Carmelo Anthony embraces his Olympic self, saving Blazers with hot shooting against the Grizzlies
Olympic 'Melo is the NBA's Bigfoot. Every now and then, it looks like we've finally spotted a version of Carmelo Anthony capable of helping a winning team as a 3-point marksman that doesn't need to monopolize the ball, but he vanishes as soon as he appears. He took the right shots in Houston, but was banished after 11 games because he was missing them. He started making his shots again in Portland, but not without plenty of isolations and jab steps in the picture.
But on Friday, we finally saw it. Hard and fast evidence that Olympic 'Melo does, in fact, exist on the NBA stage in the context of high-stakes basketball. His Portland Trail Blazers played against the Memphis Grizzlies in what amounted to a pseudo playoff game. Portland entered the day stuck in the morass of possible Western Conference No. 9 seeds, 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies with an absolutely brutal schedule ahead of them in Orlando. A loss, given that schedule and the easy one in front of the New Orleans Pelicans, may have doomed their playoff chances.
Enter, 'Melo. Down two with a minute and a half remaining, a desperate Zach Collins kicked the ball out to a wide-open Anthony, who knocked down the corner 3-pointer to put Portland up by one.
CLUTCH SKINNY MELO pic.twitter.com/acOmWITRp1— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) July 31, 2020
Memphis took the lead back, and with 40 seconds remaining, the Blazers leaned on Carmelo again. Down one, Damian Lillard attacked the basket before throwing it back out to C.J. McCollum, who swung it to Anthony in the corner for yet another dagger.
Portland delivered down the stretch to secure their first win in Orlando
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