Portland has been one of the most impressive teams this season. The Trailblazers are currently fifth in the West with a 14-10 record and are on a two-game winning streak.
They’re playing at a high-level on both ends of the floor thanks to the MVP-level performance of Damian Lillard. While Lillard and his backcourt mate CJ McCollum have certainly been impressive, their bench has been a big part of their success as well.
Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr, Gary Trent Jr, Nassir Little have all been contributing at a high-level this season, ensuring that despite missing their main guys, their level of play will still be maintained at a high-level.
However, one old vet has been playing exceptionally well and has been making a big impact on the team.
Carmelo Anthony has been a big and positive impact on and off the court for Portland this season.
Out of the 24 total games, the 36-year-old veteran has played 23 and is averaging 13.0 points, 3.5 rebounds in 39.2% shooting from the field.
He’s been putting a lot of effort on defense and has been a leader for the team on both ends.
In their most recent win, Anthony dropped a season-high 24 points on 9 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 5 shooting from the three-point line. He helped Portland take the win over the top team of the East’s best team in the Philadelphia 76ers.
The third-overall pick of the 2003 draft also explained that despite being riddled with injuries, the squad is still playing at a high-level and is not rushing anyone back.
McCollum and Nurkic have already missed over 10 games this season, which should’ve affected the team drastically.
However, as of the moment, Portland is currently sixth in points with 114.7 points per game, eighth in three-point shooting at 38.3%, 12th in rebounding with 44.6 boards per game and they’re also the sixth best team on defense with a rating of 114.2.
Melo has been making positive impact on the team and has been contributing on the squad not just on the court but off it as well. He’s certainly not the explosive scorer that he once was, but his maturation has been good to see. It took a long time for him to accept not being a team’s top dog anymore, but has earned the right to leave the league on his own terms instead of getting looked over by all 30 teams.
Portland is set to host Cleveland next before travelling to Dallas then Oklahoma and then New Orleans for a three-game on the road stretch.
Do you think Melo will have a big impact with the Blazers this season? Do you think he’s a candidate for the 6MOTY? Sound off in the comment section!