Carmelo Anthony: Thunder Angry, Not Frustrated by Early Struggles

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) stands on the floor during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony acknowledged something isn't working with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the moment. He just has no plans to follow in his friend Dwyane Wade's footsteps and make a move to the bench. 

"Nobody is moping around, nobody is frustrated—I think guys are angry, I think guys are pissed," Anthony told reporters Thursday. "That just comes from your competitive nature and wanting to win games, understanding the talent level we have over here and not being able to put it together right now." 

The Thunder have dropped three straight and five of their last six games, putting them at 8-12 on the season. Anthony said "hell no" when asked if there was a need for coach Billy Donovan to make a lineup change.

"We're fine, man. It's on us to figure out how we're going to be consistent. I think that's our biggest downfall right now, we're not a consistent team. Once we get that consistency and the way we want to play and continue that level of play throughout the game, we'll see that turnaround."

Anthony, 33, is averaging a career-low 19.7 points and 6.2 rebounds on a career-worst 41.8 percent shooting from the floor. His 32.2 minutes per game are also the lowest he's ever played, with the Thunder attempting to find a workable lineup with Russell Westbrook and Paul George also needing time as the primary scoring option.

The results have not been promising. Westbrook, George and Anthony are all having down statistical seasons without any of the team accomplishments they were expecting. Through the first quarter of the season, Oklahoma City sits 10th in the Western Conference.

Their offense, expected to be the calling card of the roster, currently sits 22nd in efficiency. Perhaps the most surprising stat is the Thunder currently ranking third in defense and defending well when their starting five is on the floor. The trio has not learned how to play together as individuals, and Donovan has not adapted his offense to incorporate more movement-based sets to get the ball working around the perimeter.

If the Thunder figure out their offensive woes, they shouldn't have any trouble moving into the conversation for the No. 4-6 seeds. Despite their struggles, they're only 4.5 games back of the fourth slot. 

All statistics via NBA.com.

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