Monday night's blowout victory against a hapless Chicago Bulls side was an excellent preview of a best-case scenario in terms of Carmelo Anthony's fit with the Portland Trail Blazers. The 10-time All-Star was in vintage form, putting up 25 points (on 10-of-20 shooting), four 3-pointers, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal, and two turnovers in 31 minutes of play. This was just Anthony's fourth game for his new team, and at this point, it does appear that the Melo experiment in Portland just might come to fruition.
This was easily Anthony's best game in a Blazers uniform, and it's no coincidence that this was Portland's first win since the 35-year-old veteran made his debut. Melo was hot right off the gates, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, en route to a game-high and season-high 25 points for the 6-foot-8 forward.
Throughout the contest, Anthony was great in spacing the floor for the Blazers. He was able to knock down a fair amount of catch-and-shoot attempts, allowing his other teammates to function more freely with Melo serving as another legitimate threat for Chicago's defense.
It is also worth noting that this was only Anthony's second game playing alongside Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard, who himself is playing through a lingering back issue. How Melo is able to co-exist with Portland's cornerstone star will definitely play a huge role for the team moving forward. From the little we've seen, however, there have been some encouraging signs, so this is definitely a partnership that could blossom in the near future.
One thing that we cannot overlook, though, is that the Blazers were up against the Bulls here, who — let's face it — are one of the worst sides in the NBA today. It was indeed an easy win for Portland (the game ended with a final score of 117-94), but one that they were heavily favored to win anyway.
This was just Portland's third win out of 13 November games, and given their current slump, this was definitely a must-win contest for them. Credit has to be given for the Blazers for securing the victory, as anything less would have spelled disaster not only for the team, but for Anthony as well. Had the Bulls emerged victorious in this one, then this write-up would have probably been executed with a more condemning tone, with the scapegoat likely being Melo himself.
Right now, though, Carmelo Anthony Anthony has had a relatively good start with his new squad, and if all goes according to plan, he should be able to provide the Blazers with some much needed help moving forward.