The Portland Trail Blazers are gushing over the chance to land Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the New York Knicks. It was thought that Melo may end up with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Houston Rockets but new GM Scott Perry put a stop to those rumors and decided to broaden the Knicks chances for better talent. But what happens if this Anthony and Blazers trade does indeed go down? According to Damian Lillard– the Golden State Warriors will need luck to beat the Blazers.
“We can compete with anybody in the West, but I think when you get to those teams like Golden State, if we happen to run into them in a playoff situation now—we getting in the paint, and if they want to help off someone like Melo…good luck.”
Can you fault Lillard for this?
The NBA has alway been about trash talk and coming at the Warriors may not be wise for a team who suffered a first round exit last season but with Carmelo aboard, the Blazers may have a chance– if only.
In order for this to happen, either the Blazers or Carmelo must change. As of now, the Blazers are led by Lillard and his backcourt mate C.J. McCollum. Both are perimeter snipers who love to get to the basket. The Blazers made a huge trade at the deadline to snag Denver Nuggets big man– Jusuf Nurkic and that proved to be the missing piece as the team struggled the first half of the season. However, Nurkic missed the playoffs, thus causing the Blazers to look for help this offseason. Just so happens that Anthony may be available.
But if he were to come to Portland — do they honestly think they can dethrone the Warriors who boast four All-Star in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson? Maybe. But that all depends on how fast Anthony adapts.
Throughout his career, Carmelo has never been known as a defender. However, this is the main weakness for the Blazers. Can Melo guard or even slow down Durant? But what may hurt the Blazers more is who they will have to give up for Carmelo. What happens if Perry wants Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless, Allan Crabbe or Evan Turner? Those are valuable players off the bench and just so happens to be the Blazers top perimeter defenders. This is where Anthony will have to earn his stripes.
The Blazers can score the ball as they ranked 8th in the NBA in doing so but 25th in defense.
Will Anthony be willing to sacrifice his 19 shots per game to help the team achieve their ultimate goal? This is something that he’s never faced during his stint in the NBA as he’s always been the focal point of the offense. His rebounding has declined but that’s to be expected as he age. What should have the Blazers fans and players worried is his inability to stay within an offense. The Blazers are guard heavy with the majority of the scoring coming from Lillard and McCollum but now with Nurkic, the ball will be passed into the post more. This may help Anthony as he’s a great perimeter player but he’s also known for playing too much iso as teammates just stand around and watch him go one-on-one.
This cannot happen if the Blazers are expecting to give the Warriors a run for their crown.
Melo would be a great addition, however, the Blazers cannot beat them unless Melo decides to be more like Green and sacrifice for the benefit of the team.