NBA Rumors: 10 Ways Carmelo Anthony Helps The LA Lakers To a Championship
It was confirmed today that the LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets have engaged in preliminary trade talks that would send Melo to the Staple Center.
No deal is in place- these are just talks.
But pairing Anthony with Bryant, along with the Lakers size in the frontcourt, would certainly make the Lakers title favorites once again.
Here are ten ways Melo can help the Lakers win their third straight NBA Championship.
1. His Scoring
Anthony is that rare superstar player who can always get his own shot.
While not a great three point shooter, Anthony excels within the paint, with an array of post-up moves. He has the quickness to get around post players, the strength to back down smaller guards, and the height to shoot over defenders.
The Lakers are an offensive minded team, but are seventh in the league in scoring right now. This team won titles because of it's defense, but with Artest on the trading block and a 36 year old point guard.
This team is not built to play a defensive game like the Celtics or Spurs do, so they should focus on improving the offense.
Melo would certainly do that.
2. His Size
Carmelo has one big advantage over every other SF in the league- his massive size.
At 6'8 230 pounds, Melo can easily back down other guards in the league. He is averaging a career high 7.8 rebounds per game as well.
Melo is a physical player who can bully his way into the lane and will command double-teams on the low post. His size and strength make him difficult to defend one on one.
He fits in well on a Lakers team built on their big men.
3. Less Pressure On Bryant
Bryant has scored 34 or more points five times this season- but the Lakers are only 1-4 in those games. He has attempted 25 or more shots nine times, with a 4-5 overall record.
The Lakers are better when Bryant is not forcing the action, and Melo would make it impossible for teams to focus on just Bryant.
Bryant could play more of a point guard role, with Gasol and Anthony providing most of the scoring.
4. More Time To Rest
With Melo in the fold, Lakers coach Phil Jackson would be able to utilize a better rotation of players.
Bryant, Gasol, and Odom could rest more with Anthony providing more scoring, so their legs can be fresh for the postseason.
With Anthony, the Lakers are likely to be involved in some blowouts as well, so Jackson could pull his starters in the second half of those games to keep his older team fresh for their ultimate goal- an NBA Championship.
5. Melo Wants A Title
Carmelo was in the same draft class as Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, and is very good friends with both of them.
Wade already has one ring, and James has teamed up with him in South Beach to try and get one himself. The two teamed up with Chrish Bosh, another player from the 2003 draft, to form a "superteam" that has garnered a lot of national attention.
Anthony, meanwhile is stuck on a Nuggets team that is getting older and fighting to stay in the playoff race.
He was booed at a home game earlier this year, and his name is brought up more in trade rumors than for his play on the court.
This is purely speculation, but I believe Melo will use this as fuel if he were traded to the Lakers.
He won a national championship in college, so he is a proven winner. His lack of success in the NBA has to be frustrating, and a trade to a team with title aspirations would likely motivate Anthony.
The Lakers are the two time defending champs and all they have heard this season has been about the Heat and the "Big Three."
Combining the two will create a team with a rejuvenated thirst for a title
7. Lakers Need More Production At SF
Ron Artest has always been a defender first, but he is averaging a career low 8.2 points per game on only 40 percent shooting.
That, coupled with Derek Fisher's lack of scoring, leaves the Lakers with two starting players averaging eight points or less (Fisher averages 6.5).
Anthony can be a liability on defense, but the Lakers need more scoring option besides Bryant and the three big men. Anthony would give them just that.
8. Lakers Have Depth In The Frontcourt
Apparently, this trade will only be completed if Andrew Bynum is included in the deal (according to ESPN NBA analyst Chris Broussard).
The Lakers will likely also have to take on some contracts from the Nuggets, but the team will be able to rebound from the loss of Bynum.
They already have Gasol and Odom in the front court, and getting rid of Bynum will open the door for Odom to play even more minutes.
Odom, always a talented player, is averaging a near double double with 15 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game, while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
To only lose Bynum in a trade for a top-five NBA player in Anthony has to be seen as a victory for the Lakers.
9. Bryant's Experience With Other Superstars
One of the biggest questions that would arise were this trade to happen would be: How do you find enough shots for both Bryant and Anthony?
While Branyt will remain the team's number one option (and go to player in crunch time), Bryant is an unselfish player who can easily play with Melo.
He was the second option to Shaquille O'Neal for eight seasons in LA, but he never complained because the Lakers were winning.
Bryant's ultimate goal is to win titles, and adding Anthony would help him do that. The chemistry between the two should be just fine.
10. Phi Jackson
The name says it all- Jackson has enough rings to fill all his fingers and then some.
Jackson has always gotten the most out of his superstar players- form Jordan to Shaq and now Kobe.
Jackson once said, "Good teams become great when the members trust each other enough to surrender the me for the we."
Jackson has always been a great motivator and always gets the most out of his players.
Anthony is good now, but expect him to get even better under Jackson. And expect the Lakers to win the title if they add Anthony.