Sports

How Carmelo Anthony Revived His NBA Career

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts from the bench in the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 23, 2021 in New York City. The New York Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 106-100.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

Only two active players remain from the 2003 NBA Draft, and both are with the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James was the number one pick, and he became an MVP and a champion.

Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony heard his name called two spots after James.

He became one of the best scorers in the league and participated in the playoffs multiple times.

However, he remained in James’ shadow because he couldn’t lead his teams to a title.

He also received constant criticism about being a ball hog throughout his career.

But that aspect of Anthony’s game is long gone.

His willingness to adjust prolonged his career and gave him an irreplaceable role.

 

Change Of Heart

Even if his numbers were going down, there was a time when Anthony vehemently declared that he wouldn’t play off the bench.

This conviction prompted the Houston Rockets to part ways with him.

At that time, Anthony played only ten games for Houston and averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Eventually, the Rockets traded him to the Chicago Bulls, who then waived him.

For the first time in his career, Anthony was not a part of any NBA team.

However, the Portland Trail Blazers made a pitch he couldn’t refuse.

They focused their selling point on giving him a chance to resurrect his legacy but as a reserve.

He bought into that role, and he was back in the NBA.

Anthony realized that he was not the same player that could consistently drop 30 points per game.

Instead, he embraced being the guy that brings instant offense.

There’s less pressure on him because he’s not the main man anymore.

But despite the reduced minutes, Anthony rediscovered his passion for the game after being away from it all.

Opponents still can’t leave him open because he can light it up from the perimeter.

He’s getting his points but without forcing his shots.

 

His Quest For A Title Continues

Anthony continues to be a steady contributor in his 19th NBA season.

This time, his search for an NBA championship took him to the Lakers with James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis.

He cherishes the role of being the sniper, as proven by his career-high 46.1 percent from the three-point line.

That clip increases to 53.2 percent when he’s playing at home.

Anthony ignited the bench scoring in 16 of the Lakers’ 19 games by averaging 15.2 points per game, even if he’s taking only 11 shots.

He has also led the league at one point with 47 catch-and-shoot three-pointers.

Those numbers make him a frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year early in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Despite his limited minutes, Anthony is making a ton of difference every time he plays.

The Lakers are 7-2 every time he scores at least 15 points.

Los Angeles is also averaging 108.6 points per 100 possessions if he’s on the court.

That’s an 11-point differential from the team’s 97 average when he’s on the sideline.

Without question, Anthony’s current playing style makes him a viable scorer over the next few seasons.

But for now, the Lakers need him if they want to win the franchise’s 18th NBA championship.



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