Photo by Bleacher Report
In Case You Haven't Heard, Melo is Back
Carmelo Anthony is back in full force. And it’s time for the league to be scared.
After a long hiatus, Anthony’s return to the league was revered by many current and past players. Anthony, being an easy HOF candidate and All-Time great, was believed by many to be snubbed or not given a chance. People swore that when Melo returned, it would be a movie.
And boy, were they right.
Melo signed with the Trailblazers in mid-November on a non-guaranteed (since been changed to guaranteed) contract. Since signing, Melo has averaged 17 PPG and 6 RPG, not bad for someone who hasn’t played since the beginning of last season.
And what’s even weirder? The Blazers needed it. Badly.
The Trailblazers were in a weird spot before signing Melo. They secretly went through a brutal offseason, losing important bench players like Ed Davis, Moe Harkless, and Meyers Leonard. These bench players, although oft forgotten, were the glue of the Trailblazers and kept the team in order when stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum stepped off the floor. So, with a team lacking bench depth (and also lacking Jusuf Nurkic), the Trailblazers got off to a poor start, just one season after making a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Melo hasn’t ~completely~ remedied the Blazers’ awkwardness, but he certainly has helped. Damian Lillard, one of the best players in the NBA, has been great about sharing the ball and letting Melo do exactly what he does best: score. He’s been given the ball enough to make him not feel completely left out (I’m looking at you, Mike D’Antoni) but not too much so that he’s wreaking havoc on a hard-earned team FG%. He’s been effective beyond the arc and has even taken it to the basket a few times, although he isn’t flying as high as he once did.
But overall, he looks like he fits.
We’re very excited at J Squared Hoops to see Melo back! Check out our array of other articles and make sure to buy our merchandise here.