In general, it was perceived as an emotional push to energise the team. He’s done way more than that.
Anthony has filled in a missing piece and started to show the Melo that we know. Before you know it, he was awarded Western Conference Player of the Week.
When you watch Carmelo play, you’ll notice that he’s building his confidence by getting iso baskets.
These are easy work for Melo and once you make a few easy ones, you start thinking less and the whole game opens up. Especially for his 1-2 dribble pull ups which is his go-to move. He chooses simple shots that he knows he’s capable of making. Game by game he has started to take more iso buckets which quickly pushed his numbers up.
One thing to notice about Anthony this season is that he’s reading the game differently.
He realised that his decision has to come quickly and he has played accordingly.
Reading his defender before even catching the ball and straight up attacking the space, 1-2 set up dribbles and he’s gone, nothing extra and that’s what helped him to get to his move before the defence gets set. That’s why you’ll notice that most of his iso baskets comes when they have a comfortable lead.
That way, he will get that superstar Melo feel back without the insane pressure it produces.
Plus, he’s shooting with insane confidence and you can tell by his body language how much he believes in himself right now.
Proof to that, he’s now shooting 4% better from the three than his career average. He’s averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds per game on 41% shooting from the field and 81% from the free throw line.
Pick & Roll
This where he’s been great, providing the Blazers offence with a versatile screener who can shoot or go-by after catching off the roll. Because of that, teams started to pick up to Melo’s game by doubling him a few times and right away he takes advantage of it by kicking it to the open man or finding his next assist.
As games went on, we started to see the old Anthony. He’s not being overly selfish or anything but he’s showing flashes of that killer who can take over games.
Happy for Carmelo
I think everyone is happy for Carmelo Anthony to be back in the NBA and he deserves respect for being prepared for the opportunity, proving his doubters wrong that he still belongs in the league.
Only time will tell how far the Trail Blazers will go.