SportsLine projection: Rockets' playoff chances increase 20 percent if they release Carmelo Anthony

At this point in his career, Carmelo Anthony is just unfortunately no longer a helpful player. He's never been a great defender, and his offensive game has diminished to the point that he's shooting barely 40 percent from the field. Which is why the Rockets are reportedly considering Anthony's future with the team. 

With a trade unlikely, and a benching making little sense for either side, all signs point to Anthony being waived -- if the Rockets do indeed make a big change. According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, that's exactly what the Rockets should do. 

Per Oh's simulations, the Rockets' playoff chances would increase 20 percent by getting rid of the veteran forward. 

Rockets

Wins

Win %

Division chances

Playoff chances

Western Conference rank

With Anthony

41.3

50.4%

23.9%

41.6%

10

Without Anthony

43.3

52.8%

34.7%

61.5%

8

IMPACT

+2

+2.4%

+10.8%

+19.9%

+2

Just watching the Rockets play, it's easy to see that Anthony isn't doing much to help. But these numbers are still pretty staggering. That removing one player -- who doesn't even start -- could have such a positive impact is incredible. 

Considering some preseason data, however, perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. When the Thunder made the decision to part ways with Anthony, SportsLine ran their projections at that time and found that the Thunder's playoff chances would increase by more than nine percent. 

While in theory, Anthony should be able to help a veteran team, the season-plus that we've seen from him with the Thunder and Rockets, as well as this data from SportsLine, makes it clear that his career as an impactful player is over. At least in a positive way.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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