Carmelo Anthony has spent the majority of his career as the No. 1 scoring option and go-to guy on every team he was on. After a period of adjustment with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, Anthony has settled into the role of a No. 3 option behind teammates Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Fits and starts marked the start of 2017-18 for OKC, with team meetings and internal discussion about the state of the team a topic of conversation in November in December. OKC is 11-5 since mid-December and after last night's win against the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony spoke up about his new role. Royce Young of ESPN.com has more:
"Once you accept something, regardless of what it is, I think you become comfortable with it," he said. "You start putting your all into it, you start working on that role and on that acceptance, and it becomes fun. I think right now, after accepting that role, I think early in December, the game is starting to become fun again for me, fun for us as a team. Any time you get to making shots and winning basketball games, it makes it that much more fun."
Anthony was dominant on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Thunder's 114-90 win, leading all scorers with 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3. As Anthony heated up, especially in the third quarter, both Westbrook and George deferred to him, trying to find shots to keep Anthony cooking.
"I think any time you're making shots you feel good about yourself and what you're doing, what the team is doing," Anthony said. "Tonight was just one of those nights where the shot was falling and the game was fun. And we took advantage of that."
Anthony is averaging 17.4 points per game this season, a career low, while also taking the fewest shots per game of his career. Since Christmas, as Anthony has settled more into his requested role, his efficiency has gone up (47 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3). The Thunder are 17-8 since Dec. 1.
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