The New York Knicks Traded Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2nd Round 2018 pick. Oklahoma City Thunder consists of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. OKC is a new big 3 famously named “OK3”. Sam Presti is a genius with his off season moves.
Presti is able to unload C-list players like Victor Oladipo and Doug McDermott in order to get the likes of Paul George and Melo. Still Sam Presti’s critics wonder how this stroke of genius did not come sooner. The James’ Harden deal comes to mind especially the way OKC lost “The Beard”. In all fairness maybe Presti did not think James Harden would become the James Harden we see today. However, Presti is not exempt for his blunders during that time period.
What Carmelo Anthony Brings To The Table
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players in the NBA. Thus How ESPN ranks Carmelo 64th in the NBA is an absolute error. Melo can do many things on the court which can be taken for granted. Carmelo Anthony draws a double team especially in the post. Players who can draw double teams are essential in the NBA. Carmelo’s ability to draw double teams opens up open shots for Russell Westbrook and Paul George. As a result Westbrook and George will benefit greatly from Melo who allows for wide open shots.
Melo allows for a 3rd playmaker to be on the floor. Russell Westbrook struggles in OKC exist because of a lack of playmakers. Kevin Durant and Westbrook failed to materialize a championship because OKC only had 2 players who could make plays. If Westbrook and Durant did not make plays OKC essentially lost. Paul George replaces KD and Melo adds another element of a playmaker for the team. Thunder have 3 players who can handle the ball and make decisions. Basketball plays through multiple playmakers on a team not just one or two.
Carmelo Anthony is a pure scorer. Melo can score on the low block, the wing or from 3 point range. Anthony can get his own shot at any time against any defender in the NBA. Carmelo averaged 28.7 points in his best year in New York. Oklahoma City Thunder team is the best team Melo will ever be apart of. Expect for Melo to average between 25-30 points per game and set career highs in rebounding and assist. Thunder have a huge need in the scoring department Melo fills that void. Last season’s average of 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game serves as an aberration for Carmelo Anthony. In OKC fans will see an unstoppable Carmelo Anthony maybe even get to witness “Hoodie Melo”.
No Team Wants To Face OKC in The Playoffs
Moreover, Oklahoma City Thunder have assembled a “Suicide Squad” kind of roster. All three players embody something GM’s hate. Carmelo Anthony is “lazy”. Paul George is inattentive at times. Russell Westbrook is too stubborn and does not know his place. As a result of these labels these players have nothing to lose. Russell Westbrook wants to prove he can lead a championship team. Paul George wants to remind everyone of how is a special talent. Carmelo Anthony wants to shut up his critics and prove with help he can win.
The Thunder have nothing to lose and everything to gain. A team with nothing to lose can lead to upsets in the NBA playoffs, hence Golden State beware. A trio of Wesbrook, Melo and PG-13 is tough to handle. Westbrook will get penetration for easy kick outs. Paul George can shoot the three and create. Carmelo can dominate the post therefore create mismatch opportunities. Coaches will have to determine which player will they allow to burn them as a result big headaches.
Pick Your Poison
Spurs have struggled against teams with playmakers. OKC is a match up nightmare for San Antonio. Unfortunately, Houston Rockets offensive prowess will not hide the defensive weaknesses they will suffer against OKC. Moreover, Golden State Warriors face a hungry OKC team that wants desperately to beat the dubs. Enes Kanter put in a request for the Thunder to beat Warriors and you know Westbrook will oblige.
Carmelo Anthony has huge motivation to play his best basketball. Melo walks into an environment with two NBA All-Stars and a NBA MVP. There is no way people can count out OKC in the title chase. It is a mistake to think OKC is unable to make a run with the new roster in tow. In conclusion The NBA is on notice OKC is going to bring a lot more than Thunder this season.