The Portland Trail Blazers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and are sitting in eighth place in the ultra-competitive NBA Western Conference division.
The Blazers did not begin their season hot. But one of the reasons for their makeover was the signing of 10-time NBA All-Star, Carmelo Anthony.
Now averaging 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for Portland, Anthony had been out of NBA basketball since November 8, 2018.
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Lakers’ Danny Green Talks Carmelo Anthony
The Los Angeles Lakers had some interest in the versatile forward last season and had light interest this season. However, the two sides failed to agree to terms. But while things didn’t pan out with the two sides, currently Lakers guard Danny Green sounded off on how happy he was for Carmelo.
“I’m happy man,” Lakers sharpshooter, Danny Green told me.
“I’m really excited for him. Obviously it was a process, it was up and down, he continued to stay in shape, continued to fight and we all know how skilled of a player he is in this world, in this league. And there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have been out there.”
The 35-year old showed his shooting touch when he hit a buzzer-beater earlier this week against the New Orleans Pelicans.
For those keeping score at home: With just 2.2 left in the first quarter, Melo stripped the ball away from Pelicans guard, JJ Redick. In that sequence, Anthony squared up just outside the three-point line and quickly launched a buzzer-beating trey at the horn, tying the game at 31 apiece.
While the Blazers did lose the game, 102-94, Anthony finished the night with 23 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the contest.
“Honestly I think that he’s a Trail Blazer at heart,” Danny Green told me.
“And just his style of play is just gritty and it’s kind of old school and he’s going to get you a bucket. But he can do all the little things.”
Portland did damage in the NBA’s regular season last year. In fact, the Blazers made it to the NBA’s Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
For those tardy to the party: They did it without big man, Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic sustained season-ending compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula last season in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.
While attempting to tip in a teammate’s missed shot, Nurkic came down awkwardly in traffic, causing his leg to bend between the knee and ankle. The Blazers big man finished that game with 32 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals.
Back in March, both TNT’s Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley went on record and said that the Blazers could make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1992. “I like them in the West,” Barkley told me last season.
“With [Damian] Lillard and [CJ] McCollum. The addition of Rodney Hood and Enes Kanter.”
“It didn’t happen. But man they were close! Kanter left for the Boston Celtics in free agency this summer and the Los Angeles Clippers and the Lakers got better with Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard coming to town.”
Rodney Hood tore his left Achilles tendon earlier this month in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers and will be out for the rest of the season.
Anthony is in a good spot Danny Green tells me. “I think he’s in the right position and the right fit,” he said.
“And hopefully it can continue to go well for him in the next couple of years because he deserves at least a couple more years.”
The Blazers are off on Christmas.
Thinking ahead: Carmelo Anthony will return to NYC on New Years Day to face his former team, the New York Knicks on New Year’s Day.
Before that, the Blazers will play against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Utah on Friday and will host the Lakers and Phoenix Suns Saturday and Monday at The Moda Center.