Melo And The Thunder
Would the all-star forward be able to co-exist alongside triple-double machine Russell Westbrook?
The Oklahoma City Thunder had themselves quite the season in the first year of their post-Kevin Durant era. Led by their triple-double averaging shooting guard, OKC managed to finish the year and enter the playoffs with a respectable 47–35 record — good enough for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. After getting bounced in the first round by the Houston Rockets in five games however, it’s clear Russell Westbrook needs some help. Could Carmelo Anthony be the help Russ needs?
Some have argued Westbrook was at times shortchanged by ineffective teammates throughout the season, but how much of that is owed to simply not having a good supporting cast for as much as it’s owed to Westbrook’s constant need for the ball? According to NumberFire, Westbrook led the league in touches per game this year — averaging 99.5 — while also possessing the ball for nearly nine minutes a game — averaging 8.9.
For someone like Carmelo Anthony who as the Washington Post pointed out back in February was fourth in the league in field goal attempts— scoring 0.998 of a point per possession — Westbrook would not be the ideal teammate.
Sure, Westbrook averaged over 10 assists this season, but do those statistics really hold any leverage when he has chosen to play hero-ball rather than facilitate countless times in a games’ final stages this season? Look no further than his performance against Houston in Game 5 on Tuesday night. While his final stat-line consisted of 47 points, nine assists, and 11 rebounds, he shot just under 29% in the fourth quarter — going 2-for-11 — including 0-of-5 from three point rage.
To sum it up, Russell Westbrook is a complicated one-man show, and at this stage in his career, complication is the last thing Carmelo Anthony needs. Melo doesn’t fit.