Early Sixth Man of the Year Candidate

NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have been a tough team to figure out thus far. Blowing another lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, the purple and gold are simply not the same without their leader LeBron James on the floor. However if there’s one bright spot the coaching staff can be proud of it is the play of veteran guard Carmelo Anthony. 

Impressive Shooting From Beyond the Arc

To begin his 19th season, Anthony is already looking like a front-runner for Sixth Man of the Year honors. Through nine games he is averaging 17 points and shooting an absurd 50.5 percent from the field and 52.5 from three-point range. In the losing effort against the Thunder, Anthony scored 21 points off the bench to keep the Lakers in a tight game down the stretch.

Whether Anthony can keep this up only time will tell, but for now he is red hot and the Lakers should continue spacing the floor for him. No one is concerned about the passing for the Lakers. Their dilemma is the lack of scoring with James out. Though still premature it is safe to say that Anthony has bought into his role and is determined to carry the load on any given night.

The Big Three Effect

Part of being a sixth man is figuring out how to fit with the best players on the court. For the Lakers sake, elite passers like James Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo have most contributed to Anthonys hot hand. When they drive and need someone to kick out to Anthony will always be camped out on the sideline waiting for the ball.

He may occasionally cut here and there but it’s obvious he is most dangerous as a sniper from deep. The Lakers ability to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with players who can hit perimeter shots has been a disappointment over the years. Now inserting Anthony into the equation, it gives the big three a break and allows them to trust a reliable scorer. 

Confident In His Role

Often times when players get older it becomes easier for them to accept a lesser role. For Anthony he has accepted his role off the bench in search for his first title. Gone are the days of competing for the scoring crown in a New York Knick uniform. On the Thunder and Rockets he proved that he had juice left in the tank still and wasn’t ready to hang it up just yet.

It is evident now that Anthony is going nowhere anytime soon. He could play for three more years. But the window is closing for his championship aspirations and thats the reason he decided to join the Lakers. Having the skillset he provides and the pieces around him, winning the sixth man and the chip would be a dream scenario to ride off into the sunset with. 

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  1. Pingback: Marvin Bagley Refuses to Play for the Kings - Championship Sports Media

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