The Lakers are still finding their way this season, but one bright spot has been the addition of reserve forward Carmelo Anthony. Here’s the Los Angeles Times on it:
Fans’ cheers were still echoing in Staples Center when Carmelo Anthony, wearing street clothes, tinted glasses and a thoughtful smile, came backstage to meet the media Monday night.
The sellout crowd of 18,997 roared at his every move, soaking up the energy Anthony brought off the Lakers’ bench and into the game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday and reflecting it back at him in cheers and chants. He was in his element, putting the Lakers ahead for good in overtime by scoring the last three points of his season-high 29 as they held on for a 126-123 victory, a game that will make few highlight films except those that preserve the best moments of Anthony’s stellar career.
There were so many good moments on Monday — the seven-for-10 shooting from three-point range, the warm bond between him and the crowd, the boost he gave a team that still hasn’t figured out how to mesh without the injured LeBron James — that it was difficult to imagine Anthony’s career appeared to be over not so long ago.
Released by the Houston Rockets 10 games into the 2018-19 season, Anthony was out of the NBA until the Portland Trail Blazers signed him in November 2019. “I honestly never understood it. I really didn’t,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
Anthony gave Portland two solid seasons coming off the bench before he signed with the Lakers in August. “He’s obviously got a lot in the tank and we’re excited to have him,” Vogel said. “I just never understood it.”
The Lakers are 6-5 this season, which is the 8th best record in the Western conference.
Their leading scorers early in the 2021-22 season are LeBron James at 24.8 points per game, Anthony Davis at 23.9 ppg, Russell Westbrook at 18.8 ppg, then Anthony at 17.6 ppg.
Anthony is hitting 50% FG, and 52% from three-point range.
LeBron is currently injured and has played in just six of the team’s first 11 games.