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Home / Sports / Carmelo's Trail Blazer debut raises more questions than answers

Carmelo's Trail Blazer debut raises more questions than answers



If you had last decided on an NBA game on November 8, 2018, and you suddenly became interested in getting back on Tuesday night, you probably would not have known that Carmelo Anthony had run out of action for the last 377 days , Whether that's a compliment or a criticism probably depends on your prejudice, but the version of Anthony who spoke on Tuesday for the Trail Blazer was basically what everyone expected to have as Portland last Week contracted – an offensive first option whose effectiveness will rise and fall as a result of its jump, which continues to cause concern in the defensive sector and is likely to be Portland's best choice after a year on the ice.

The most surprising thing about Anthony's appearance against the pelicans on Tuesday began ̵

1; that is, he came in from the street, started with a power-forward attack and was the intended target of the Blazers first offensive. Portland tried to feed Anthony with his opening property; The result was sales when New Orleans striker Kenrich Williams beat Melo to his place on the block and intercepted Hassan Whiteside's entry pass. (The good news: Hassan Whiteside has passed! The bad news: It turns out he's a bad passerby.)

The blazers, lacking superstar point guard Damian Lillard for back problems, immediately went back to Melo Also in the next trip, Rodney hit Hood Anthony, who rolled around a white screen with his left elbow to find a quick-release sweater that caught at the back edge. On Anthony's third trip, however, he appeared after setting a screen to his left, found a vacancy along the arc, caught a pass from CJ McCollum, got up, and tapped a 3-pointer. His account was reopened; Melo was back in the NBA and has done exactly what he has done in the last two decades.

The closing balance looks bleak: 10 points in 4-on-14 shooting, along with four rebounds. Zero templates and five sales. The Blazers had a 20-point lead in the 23:37 that Anthony booked in a game they lost at the age of 11. On the other hand, Melo was able to record 24 minutes and get as many shots as possible, to be honest: a bit wild.

He joined the team without a training camp, training or shootaround, and the blazers had freed Tuesday morning after flying in New Orleans to play a back-to-play on the second night. All Melo had was a brief discussion with Terry Stotts and the Blazer coaching staff. Joe Freeman of Oregonian said, "When [Anthony] entered the floor of the Smoothie King Center, he only knew five of the team's 100 or so games." And yet the blazers devastated with injuries at the point With Stotts being another option, Anthony Tolliver, who worked on the Mario Hezonja project, and newcomer Nassir Little on Melo, who was thrown into the fire against Williams, Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes, and the rest of a long period, became athletic pelicans. forecourt.

As one would expect from someone who joins a brand new team after a year, Anthony's timing and instinct were not quite there. He tried to pass a pocket pass to Whiteside after a side pick-and-roll, but added him to sales and whiteside a fastball for a jump down the alley, but he was up and out and the middle could not corrale it. He did not seem to be on the same page with his teammates, resulting in several properties that, as color commentator Kevin McHale noted, looked like half of the blazer zone and half of the blazer were men, which was not Case is you are looking for a defense system.

Anthony was far from hitting New Orleans with 115 points in Portland Cleaning the Glass all without Melo conceded – but he did not really help. Everyone knew that; The merits of his addition will depend on how he behaves in the offensive area. Ten points on 14 shots is not a good start, but you have the right to make at least a few mistakes to cause rust, and ask yourself if Anthony gets shorted on some calls when he arrives by car Basket. Do one or two free throws here, and maybe the ledger looks a bit different. For Anthony, the mere fact of being in the square was enough for one night.

"It felt great to be back in the flow of the game, back in the field, back to where I think I belong. Anthony told reporters. "Just to be out there with the guys. As for the game, it felt good to be out there again. "

What was enough for one night will not be enough for Portland – now 5-10 years old and the penultimate one in the West. The losses are increasing. Anthony's return does not mark the end of an unjust blackballing or league-wield deal to deter him from a 17th Pro season. This is because a team has suffered a series of injuries that have affected the effectiveness of its offense and required immediate introduction of the skills Melo could theoretically provide. That's the most interesting thing about the Melo experiment: all the talk about how his demise is due to his unwillingness to play a lesser role than his father's time for his all-star form is expected to be Anthony playing with this role The Blazers are basically Be Carmelo Anthony.

Hood told reporters after the game that Anthony "will be an integral part of our offense, so we must continue using him and get used to him." That also seems to be Anthony's understanding; In a video released after settling with the blazers, Anthony said, "I'm just looking at this opportunity, this team, and saying, 'Look, I can bring that to the team, there I can help. It will only work if all parties see it the same. & # 39;

Sound is not a problem at the moment. Anthony joined Portland as a starter and will remain in the lineup unless things change. He is expected to make additional hits to prevent Lillard's defense from performing box-and-ones and other congestion attacks when he returns to the lineup, and McCollum, who leads Portland with 22 and five points, is a part The heat will help in the defeat on Tuesday.

Melo is being asked to collaborate with Portland on the pick-and-roll, hoping that his reputation as Titanic scorer and the reality of what he has left trigger moments of panic for opponents – those who cause them Lillard or McCollum could temporarily leave too much room behind a screen or too much time for soil testing. If opponents try to clear this space and time by switching the action, Anthony is expected to seal off the smaller defender in the post and harass himself on the way to the basket, a clean look at a turnaround, or a foul line ,

When defenders assess the threat level correctly and cling to the ball handler, there is hope that Melo will use his years of experience as an offensive monster for good causes. It is expected to either jump back past the 3-point arc to catch and shoot long balls, or move into a defensive fold, present a large target with a deflate valve, and defeat the rotating defense by hitting one of the Balls rumbling the rim or make the next round in the short role. He's not likely to be the first Blazer tries to get going every night, but he'll still be able to make and end games. the rest is up to him.

Any moment on Tuesday that reminded you why Anthony was not in the league for a year – the lack of buoyancy in defense attacks and speed, the preference for low-percentage pull-ups and the non-shoot Isolate Against Good Defender …

… there was also a body of evidence that Anthony can offer something that Portland seeks – the deflation valve shooting, a striker who can make a contribution if he either bangs or rolls, a Possible cause of disagreement with smaller defenders and additional shots when a ball falter:

There was some time to get acquainted with his new teammates and a certain rhythm in those turns outside the post maybe everything looks a little better than against New Orleans. No matter how closely Melo fits into the hierarchy behind Dame and CJ, his lack of defense speed will prove too difficult for a team who can not afford to spend important minutes on a stubborn net negative – a lesson that both Oklahoma City and Houston learned the hard way.

Either way, we'll see it for the foreseeable future – at least until December 15. They can be traded, and Neil Olshey, Portland's president for basketball, can start chasing the larger stores that are likely to be required are to bring up the blazers in the rankings. It may not be a coincidence that Anthony's contract is fully guaranteed only on January 7 .

This gives Melo a little less than a month or about eleven games to prove he has enough left in the tank to stay in a league declaring him dead, and to show a legion of skeptics that there is another, less unpleasant way to end his story.

they will be able to go out on their terms, "Stotts told reporters after the game on Tuesday. "The way Dirk [Nowitzki] and Kobe [Bryant] went out was terrific. I'm glad he has another opportunity and who can say how long he will play? Vince Carter is still playing in the league. And LeBron [James]. This could be the beginning of another run of three, four or five years. Who knows? "

Many of us believe we do it; It's hard to find too many experts who believe that this will all end well for Anthony or the Blazers. For a few weeks, however, Melo has the word and the opportunity to introduce something unexpected in a regular NBA season that could always use a little more. Let's see what he does with it.


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