Houston Rockets first round NBA draft pick Marcus Morris speaks...

Houston Rockets first round NBA draft pick Marcus Morris speaks during a news conference. (June 24, 2011) Credit: AP

 Marcus Morris, the 14th overall pick by the Houston Rockets, has compared himself to Carmelo Anthony -- already a bit of a stretch -- and when he was introduced to the Houston media after Thursday's NBA Draft, he acknowledged that comparison and then added this:

"But I'm not going to take after him on the defensive side."

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Whenever the 2011-12 season begins, circle the first meeting with the Rockets on the calendar. But perhaps instead of just exacting personal revenge, Melo should realize that this isn't an isolated opinion about his game. Players respect Melo's ability to score, but he is lacking a star's respect when it comes to the complete game. If he cares at all about his rep, especially how younger players view him, this has to change.

To his credit, Carmelo did improve his effort, focus and determination on the defensive end when he arrived in New York, but there's a lot more work to be done before he is considered a good defender. It's one thing to get up in someone's face and hound them, but it's another to play good, solid positional defense with a strong understanding of, and committment to, the team concept.

And, of course, it helps to be in great shape.