This is Why Carmelo Anthony HELPS Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving On The Nets (Ft. NBA Versatility)
Carmelo Anthony might come back to the NBA after Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant pushed the Nets to sign Carmelo, but how does he help the Nets? #NBA #Carmelo
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Carmelo Anthony is still out of the NBA and now Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are pushing the Nets to sign Melo. The question is, how does Melo help Kyrie and KD?
Carmelo is a Brooklyn Native. To see why Carmelo is a fit for the Nets, we have to first look at what the Nets need. The Nets are a team that lack depth at the power forward spot. The Nets don’t have a true power forward, the closest player to it is Rodion Kurucs who was a promising rookie, playing a combo forward, but is skinny. He averaged 8.5 points on 45% shooting from the field and 31.5% from 3, but the Nets obviously realized their depth problem at the 4 spot. This leaves the Nets with a hole and here comes Carmelo who has been playing power forward for the last few years. Now I’m going to talk about Melo specifically as a fit with Kyrie and Durant along with what he can do in this year without Durant.
I’m tired of all the Carmelo slander, Melo has always averaged 20+ points except for his season on the Thunder and in Houston and in the 2013-14 season, he shot 45% from the field and 40% from 3, shooting 21.3 shots a game and 5.4 threes a game, averaging 28.7 points a game. These 10 games on the Rockets were just bad for everyone on the Rockets. Melo was on a new team with the Rockets with teammates that he had never been with in a system that is radical and completely new. Yeah he averaged 13.4 points on 41% from the field and 33% from 3. Not being great in 10 games isn’t the best way to analyze what Melo was. I’ve said this before, but look at Eric Gordon in his first 10 games last season and he averaged 14.8 points on 32% from the field and 24% from 3. So instead of judging Melo on pure stats, let’s see what he did on the court. Instead he chose to shoot more 3s, he shot a career high 6.4 3s a game despite taking a career low 12.1 shots a game. And then there were games where he was capable of carrying a team, like when he scored 28 against the Nets with Harden out. Even with Harden playing, Carmelo was capable of having nights of dropping 22 and 24 points. Now the reason why I mention James Harden specifically is because he is the most iso-heavy player in the league. Kyrie and Durant have also been iso-heavy. While Harden had 16.4 iso possessions per game, Durant was 9th in the league at 3.7 on a ball moving Warriors and Kyrie was 16th in the league at 3. Spencer Dinwiddie was also 10th in iso possessions at 3.7.
Kyrie Irving has had big men that could stay back on the 3 point line and shoot 3s. On the Cavs he had Kevin Love, and more recently with the Celtics he had Al Horford and even Marcus Morris who played the power forward. Kyrie would be the ball handler, and the big man would be the pick setter bringing the power forward or center defender up. Kyrie would use that pick, Al Horford would flair out to the 3 point line creating a mismatch with Kyrie and the big man, or the big man defender stepping all the way out to Al Horford leaving an open paint for Kyrie to finish, or an open Al Horford for 3 once Kyrie took a step towards the paint. The Nets don’t have big men shooters besides Kevin Durant. Both Deandre Jordan and Jarrett Allen can’t space the floor which eliminates that center spot from being a threat outside the paint. Carmelo has the heft at 240 pounds to set solid screens and the shooting stroke to make some of those threes and have some pull to have Kyrie open. That pick and roll offense is a large part of Kyrie’s 4th quarter offense when the game slows down.
There was an instance on which Kyrie, Durant, Deandre, and Melo were all on the same team, and that was the 2016 USA Olympic Team. While I can’t show all the clips, Melo brings a certain value that most power forwards can’t bring and that’s being a ball handler in the pick and roll. This leads to some interesting Melo and Durant pick and rolls or some reverse Melo and Kyrie pick and pops with Kyrie popping out to the 3 point line. This also can lead to a lot of mismatches. Durant especially can take advantage of this to get the worse forward defending him in the low block to iso. The Warriors did this a lot with Green or Iguodala setting a screen just for the purpose of getting a switch.
What we can’t put a price on is the brotherhood of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Deandre Jordan, and Carmelo Anthony. Chemistry is an intangible that doesn’t show up on the stats, but something you can feel. Pair that with Carmelo actually being from Brooklyn and maybe this is the perfect place for an aged star, his home playing with players who he has a bond with, but what do you think? Is Carmelo the right fit with the Nets? Will the Nets actually pick him up?