Carmelo Anthony has been a superstar from the moment he stepped into the NBA and a first option his whole career. He has not had much success winning in the playoffs as the furthest he has ever gotten is the Western Conference Finals 2009
when Kobe Bryant eliminated the Denver Nuggets in 6 games averaging a whopping 34 ppg and out-dueling Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony was traded to New York to lead the Knicks to a Championship but never got the necessary pieces around him to bring it home.
Now Carmelo Anthony finds himself on an Oklahoma City Thunder team trying to find an identity with 3 ball dominant players used to carrying the load for their respective franchises. The Oklahoma City Thunder at the moment stand at 11-12 in 9th place in the Western Conference but lets not judge the Thunder so quickly, Sam Presti invested $207 million on Russell Westbrook to make him a champion and for his loyalty to the franchise . Sam Presti stopped a potential dynasty from occurring by not giving James Harden the extra millions he desired, can we all agree Sam Presti made a huge mistake because James Harden is arguably top 3 in the NBA right now and an unstoppable force on offense and leading the NBA in both PPG and APG.
But back to Carmelo Anthony who might be the superstar who will need to take a backseat in order for the Thunder to have any shot at upsetting the Golden State Warriors in a playoff series, or better put to win a championship because the Cavaliers,Rockets,Timberwolves, Spurs, and Celtics have all re-loaded to attempt to stop a what might be the most talented lineup we have ever witnessed boasted by Hall-of-Fame potential superstars Stephen Curry,Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson, and let’s not forget Draymmond Green a position-less forward who can guard all 5 positions on the floor and causes nightmares for NBA defenses with his versatility and ability to pass and spread the floor.
Carmelo Anthony can get into a shootout with the best shooters in the NBA currently but he needs to awaken other aspects of his game in order to help the Thunder because if Carmelo Anthony’s shot is not falling what more can he do? He needs to sacrifice shots and put in effort on defense and look to make the extra pass to make the Thunder’s offense a lot less predictable because I think we can all agree no team is beating the Golden State Warriors if you do not make Curry and Durant work on defense because they are unstoppable to stop with fresh legs and can go off for 50-60 any given night and single handedly win a playoff game.
Durant carried the Thunder to a victory over the Charlotte Hornets with a 35 11 10 stat line showing us why he is considered arguably the best player in the game and it was done without 2-time MVP Stephen Curry who is nursing an ankle injury. The Thunder must utilize Jerami Grant and juggle Carmelo Anthony’s minutes with Grant since Grant is a better defender,more athletic, and can cause more trouble for a team like Golden State alongside Andre Roberson another athletic long player who caused trouble for the Warriors the 2016 Western Conference Finals with his athleticim,length, and rebounding an area the Warriors are weak in.
If Carmelo Anthony wants to lose the label of being a self-absorbed loser which I severely disagree with because he has proven what he can do when you surround him with veterans and 3 point shooters when he lead the Knicks to a 54-28 record under Mike Woodson and lead the Knicks to the second round where the Knicks fell to the Boston Celtics the year 2013 when Melo lead a core of Jason Kidd,Rasheed Wallace,J.R Smith, and Tyson Chandler.
Carmelo Anthony was the first-option and indisputable star of the team at the time but this time around he is a different situation accompanied by Paul George and Russell Westbrook two superstars in their own rights but Carmelo Anthony has been around much longer, he should consider taking a page out of Manu Ginobili’s book who had potential to be a franchise player and and lead his own franchise and sacrificed his accolades and personal achievements to win rings with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. The Thunder need Carmelo Anthony to do what every Carmelo Anthon hater never expects him to ever do, play defense,hustle for loose balls, make the extra-pass, more rebounding and passing and less shooting.