The Portland Trail Blazers were lacking a consistent scorer from the forward position: enter Carmelo Anthony, who spent 10 games with the Houston Rockets last season, and then was shunned by the rest of the league.
The Blazers seemed motivated early in the match to set up Anthony as much as possible. In only 24 minutes of action, Anthony shot 4-of-14 from the field, 2-of-3 on three-pointers, scoring 10 points and being one of six Blazers to score in double figures in a losing effort against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony was his usual self on defense, looking sluggish and lacking energy down the floor. When on defense, Anthony’s opponents shot 4-for-8 from the field.
The ultimate problem for the Blazers will be Anthony’s efficiency. Anthony hasn’t shot above 45% since the 2013-2014 season, when he shot 45.2% from the field. His career average of 44.9% from the field doesn’t mix well with his 2.7 turnovers a game, which are almost on-par with his 3.0 assists per game.
It’s obvious that Anthony is what he is. Once the ball is swung around the court to him, the movement stops. He is looking to create for himself and no one else. With the style of play that is evident in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Anthony needs to position himself better to be a three-point catch-and-shoot marksman who can switch on defense and stay in front of opposing players.
At times, the sluggish energy of Anthony was evident, as he picked up three fouls in the first half, and his fourth foul in the third quarter.
Anthony’s efficiency hurts his teams the most, especially since he is a high usage player. His career average for usage is 30.8%, which ranks toward the top part of the league. No matter what role he has on a team, Anthony will always feel as if he is a main piece and worthy to do as he pleases.