Over one year removed from his short stint in Houston, Carmelo Anthony has found a new home, this time with the Portland Trail Blazers
It’s often been said everything happens for a reason. Two years ago, it was believed to be all but a done deal. That disgruntled Knickerbocker Carmelo Anthony would be shipped to the Houston Rockets before training camp opened.
However, what was truly going on behind the scenes was Anthony – who possessed a no-trade clause – had narrowed his choices between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers. As the legend tells, Anthony was swayed by strong pitches by then Thunder superstars Russell Westbrook and Paul George, along with the fact he did not want to live in Portland.
Fast forward to today, and here we are, after failed stops in OKC and H-Town, Melo has finally arrived where he was destined to be upon finally departing the organization he once breathed new life into.
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Welcome to Rip City
Since Halloween, the Blazers have been in a free fall losing six of their last seven contests. During that time span, their forwards have been providing 35.0 points per game, that number is good for 29th in the association.
Considering his history, Melo should be able to help aid in the scoring void left by Zach Collins, but more on that a little later.
One area Melo will not be able to help the Blazers – baring something unforeseen – is on the defensive end.
Since October 31, Portland is allowing its opponent to score 116.6 points per game, which is in the bottom-10 of the league.
Straight From the Twitter-verse
When news breaks in the NBA, social media (especially twitter) lights up with takes from one end of the spectrum to the other. Below are a few of the best tweets discussing Melo joining the Blazers.
He’s got a point
It would be far too simple to say: “Oh Melo is done. Why did the Blazers even sign him?” Foremost, the deal is non-guaranteed, so it is a low risk/high reward opportunity for the spiraling Blazers.
The Counter Argument
Dwight was willing to play a role and is doing so at a high level. Melo has NEVER shown that willingness and Portland’s offense isn’t the problem. It’s their defense and Melo is not helping with that.
— Bobby T (@radiobobbyt) November 15, 2019
Bobby makes a fair point. However, up until joining the Lakers – for the second-time – Dwight too struggled with accepting a role. Melo was exiled from the NBA for over a year. He unquestionably enjoys the game of basketball. Therefore, to avoid an untimely exit, Melo will accept whatever role the Blazers slot him in.
Dame weighs in via the one and only Rachel Nichols
These comments by Lillard seem pretty standard, he appears a little frustrated by the start to their season, but it feels like he is going along with the Melo addition with an opened mind.
One for fun
This post requires no comment. It’s purely here for entertainment and laughter.
The real reason why the Melo signing is meaningful
Anthony was not born in Puerto Rico. Nonetheless, his ties to the community are strong, as Julio Ricardo Varela highlighted a few years ago for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Currently, there are only three players in the league who were born in Puerto Rico: the trio consists of J.J. Barea, Maurice Harkless, and Shabazz Napier.
Let’s cover the negative
For various reasons, Melo did not work out in Oklahoma City and Houston over the past two seasons. He was somewhat of a scapegoat in both situations. Regardless, the negative stigma from his time with both clubs will follow him for the duration of his career.
With that said, the NBA (most sports for that matter) is a what have you done for me lately landscape? If the Blazers rip off a few victories, upon Anthony making his season debut, and he is playing well. His last two seasons will soon be forgotten. If they continue to spiral and Melo’s numbers are substandard, this could very well be his final NBA destination.
Ending on a high note
The largest void on the Blazers was created by the absence of Collins. In the three games Collins played, in 86 minutes, when he was on the hardwood Portland was plus-19. During 495 minutes of playing time where Collins has been off the floor, the Blazers are minus-40.
In an ideal position, Portland would have signed or traded for a defensive-minded forward. Due to their salary situation and limited assets, such a deal was unattainable. Hence, the Melo signing. Anthony is not a flawless player, but he may be just what Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts required.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Anthony will join the Blazers on their upcoming road trip. The latest Melo experiment is expected to begin no sooner than when the Blazers battle the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.