This is Why Carmelo Anthony HELPS The Trail Blazers In The NBA (Ft. Damian Lillard, Midranges)
Yes, Carmelo Anthony is back in the NBA. Melo is on the Trail Blazers now with Damian Lillard, but how does Carmelo help them? #NBA #Carmelo
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The OUTRO song is OUT!: usworlds.info/slow/video/YoiJkJ-XjIWYiak
The Trail Blazers are now 5-9 after making the Western Conference Finals last year and the worst part is that Damian Lillard has played pretty well and CJ McCollum has played at a slightly lower but still a similar level to last year. Dame dropped 60 and the Blazers still lost. (ahhhhh) Dame and CJ have said that “Things can’t go much worse.” So in comes 35 year old Carmelo Anthony who has signed to a non-guaranteed contract. I wanted to see how he fits with the Trail Blazers so let’s break this down.
Let’s take a quick look back at what Carmelo did before he got kicked out of the NBA. 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. That doesn’t matter as much compared to his most recent performances. Those 10 games on the Rockets in the 2018-19 season were just bad for everyone on the Rockets. Melo averaged 13.4 points on 41% from the field and 33% from 3, but it was inconsistent. 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 his scoring stats, let’s look at what he did on the court because he changed himself. Melo decided to take more 3s instead of 2s. 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. Also, over 50% of Carmelo’s shots came with 0 dribbles, so yeah Carmelo might have been inefficient, but he was doing all the right things. Even though his stats didn’t look great, there were still those nights where Carmelo had outbursts that led to win 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.
The Trail Blazers aren’t looking for a whole lot from Carmelo. Now he might not be amazing immediately, keep in mind the Carmelo is getting added to a team that he has never played with without a training camp 14 games into the season. So to expect Melo to be perfect right out the gate is to expect too much. When they signed Melo, they said that he is being brought in for a very specific role. The Blazers need spacing, but they need that floor spacer to also do one very specific action. The Blazers offense last year was ranked 3rd in the league. This year, the Blazers are ranked 13th. Now they have added Hassan Whiteside who can’t shoot, and at times, play period. All the Rockets defenders can be in the paint and that’s ok because the Blazers don’t have even above average 3 point shooters. Most of these forwards are small forward shooting guard combos like Rodney Hood, Bazemore and Hezonja. Carmelo Anthony would be better than a lot of the shooters they have, even if he shoots 34-36% from 3. Tolliver seems like a solid choice to space the floor as a career 37.4% shooter from 3, but he doesn’t satisfy the second requirement the Blazers need and that is to put the ball on the floor.
A lot of defenses in the NBA will throw their whole defense at those two. A lot of times, the fate of the Trail Blazers relies on whether Dame and CJ can repeatedly make tough shots. This one was a good shot though. In training camp, Hassan Whiteside said he was going to be more of a point-center this season and get a triple double with assists. That’s because when Dame or CJ run a pick and roll, but get trapped, the gameplan is to dump the ball to Hassan Whiteside who is supposed to make a play with a basically 4 on 3 situation. But Whiteside is averaging 0.9 assists a game. The playmaking doesn’t have to be at a high level from the position like Draymond Green, but the threat of all those possibilities does and Whiteside can’t make that midrange or consistently make the right pass. In comes Carmelo Anthony who has operated from that spot from his whole career. A 35 year old Carmelo doesn’t need to carry the offense consistently, he can be a third or 4th option that at times will get his own brand of offense to do.
It’s really been a year since we’ve seen Melo in action, wow I just hope he can perform man. Things can’t get much worse for the Blazers, but what do you think? How will Melo play? Will the Blazers make the playoffs?