Carmelo Anthony has played a greater role in 2021-22 than many Los Angeles Lakers fans predicted ahead of the season.
Anthony remains the Lakers’ fourth-best scorer among players who have featured in at least five games this year, becoming the second unit’s leader along the way. The 37-year-old boasted a 3-point field goal percentage in the low-50s in the first 11 outings of the new campaign.
When the forward cooled off from downtown in recent games — and with LeBron James still out with an injury — head coach Frank Vogel moved him into the starting lineup to change things up.
Overall, the Year 19 veteran has seen a major uptick in the minutes he spends on the floor compared to last year. Anthony is averaging 28.8 minutes per game after playing 24.5 a night in 2020-21.
But the Lakers’ forward says his increased workload doesn’t concern him.
“I try not to think about it,” Anthony said. “We never know what’s going to happen as far as what’s needed. Roles. Minutes. For me personally, I just try to take it game to game.
“Whatever I need to get ready for that game, I’ll do to get ready for that game. I worry about the games after that, the other games after that.”
However, Anthony acknowledged he has felt some tiredness that might have contributed to the dip in his shooting efficiency.
“Some nights,” he said. “It hasn’t happened often, a couple nights you feel it and try to get something else, try to do something else, get something easier. Especially for me personally, the way that teams try to defend and try to guard, keep somebody on me all night.
“So you got to be smart and strategic to figure it out, just kind of being smart about it.”
Anthony: Lakers have no excuses for poor shooting against Bulls
Anthony rediscovered his rhythm on offense in his first start of the season against the San Antonio Spurs — but only to end the 121-103 loss to the Chicago Bulls 0-for-4 from downtown the following night.
Overall, the Lakers shot a tragic 18.8% from beyond the arc, which allowed Chicago to gradually extend their lead without facing pressure from L.A. In postgame, Anthony didn’t hide his frustration with the team’s shooting woes against the Bulls.
“I don’t think you’re going to beat anybody shooting 6-for-32 from three in today’s game,” he admitted. “So we can talk about all the things that went on tonight, but when you shoot 6-for-32 from three, you’re not going to beat anybody unless you’re just on it, you’re on point in every other aspect of the game…
“So there’s no excuses for that, we shot 18% tonight from three.”
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