Carmelo Anthony Was Carmelo Anthony in Debut for Blazers

Anthony shot an inefficient 4-of-14 from the field and committed five turnovers and five fouls

Carmelo Anthony Was Carmelo Anthony in Debut for Blazers
Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts after scoring. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
By Evan Bleier / November 20, 2019 8:57 am

Back in the NBA for the first time in more than a year and playing for a new team, Carmelo Anthony looked like his old self — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

In his first game back in the NBA since signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, Anthony shot an inefficient 4-of-14 from the field and committed five turnovers and five fouls in 24 minutes on his way to 10 points, four boards, one block and two 3-pointers.

A starter in his first game back, Anthony showed he still had his patented mid-range game, but also had multiple lapses on defense and failed to record an assist.

“It’s easy to chalk up Anthony’s first performance to rust, but he didn’t actually look rusty,” according to The New York Times. “He was able to get to his spots — often posting up or in the midrange. He just couldn’t convert very often. His stat line from Tuesday wasn’t too dissimilar from what he was doing for Houston a year ago.”

Anthony, 35, played in 10 games for the Rockets last season and averaged 13.4 points with 5.4 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals and 2.1 three-pointers per game in just over 29 minutes.

“It felt great to be back into the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong at, just be out there with the guys again, more so the routine – the team bus, team lunch … That’s the routine that I’ve been used to for 17 years now … As far as the game goes, it felt great to get back out there,” Anthony said postgame, via NBC Sports Portland.

That may be the case, but if Anthony can’t shore up his defense and shoot more efficiently, his return to the floor may be short-lived.

If Anthony remains on Portland’s roster past his contract’s January guarantee date, his $2.15 million salary will become guaranteed.

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