On this week's episode of KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast, we discuss Carmelo Anthony's debut with the Blazers and what Portland can do to start winning games again.
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1. What did you think of Carmelo Anthony's debut with the Blazers?
Nate: It was hard to evaluate because of the absence of Damian Lillard. But it was pretty much what I expected. There was rust with his shooting, and he turned the ball over five times. After all, it was his first NBA game in a year. To me he flashed, especially early in the game, why the Blazers brought him on. He can make outside shots and garners more respect from defenders than anyone else the Blazers have on their roster outside of Lillard and McCollum. Melo's main job will be to knock down open perimeter shots and find buckets in the post. If he can do those two things, that may make defenses think twice when they’re pressuring the star Blazers guards to get the ball out of their hands. As we discussed last week, Melo could be a positive addition to the Blazers' roster, and it doesn't have much of an impact on their wins and losses. I think we also saw that on Tuesday night.
Jared: Carmelo Anthony was better than his stats indicate. Some of those box score numbers were ugly. He missed 10 of 14 shots. Had five turnovers and five fouls. Was a team-worst -20 in plus-minus. The advanced stats didn't look good, either. By the eye test, though, I thought Anthony looked OK. He hit two of his three 3-point attempts, all of which were of the catch-and-shoot variety. The two 3-pointers that Anthony hit were wide open (no defender within 6 feet). I liked how aggressive he was attacking the rim. He missed five of six shots in the restricted area and in the paint, but that's an anomaly. His last full season in the league, with the Thunder, he shot 56% at the rim and 45% in the paint. The best version of Anthony for the Blazers would be if he's connecting on open catch-and-shoot 3s and scoring at the rim. Anthony looked lost at times on both ends of the court, but that's understandable. CJ McCollum said that Anthony learned just five of the Blazers' plays before the game, and the Portland playbook has more than 100 plays and counters. Anthony looks like he can still play in the NBA.
Orlando: Enjoyed all the hype leading up to Carmelo Anthony's debut with the Blazers. It's been a long time since Rip City had a star of his magnitude join the team. Even people that don’t follow basketball have heard the name. On the court, it went how you would expect it to go for a good player who hasn't played in the league in over a year. He showed that he can still get buckets and can be a threat offensively. Anthony also missed a lot of shots and didn't get some calls that probably would have improved his shooting percentage. He also led the team in turnovers and looked like a player that wasn't on the same page as his teammates on both sides of the ball, which makes sense because he hadn't even gone through a shoot-around with the Blazers. What impressed me was that he came off the street, started for the Blazers and logged 24 minutes of work. It's clear he'll make his mark on this team over the coming weeks. One thing I can say for certain, the Blazers just got more interesting.
MEET THE 3-ON-3 BLAZERS TEAM
Jared Cowley is a digital producer who writes about the Blazers and other topics for KGW.com
. Jared has written about the Jazz and Warriors as a sports editor at two daily newspapers.
Nate Hanson is a digital producer who contributes to KGW.com
’s coverage of the Blazers, Ducks, Beavers and high school sports.
Orlando Sanchez is the sports anchor and reporter for KGW News, Sports Sunday and Friday Night Flights. Orlando has covered multiple NBA Finals, NCAA Basketball Tournaments and World Series.