"It's challenging mentally more so than anything, having to prepare for the game differently."
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony started last night's game on the bench, marking the first time in his 1,054 NBA games that he was not on the floor for the opening tip. Anthony was on the court for 27 minutes in the season-opener against New Orleans, but he finished with just nine points on three-of-nine shooting as the Pelicans ran away with a 131-112 victory in Houston.
After the game, Melo described coming off the bench as "challenging mentally."
"It's challenging mentally more so than anything, having to prepare for the game differently," Anthony told reporters according to 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."
"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."
While the Rockets struggled in their home-opener, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans were firing on all cylinders. All five Pelicans starters scored in double-figures including AD, who led all scorers with 32 points in addition to 16 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals.
The Rockets will be featured in another nationally televised game on Saturday night as they head to Staples Center for LeBron James' home debut with the Lakers. That game will air on ESPN at 10:30pm ET.