Carmelo Anthony had another impressive performance on Tuesday, as he helped the Portland Trail Blazers to a 111-110 victory against the Phoenix Suns. However, one of the things that stood out the most was Anthony's defense on the evening.
Melo is by no means a defensive stopper, and as a matter of fact, many consider this to be the Achilles heel of his game. Nevertheless, Anthony held his own on Tuesday, and at one point, took on the challenge of Suns forward Dario Saric, who tried to score on Anthony in the post.
“I like those moments,” Anthony said, via Jason Quick of The Athletic. “That’s into my favor when we are allowed to bang and be physical down there; I actually enjoy that type of game.”
Saric obviously wanted to expose Melo on the block, but to his credit, Anthony exhibited his defensive ability, coming up with the crucial stop midway through the fourth quarter. Melo is relishing these challenges:
“That particular moment, I welcome that,” Anthony said of his stand against Saric. “Playing great post defense and being smart, using my physicality and my speed and my hands at the same time.”
Anthony was visibly involved throughout the contest, constantly communicating with his teammates on both ends of the floor. While this may have come as a surprise for some, the 10-time All-Star explained that this was all in a day's work for him:
“I’ve always done it. I think people just pick and choose what they want to talk about and what they want to highlight,” Anthony said Monday. “But this has always been me. Now it’s just being, I don’t know, broadcast a little bit more now that I’m here. But that’s always been me, being vocal like that.”
Anthony finished the contest with 23 points (on 8-of-16 shooting), four 3-pointers, eight rebounds, an assist, two steals, and three blocks. The 35-year-old has been great since teaming up with the Blazers, and at this point, it appears his resurgence is now in full swing.