to think like that now. If it happens, it happens. This is a long season. All types of ups and downs are going to happen through the course of the season. If it happens, I guess everybody was a genius, then.

“Ask me in March. I’ll probably have a different answer for you.”

Anthony came off the bench in the Rockets final three preseason games when P.J. Tucker, the starter at power forward, returned from his sore back. Anthony has generally checked in to replace Tucker roughly four minutes into each half. That has meant long stretches that include time when Tucker returned to the floor as a backup center.

“It’s an adjustment, more so a mental adjustment than a physical adjustment,” Anthony said. “That would be the most … challenging part, shifting your mindset, shifting the way you approach the beginning of the game. The approach to the game is pretty much the same, but you’re three, four minutes behind now.

“It (the long stretches that come with playing starter minutes off the bench) is a physical adjustment, but I think I’m in pretty decent shape to be able to handle that. It’s something we’ve been working towards in this off-season and this pre-season, playing that way. It is adjustment for me mentally. For everybody it’s an adjustment. It’s something new. For the most part, I think we will all enjoy it.”

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