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Free Agency Diary 2017

Jeff Van Gundy: Houston, Carmelo Not a ‘natural fit’

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Former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy still lives in Houston and has a good read on that franchise. And Van Gundy, recently named a Team USA coach for the Americas Tournament and World Cup qualifiers, isn’t sure Carmelo Anthony is “a natural fit” for a Houston team trying to dethrone the Warriors.

In Las Vegas working the summer league final four Sunday and Monday for ESPN, Van Gundy told The Post in a phone interview the Rockets need more defense, not more offense, after the Chris Paul bonanza.

“I think they have a lot on their plate integrating Paul and [James] Harden,” Van Gundy said. “They’re not going to be better offensively than they were last year. They were the second-best team in the league offensively. I thought they had defined roles everyone knew. [Coach] Mike D’Antoni did a fabulous job getting them to play on a consistent basis. The Chris Paul trade, there’s going to be some ups and downs, but they’re better equipped to win in the playoffs. Particularly if Harden has a bad night, they still have a superior player to play through. Their improvement is going to have to be defensively. So I’m interested in the Carmelo thing. I don’t necessarily see it as a natural fit.’’

The Knicks and Rockets have halted talks on the four-team trade with the arrival of general manager Scott Perry, who wants a chance to sit down with Anthony to pick his brain.

Source: Marc Berman of the New York Post

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