Carmelo Steps Up; Buries Rockets

He is the most under appreciated player of his generation, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history and had the unfortunate experience of wasting the prime of his career with the New York Knicks. Last night, Carmelo delivered a performance that reminded everyone why he is a Hall of Fame player and why he is so important to the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the final minutes of Tuesday nights game against the surging Houston Rockets, Carmelo blocked a crucial shot from Rockets guard PJ Tucker and then with 50 seconds left, Carmelo buried a three pointer to put the Blazers up by five to seal the crucial victory to put the Blazers a game and a half behind the eight seeded Memphis Grizzlies. The big piece of the NBA restart is that if the 9th seeded team is within four games of the 8th seeded team at the end of the regular season they will play a simulated series to see who will represent the conference as the 8th seed. The 9th seed would have to beat the 8th seed twice before the 8th seeded team wins one game.

The Trail Blazers are a very dangerous team in my opinion and if they are able to capture the 8 seed and get into the post-season and square up against the Los Angeles Lakers, I think they have a real chance to pull off the upset. The Blazers struggled early on in the year to find their flow and learn how to play together but they are now looking like a well oiled machine that could make some serious noise in the NBA post-season. The Blazers have three legitimate NBA stars on this roster, Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony and CJ McCollum. Lillard and McCollum are the one-two punch and at this stage in his career, Anthony serves as one of the best third wheels in the NBA, last night Carmelo contributed a double-double in 36 minutes, scoring 15 and grabbing 11 rebounds, Lillard dropped 21-9-8 and McCollum had 20 and 7.

The Blazers have five games left in the restart and there are not any easy matchups. The square up with the Nuggets, Clippers and Sixers starting tomorrow night through the weekend. They will then finish up with the Mavericks and on August 13th, the restart will conclude with a matchup with the Nets who were supposed to be a complete push-over are now winning games against teams like the Bucks. This is going to be a tough stretch for Portland so it will be a phenomenal test heading into the 8-9 matchup or the NBA playoffs depending on how they finish along with the Memphis Grizzlies.

I am rooting for this team, I would love to see them be the 8 seed and ruin LeBron’s season, I love Carmelo, aside from Patrick Ewing he has been my guy and made my Knicks fan experience one of the only memorable of my lifetime. I am pulling for Portland to make some noise and make a deep playoff run, they are a fun team and with Carmelo they have the NBA experience that can help propel a young team to a memorable end of the season.