Carmelo Anthony is showing glimpses of his best self with the Los Angeles Lakers this year, emerging as a strong Sixth Man of the Year candidate in his 19th NBA season.
Anthony had another monster game on Friday, scoring 24 points while shooting 9-for-12 (75%) from the field and 6-for-8 (75%) from behind the 3-point line in the 113-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After the game, LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t hold their tongue in praising Anthony for the value he is bringing to L.A.’s roster. And the 37-year-old forward reciprocated with kind words of his own.
Anthony credited James and his playmaking prowess for his shooting spree in a postgame chat with Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Trudell:
“Just finding my position on the court, finding my spot, playing off of those guys, reading them. I think LeBron does a great job of reading the court, seeing where everybody is at, knowing where guys are at on the floor. And today he did a great job of finding me.
Anthony quickly became one of the fans’ favorite at Staples Center despite the ups and downs that L.A. went through at the beginning of the 2021-22 season. Anthony said playing for the Lakers’ faithful comes with a different type of vigor:
“Just the energy. The energy is a lot different, something that we got to bring night in and night out because we know that teams are bringing their best every time that they step on the court against us. So the energy here is incredible, the fans have been incredible so far. Still go a long ways to go, but we want to build that, want to continue to build on that. But also we want to make this a tough place to come in and win a basketball game so it starts tonight, we’ve got eight out of nine here coming up and we want to protect our house.”
Anthony is averaging 15.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, shooting 50% from downtown for the Lakers this season.
Austin Reaves emphasizes energy among Lakers
Energy became a theme in postgame interviews following the victory over Cleveland. Rookie Austin Reaves highlighted the efforts of Lakers veterans in ensuring the team’s energy resources are topped up at all times.
“I feel like the energy is the real thing,” Reaves said.
“You can feel it, you can feel negative energy, so when you bring positive energy I think everybody just feeds off it. Everybody really brings positive energy. It kind of starts with Dwight and Russ, they’re talking all the time and bringing good energy.”
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