As the Thunder have struggled to find consistency and offensive rhythm this season, Carmelo Anthony has been at the heart of it as he adjusts to a new role and position in Oklahoma City. But on Friday, Anthony showcased the kind of offensive player coach Billy Donovan has been envisioning playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. With the majority of his looks, particularly from 3-point range, coming in catch-and-shoot situations, Anthony scored 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting, including 7-of-12 from 3, in a 120-117 win over the Atlanta Hawks. "One hundred percent," Donovan said when asked if that was the ideal kind of offensive game for Anthony. "I give him a lot of credit because this is different for him, and he's really been open-minded about trying to do whatever he can do to help the team. And as a coach you really appreciate someone that's been in the game such a long time and established himself as a 10-time All-Star, 14 years in the league, one of the all-time greats, that he's willing to look at ways that he can do things a little bit differently to help our team." With the Hawks overcoming a 16-point second-half deficit to take a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, Westbrook and Anthony settled into a two-man game, running a heavy dose of pick-and-pop as Anthony hit a series of crucial late jumpers. "I think for me it's just a matter of accepting that role. That's all it is," Anthony said. "Realizing that's what it's going to be, these are the type of shots I'm going to get, this is the type of offense we're going to be running and accepting that, and working on that role. That's something that I've kind of been doing over the past week, is allowing myself to accept that role and do whatever I gotta do to make this team win." Anthony's seven made 3-pointers and 12 3-point attempts were both season-highs.
Billy Donovan: Appreciate Melo being 'open-minded' with new role
ESPN | Dec 23