Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony suffers left knee contusion, questionable to return
He suffered a left knee contusion during the first half and was immediately subbed off before the injury becomes worse. This is unfortunate news for Blazers fans as Melo was actually playing good basketball, per Casey Holdahl.
Blazers 57, Magic 44: halftime. 15 points, 2 rebounds/assists for @Dame_Lillard. 11 points, 3 rebounds for @CJMcCollum. 6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks for @youngwhiteside. 5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks for @carmeloanthony, who is questionable to return with a left knee contusion
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 21, 2019
While they still have the manpower to possibly finish the game by themselves, it’s still a big loss for them that Anthony may spend the remainder of the game sitting on the bench.
After all, his stats tell fans all they need to know about Melo’s contribution to the game so far. The things he now brings to the table are facts of the game the Blazers badly need.
Everyone knows that Anthony is still a solid scorer, and his season average of 17 points a game is proof of that. The 11 points they’re missing out on might be the points that will cause them the game.
However, the biggest thing they will miss from an absent Anthony is his defense.
Yes, Melo is now playing great defense since he made his basketball comeback. The fact that he notched three blocks for the Blazers is proof of how he’s grown as a player so far. His defense has gotten better as well: he’s stealing the ball 1.4 times a game, the highest in his career.
Fortunately, the Magic don’t seem to have any game-changing players who can take advantage of Anthony’s injury. But losing a key cog to their gameplan is certainly going to make things more difficult for Damian Lillard and Portland.