Carmelo Anthony speaks out on serving bench role in Blazers’ preseason debut
Carmelo Anthony’s had a productive first game as the lead reserve for the Portland Trail Blazers in their first preseason outing against the Sacramento Kings. Melo spoke about coming off the bench, a role he’s committed to serving for Portland this 2020-21 season.
“I went out there approaching the game the same way”, Melo said, via Alexandros Tsakos of talkbasket.net. “It’s basketball skill reasons coming off the bench, It’s what’s best for the actual team in this environment”.
“It was a different emotion, a different feeling, but once you get past that, it’s basketball”, the Blazers’ superstar said.
Blazers fans must love hearing this from the 36-year old. It’s certainly different from how he approached coming off the bench in the past. The future Hall of Famer has expressed his qualms over serving a reserve role in his previous stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
After starting Melo in all his 58 appearances with the squad in 2019-20, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has committed to start newly acquired wings Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. at the forward spots. Anthony admitted he will need to warm up to this new role with Portland.
The Blazers have much more depth at the forward spots this upcoming season with their new additions, along with the return of veteran lefty Rodney Hood. With that, Portland can afford to bring a former scoring champ off the bench. Despite being 36, Anthony can certainly still light up second units.
He gave a glimpse of that on Friday night. Anthony made the most of his new role by pouring on 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc in 23 minutes.