While the chemistry in Oklahoma City is seemingly a work in progress, Anthony’s role seems to be ever-changing.
For a player brought in for his scoring ability, Monday night was not a good example of a team utilizing a proven scorer.
During the Thunder’s win over the Denver Nuggets, Anthony took 6 shots, his lowest total since 2013, and scored 4 points, the fewest he has scored in a game since 2012.
The shots were clearly unbalanced with Russell Westbrook hoisting up 28 shots and Paul George launching 13 of his own.
Anthony remained calm despite the lack of shots.
“I’m good with that, if we win. I’m cool with that, man,” Anthony said (h/t ESPN).
“[Russell Westbrook] had it going, and any time he has it going, we just gotta space it out, play off of him, let him work. The ball will find us. As far as the shots go, there’s going to be nights like that. I think that’s something we have to accept. It’s different, but we have to accept that. But tonight, he had it going, and we followed his lead.”
“He led us tonight,” Anthony said. “He led us to this victory. Especially offensively. Put the team on his back offensively.”
Anthony has stressed “sacrifice” as he has shifted from primary scoring option to a complimentary role with his new team.
“A lot of times, my man is not leaving me,” Anthony said.
“Opposing teams, coaches’ defensive schemes is telling them to always keep a body on me. … As a result of that, me being a decoy opens it up for a lot of people.”
Anthony also discussed the long stretches he goes, at times, without taking a shot in the game.
“Those are the most challenging ones,” Anthony said of getting a shot when he hasn’t taken one in a while. “I think in order for us to be successful, you have to be ready for those moments. Because just don’t know when those opportunities are going to come. You have to mentally stay in the game, and you have to prepare yourself for when those times come.”
“If any one of us has the hot hand, they gotta keep going,” George said. “Russ definitely had the hot hand and we were fine, we were fine with him taking the game over. He had the hot hand, and we were confident in the shots, and he was getting great looks. You can’t really be mad about the looks he got. Wide-open looks and layups. We’re livin’ and we’re on his back with that.”
“The good thing about it is, there’s hot hands over here and there’s guys that can put the ball in the hole,” George said. “That’s a difference in my career of not having that pressure.”
“The ball has gotta move, and we have to generate better shots,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “We can’t iso our way to being a great team offensively.”
Kevin Durant Could Consider Return to Thunder Next Summer
Could Kevin Durant find his way back to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2019 offseason? According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, Durant could potential consider the Thunder during free agency next summer
“The relationship between Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City was never really torched,” Mannix said, during an appearance on Jeff Goodman’s The Good N’ Plenty podcast. “Oklahoma City always said the right things about him, and they always did right by him publicly. And the relationship between Durant and Russell Westbrook, while not being great by any stretch, is probably as good as it’s been since he left Oklahoma City. So all those things are gonna factor in and make me think Oklahoma City will at least be on his list of possibilities [in free agency] next summer.”
Naturally, this all depends on the current Golden State Warriors superstar opting to leave the championship winning ways of the Dubs to venture to a new team next year.
Carmelo Anthony Says Thunder ‘Wasn’t a Good Fit’
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t a good fit,” Anthony said, according to ESPN’s Jemele Hill.
“I think last year — and I haven’t talked about this before — everything was just so rushed, going to the team for media day and the day before training camp. Them guys already had something in place, and then I come along in the 25th hour like, oh s%#t, Melo just come on and join us.
Like, you can figure it out since you’ve been around the game for a long time. That’s why it was so inconsistent. At times, I had to figure it out on my own rather than somebody over there or people over there helping me.”
Naturally, Anthony won’t admit that his lack of acceptance of a role that didn’t make him the focal point also was an issue, but Anthony didn’t seem like he wanted to fit with Oklahoma City.
Either way, both Anthony and the Thunder are better off now that the two have split.
Hawks Acquire Carmelo Anthony From Thunder
As rumored on Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks have acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for point guard Dennis Shroder and Mike Muscala, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In addition to Anthony, the Hawks have also acquired a protected 2022 first-round pick as part of the deal for Anthony.
Anthony will be waived where he can then sign with a team of his choosing, with all signs pointing to him joining the Houston Rockets.
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