Mid-afternoon on September 23, 2017 Carmelo Anthony’s New York nightmare finally came to an end. Anthony waived his no trade clause then the New York Knicks gave in and dealt him away to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return the Knicks received Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 first round pick.
Now, take a look at the projected starting lineup for the Thunder.
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Andre Roberson
SF: Paul George
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Steven Adams
See any problem with that? In that lineup there are three players who demand the ball all of the time, one player who cannot shoot (Andre Roberson) and an overrated center who is paid too much.
This team will not survive especially in the loaded Western Conference. This team will not gel properly and it will probably end up just like any other team with Carmelo on it. He will get frustrated he does not have the ball in his hands and complain about it.
Yes, this team is much better then it was from last year and most likely fun to watch, but the Thunder who got desperate trying to improve now have three ball-centric players.
Three isolation players and two of them (Westbrook and Anthony) do not play a wink of defense. This whole situation is a mess and it just does not look good for the Thunder’s front office.
Here is how this season will turn out for the Thunder.
They will finish top five in the Western Conference, probably third or fourth seed, and then get knocked out in the second round. After the playoff defeat, Paul George will be frustrated that Westbrook and Carmelo have not played defense all season and can not shoot three’s in a league where three’s are crucial in order to win and he will be out the door immediately heading straight to Los Angeles.
This simply will not work out for the Thunder, turnovers will cost them, for a second straight year not having anyone who can shoot the three and egos will get in the way. If Russell Westbrook can drive the second best player in the world in Kevin Durant out of Oklahoma City then what is stopping him from driving out two top twenty-five players in the NBA?