Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. have been two of the brightest spots for the Portland Trail Blazers during the NBA season resumption in Orlando. It’s not just local fans and media noticing Portland’s ancillary players either. Today David Thorpe waxed poetic about the sparkling wings in a post about “Bubble Lessons” for all 22 active teams [subscription required].
Thorpe dives deep into Anthony’s past, particularly his disappointing stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He quotes Thunder teammate Corey Brewer on the forward’s greatness even then:
“Melo, me, [Steven] Adams, Russ, and PG have dinner together every night on the road. The starting five, just to ensure we are all on the same page. Melo and Russ, they are not good guys, they are great guys. I knew that about Adams and PG already, I didn’t know about those two.”
He also asserts, along with TrueHoop founder Henry Abbott, that ‘Melo’s effect can’t be measured by stats alone:
There is little doubt there are better shooters and defenders available to the Blazers than the Melo of today, guys that wouldn’t sometimes clog up the lane or soak up possessions banging in the post for 17-foot fadeaways. But NONE OF THEM is a future Hall of Famer, and as Henry Abbott said to me Wednesday, “no team would double them in the post, but they double Melo.” That helps create shots for others.
Thorpe goes on to describe Trent Jr. as an “electric offensive weapon” and praises the Blazers for their patience in developing him.