I wrote an article months ago about the Blazers winning the NBA Title. Then I thought to myself and thought there is no way they can compete with the Lakers,Clippers, or Rockets out West but by signing Carmelo Anthony it’s possible. Call Carmelo Anthony selfish,a ball hog,a
player unwilling to let go of his ball-stopping isolation offense, but Carmelo Anthony can score the basketball and that is what Portland needs. Although the possibility of trading for Lamarcus Aldridge would’ve massively improved Portland’s frontcourt Carmelo Anthony is not a bad signing. Mario Hezonja,Kent Bazemore, and Anthony Tolliver have failed to give the Blazers consistent production in the scoring department for the Blazers?
What has been the problem for the Blazers the last couple years? Defenses keying in on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and forcing someone else to beat them? Both Lillard and McCollum are elite scorers but it never hurts to add one of the top 50 scorers of all-time in Carmelo Anthony. I grew up watching Carmelo Anthony at Syracuse and followed him early on in his career, I always felt like Carmelo Anthony was better than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade at one point. He is no longer the scorer he once used to be, father time can’t be beat but for what Portland needs this season? I think he can deliver. Jusuf Nurkic will be back eventually and he is another scoring threat which Portland has missed the 2017 and 2019 Playoffs.
There is no pressure on Carmelo to deliver a championship this season but he won’t make the Blazers any worse, I think he can deliver 15-30 points a night as a 3rd option and Lillard is much easier to adapt to playing with than Russell Westbrook and James Harden since he isn’t as ball dominant and I would say a better decision maker on the court. Portland is off to a rough start but it’s a marathon not a sprint. I won’t sit here and tell you that adding Carmelo Anthony makes Portland the favorite for the championship but they are certainly my pick. Sure the Lakers have LeBron and Davis and the Clippers have George and Kawhi but I focus on more than just star-power when it comes to making my pick for a title, I like Portland’s depth and amount of scoring options. Lillard,McCollum, and Carmelo can all score over 20 points in the playoffs and get scorching hot enough to win you a big playoff game.
What team in the NBA right now has 3 legitimate go to scorers like Portland right now? The Clippers have 3 in Kawhi,George,and Williams and the Lakers have 3 in LeBron,Davis,and Kuzma although I’ve always thought of LeBron as a passer. Milwaukee potentially has 3 in Giannis,Middleton,and Bledsoe or Donte who I believe can blossom if Mike Budenholzer continues to give him 25-30 minutes a night. Back to Carmelo Anthony though because I really did not want him to exit the NBA having no control over it and yes I am aware he is on a non-guaranteed deal so at any point Portland could cut him but I don’t see them going that route. Terry Stotts runs more sets than Mike D’Antoni and the Blazers offense is not strictly ran around Lillard and McCollum. No knock on Mike D’Antoni as a coach but his offense is fast pace if you are open let it fly and James Harden has perfected it so far averaging over 40 ppg at the moment.
Am I aware Carmelo Anthony won’t improve the Blazers’ defense? Yes but growing up Allan Houston was my favorite player and than I transitioned to Carmelo Anthony because he had a very similar skill-set to Allan Houston only that he is 2 inches taller and probably 20-30 pounds heavier and Carmelo Anthony is a superior player to Allan Houston. Melo said he never played with the same amount of pieces Wade and LeBron did through their careers, he could’ve joined the Heat or Bulls. He played with George and Westbrook and lost in the first round, played with Harden and was released and mind you he was not the problem in Houston he was just used as the scapegoat on the Rockets and Thunder. No excuses for Melo in my opinion, Damian Lillard is a superstar and CJ McCollum is one of the top scoring wings in the game if he can’t win a ring with those two I think he has no one to blame but himself.
To conclude I can write 10 pages on Melo’s career and why he didn’t win in Denver,New York,OKC, or Houston but this really is his last shot. You left the NCAA a Champion imagine if he exits the NBA a champion? For a player who went forgotten with time over the past few years due to souring out in New York with Phil Jackson and being traded away and being labeled as wash and a depreciating asset Carmelo Anthony should be focused on winning a title period. Adjust to your role and learn from former great Manu Ginobili who sacrificed self-glory to win championships. It wasn’t about the spotlight for Manu Ginobili, he was a dynamic shooting guard and perennial all-star in his career and won championships with Parker and Duncan. Carmelo Anthony might not be able to win multiple championships in Portland but what a story it would be to see Carmelo Anthony go out a champion? That would definitely make sense of a quote I live by, “Anything is Possible”.