Carmelo Anthony on Thunder struggling vs. sub-.500 teams
The Oklahoma City Thunder kicked off the new year with dominant back-to-back wins at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, they have cooled off a bit since then after now dropping three straight with their disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
While losing to formidable contenders in the Western Conference like the Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers are always bothersome, it is their losses to the teams below .500 that have really stung. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, superstar forward Carmelo Anthony acknowledged the fact that the Thunder have been a bit lax versus weaker opponents in the first half of the 2017-18 NBA season:
“Anybody would say that we probably take teams for granted. I don’t know if that’s the case. But it just ironic that we’re very good against the great teams and we’re not so good against the below-average teams. That’s something we have to fix for the second-half of the season.”
Anthony added that Oklahoma City’s struggles can be attributed to their mental approach.
“I think it’s a mentality thing … we have to change our mentality. Now in the second half of the season we half to change out mentality. Every game counts, every moment counts. Regardless of who we’re playing, we got to take that mentality into that game.”
As the Thunder have continued to flounder, so too has Anthony’s performance. The veteran forward was enjoying one efficient outing after another during the team’s hot streak. However, he has now gone just 19-for-50 from the field during their three-game skid.
He is not the only member of Oklahoma City’s Big 3 that has been struggling. That said, his performance this season has largely been a reflection of how the Thunder are performing as a whole.