Carmelo Anthony: Coming off the Bench ‘Challenging Mentally’

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Carmelo Anthony: Coming off the Bench ‘Challenging Mentally’
MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 12: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets looks on against the Memphis Grizzlies during a pre-season game on October 12, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

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For the first time in his career, Carmelo Anthony came off the bench as the Houston Rockets opened their 2018-19 season with a 131-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center on Wednesday night. 

And the results weren’t pretty. 

In 27 minutes off the pine, Anthony struggled to settle into a groove and managed nine points on 3-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-5 from three. 

“It’s challenging mentally more so than anything, having to prepare for the game differently,” Anthony said after the loss, per ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon. “Other than that, it’s a challenge all the way around. It’s just a matter of how I’m going to react to that challenge and accepting that challenge, which I am, which I will do.”

However, Anthony is hardly pushing for a change. Rather, the 10-time All-Star sounds committed to figuring out how he can thrive in his new role. 

“For me, at this point, it’s more about what I have to do for the sake of the team instead of trying to just go out there and do whatever or trying to have a specific role,” he said. “Every night will be different, but for the most part, it is a challenge, but it’s something that I’ll get used to quick.”

As long as Anthony maintains that mindset, the Rockets will be in good shape.

James Harden and Chris Paul can create open catch-and-shoot opportunities galore for the 34-year-old, and his track record suggests it will merely be a matter of time before he’s sinking those looks regularly. 

Anthony and the Rockets will have two days off before they hit the hardwood at Staples Center for a showdown with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. 

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