A few years ago, many had thought Carmelo Anthiny’s best days in the NBA were done and that he should retire.
Given how he has looked so far for the Los Angeles Lakers, like he did for the Portland Trail Blazers, Melo is anything but finished.
If you want evidence, look at the last two games, where he’s been one of the Lakers best scorers; he put up 24 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and 23 points on Sunday night in a win over the Houston Rockets.
Yes, he’ll have an occasional game where he struggles with scoring; like when he shot 5-for-14 against the Oklahoma City Thunder or 1-for-7 against the San Antonio Spurs. But Melo is doing what was asked of him when he left the Portland Trail Blazers to sign with the Lakers.
He’s another solid scorer who can still shoot when needed, as he’s averaging 16.7 points per game and shooting .522 percent from three-point territory. While he isn’t leading the league in scoring like he once did with the New York Knicks, Melo is playing his role exactly how he is supposed to.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have been the primary scorers for the Lakers. Melo has been the perfect sixth man off the bench, as he’s given the Lakers almost 30 minutes per game and at 37-years-old, is still a force to deal with on the court.
For the games where LeBron might deal with an ankle injury or Westbrook has a poor shooting night, this is where having Melo comes in handy.
Last season, the Lakers secondary scorers were Dennis Schröder and Montrez Harrell, and it could be why the Lakers ended up wearing down before they were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round.
With scorers like Melo, it gives the Lakers that kind of depth to last longer in games and should provide more wins. For as good of an addition Westbrook was for the Lakers, Melo might have been an even better one, and it’s showing in the box score and in the win column.