◼️ His mistakes in the last minutes against the Blazers point to a ten times all star that is in the worst numbers of his career.
In May, Carmelo Anthony turns 34. He is seven months older than LeBron James and, like this one, is in his fifteenth season in the NBA. But while the latter goes through one of his best moments and sees how the press is filled with articles about his extraordinary validity and longevity, Carmelo goes through the most delicate moment of his career in his first season in the Thunder. Topped with a week in which he failed decisive free throws against the Celtics and had a very negative role in a loss to the Blazers that leaves the Oregon team closer to the Western Conference third place.
Billy Donovan sat, with six and a half minutes left, a Jerami Grant who had scored 17 points in 19 minutes and with only five field goals. From there to the end, Carmelo accumulated three failed 3-pointers (two in the same possession, one at the end to force the extension) and a decisive loss in the penultimate attack of his team. And finished with 6 points on 13 shots (3/13, 0/5 on shots).
It wasn’t just a bad day: for the first time in his career he averaged less than 20 points (16.3) … and with his worst percentages (40.5%). His true shooting percentage is almost 4 points below the average of his career and his rate of free throws has sunk (only 0.16 for each field shot) and his trademark, a shot of between 4 and 7 meters where now round 38% when he was at 45 in the average of the last five years. It produces little in the post (0.83 points per possession) and is hardly used in pick and roll plays (neither going to the basket nor opening to throw) with Russell Westbrook.
The conclusion of this data is that the Carmelo performance, one of the great scorers of history, is fading. With its gaps in defense increasingly evident, it’s not evident in attack and certainly hasn’t adapted well to being a third option (and not having almost the ball in your hands) behind Westbrook and Paul George. If the Thunder want to be the great danger they can be in the playoffs, they need a new focus and fit for Carmelo … or that Billy Donovan bet to change the place in the rotation and the minutes of a ten times all star that should still be able to wreak havoc on a team in which others monopolize the attention of the rival defense. But for now it is being the opposite.