Portland Trail Blazers: Carmelo Anthony has been clutch in NBA Bubble

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony has been huge in the NBA Bubble. Through nine games, he has been one of the league’s best clutch performers.

Portland Trail Blazers forward and NBA legend Carmelo Anthony raised his game in the NBA Bubble, increasing his points per game and his efficiency. Clearly, Melo has been a player for the big moments for his whole career. But, he hasn’t had many opportunities in games that matter recently.

Melo has amazingly only played in seven playoff games in the last seven years. His previous playoff series, he was the third option on a poorly built Oklahoma City Thunder team, where he functioned as a spot-up shooter.

Melo has reinvented himself in Portland. Not with his playstyle, but by being in great shape and buying into a system where some nights he has a significant role and some nights he has a small role.

He still gets the ball in his hands, he posts up and shoots the midrange too. He is still the same old Melo, but Coach Stotts lets him play to his strengths.

This has meant that down the stretch of games, he has been able to hover in the corners and knock down some of the biggest shots of his life to help the Blazers to the playoffs, and now a one – zero lead in the NBA playoffs.

The below stats illustrate just how clutch he has been. He has got better as the game has worn on.

Overall, Melo hasn’t been efficient from two-point range, but it hasn’t mattered. He has rebounded well, played some defense when needed, and moved the ball to his teammates when they were open.

After nearly a year away from the NBA, that Melo has come back and is performing at this level on the biggest stage, says a lot about him as a player and a person. The Blazers have a one-nil lead over the Los Angeles Lakers, and I feel like this isn’t the last we see from Melo in the clutch.