Should Carmelo Anthony come off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers?

Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers . (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers . (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

"Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony famously uttered the words ‘ I’m not sacrificing no bench role. ‘ Is it time now for him to do just that?"

Carmelo Anthony is an important part of this Portland Trail Blazers team. With the NBA returning in early-August with a mad eight-game run for the playoffs, Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic will now join the team and compete with Melo for big man minutes.

We know that in the past, Melo was reluctant to come off the bench. His famous introductory press conference for the Oklahoma City Thunder when he laughed at reporters who suggested he may come off the bench, was in the past, he is in a different position in his career now.

Skip forward two years, Melo may be in a position now where he doesn’t have a choice. As detailed in previous articles about his role on the team, he does have an important place in the rotation. His size, spacing and experience will all be key in the frantic run to try and make the Western Conference playoffs.

But, with this teams abysmal regular season defense so far, the best place for Melo may be coming off the bench and letting Collins take his place at the four. If Hassan Whiteside is the starting five next to Collins, then Nurkic and Melo could potentially form a nice front-court off the bench.

Because of Nurkic’s superior defense, he is a better fit with Melo, while Collins’ superior defense to Melo means he is a better fit with Whiteside.

Melo can terrorise opponents bench units with his scoring and size. At this stage of his career, this may be a better option. Especially with Gary Trent Jr able to slot in at the two or the three, Melo can be part of a strong bench unit.

There’s no reason for him to feel aggrieved about a potential decision like this. The reason he had 32.5 minutes a night and 50 games started this season was because of the injuries to Collins and then Rodney Hood. Now with Nurkic and Collins back, Melo can fit seamlessly into a role that reflects his age and current impact on the team.

He can still have a big role in NBA Orlando, but it won’t be 14 shots a night. He will probably spend time playing with the starters regardless of his role, but the focus needs to be on more two-way play.

This is where Collins may fit the bill better. He can still space the floor like Melo, and although he obviously isn’t a great shot creator like Melo, he is similar from a passing stand-point. Collins main difference is his superior defense. Especially rim protection, but he can also defend away from the hoop a little while showing strength in the post too.

Collins career stats aren’t anything to write home about, but we know the breakout he was about to have, his versatility and skill are exactly what’s needed on this team for the playoff push.

Next. The Portland Trail Blazers final roster spot: 4 options that could them over the top. dark

With Melo’s senior position in both the league and this team, he should have no problem accepting a bench role if thats what’s required of him. Maybe Collins isn’t ready to start yet, but if he is, then Melo’s role as a leader and scorer will only change slightly.

The Blazers need to shore up their bottom five ranked defense. The fastest way to do this is by adding Nurkic and Collins into the mix straight away.