A source close to the Houston Rockets believes Carmelo Anthony unfairly took much of the blame for the team's struggles early last season.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the source suggested Melo took the heat for something that wasn't entirely his fault: "A lot of the blame was put on Carmelo, but he really should have thrived with the offense and system if the season started properly health-wise. Melo was the scapegoat."

Houston signed Anthony to be an offensive catalyst off the bench, but he was thrust into a bigger role early in the 2018-19 campaign when James Harden, PJ Tucker and others were nursing injuries.

In 10 games (two starts), Melo averaged a career-low 13.4 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the field and 32.8 percent shooting from three. At that point, the Rockets parted ways with the future Hall of Famer.

Another source close to the Rockets praised how Carmelo conducted himself in Houston despite his short and rocky tenure: "He was amazing here, a real teammate and great with the coaches. It's unfortunate what happened."