Vintage Carmelo Anthony Blossoms In A Role With The Los Angeles Lakers
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Carmelo Anthony is quickly asserting himself as a true candidate for the sixth man of the year 2021-22.
It might have been unthinkable a few years ago, but it has now come true as the veteran star continues to thrive after accepting her role-playing future.
Anthony’s story is well told. Emerged from NBA darkness by the injury-riddled Portland Trail Blazers a few seasons ago, Anthony was desperate to return to NBA soil, even if that meant he had to part ways with the role he played while. throughout his career.
Two seasons with the Blazers have led Anthony to a Lakers roster filled with some of the big name names the game has had to offer over the past decade. Rather than trying to get into a battle over where and how he hits, Melo has simply slipped into the Second Unit, taking what comes his way in an offense that has often been flouted elsewhere.
The veteran exploded for 24 points off the bench in the win over the Cavaliers, knocking down six trebles from his eight attempts.
“He’s one of the best in the league. He has been a professional scorer throughout his career, ”said head coach Frank Vogel.
“To his credit, he’s really transitioned into an elite catch-and-shoot guy who’s got a good build who can shoot with one hand in his face. 6-for-8 of three, lots of huge buckets, a big chunk of the victory. “
As is the nature of playing alongside players like LeBron, Russ, and AD, Melo finds his attempts at shooting in open space, which bodes well for his continued success in this attack.
Coming into the game against Cleveland, Anthony was attempting 5.0 holds and three shots per game, knocking down a very respectable 40 percent. Anthony shot 40.2% on those attempts in 2019-2020 and 39.8% last season.
Perhaps more importantly, NBA.com tracking data shows that 5.0 of its 6.0 attempts at 3 points per game are classified as wide or wide open.
“Just finding my place, finding my position on the pitch,” Anthony said after the game. “LeBron does a great job reading the pitch, seeing where everyone is at and knowing where the guys are on the pitch. Today he did a great job finding me.”
At 15.7 points per game out of six, Anthony’s scoring average is the highest since his last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18.
The explosion against the Cavs is the second time Anthony has knocked down six trebles in a game this season, the first coming in a 28-point night against Memphis. The Lakers won that game against the Grizzlies and like tonight’s game against Cleveland, they needed every one of their “three at the dome” celebrations.
Melo recently passed Moses Malone on the all-time scorers list to place ninth. It has been a confusing few years for Anthony, but there are only eight players in league history who have scored more points with Shaquille O’Neal likely to be overtaken this season at the current rate as well.
Anthony is a weapon on the bench in this offense, and is only likely to become more so as the Lakers build chemistry with the rest of the roster.
More than anything, we should appreciate seeing Anthony extend his career in a role he never had to fill throughout his life as a basketball player.
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