17 November 2019 06:40
After last night's loss to the Orlando Magic, the Spurs are back in San Antonio for a SEGABABA against the Portland Trail Blazers. With Dejounte Murray out (he has yet to be cleared by doctors to play on back-to-backs), the Spurs have recalled rookie swingman Keldon Johnson for tonight's match-up. Per the Spurs' official press release: The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have recalled guard Keldon Johnson from the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League. In four total games with Austin, Johnson is averaging a team-best 22.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.8 minutes. Johnson will be available tonight when the Spurs take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center.
Johnson has looked great so far in the G-League. Lonnie Walker IV will likely remain ahead of him on the depth chart, but if the Spurs do something they have yet to do this season and produce some garbage time, he might get a chance to see the floor for his first regular season NBA action. Carmelo Anthony recently signed a non guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. After many assumed his NBA career was over, Melo now has the chance to show he still has what it takes to play in this league. Carmelo Anthony has a lot to prove and wants to leave the NBA on his terms.
Standing 6'9 with a seven-foot wing span he has a high release and can easily shoot over smaller players in today's switch heavy NBA. Though the analytics movement may frown on Melo's mid range game, new teammate CJ McCollum has made a career out of these shots. If the defense gives him this type of shot, then he will knock them down. While on court with Lillard and McCollum he will get open shots, and defensive schemes plan towards giving teams midrange shots. Melo can benefit from the spacing provided by his élite teammates in this regard. Rebounding and physical presence Melo isn't the young version of himself who gobbled up every rebound, but he is still a physical presence down low. In recent games this team was out rebounded when guys like Hassan Whiteside were off the floor. Though Nassir Little and Rodney Hood have good size they don't have the weight of some of their larger opponents, and end up getting pushed around in the post or under the rim. Melo on the other hand is 6'9 and 240 pounds. He will fight for position and provide a strong physical presence when he is on court. Though he may not be a plus defender, his rebounding can be a positive for this team as they've struggled to clean the glass in recent matchups. Melo also doesn't mind a bit of rough and tumble. Having a veteran presence whose played fifteen seasons in the league is huge for this team. He will shoot the ball The one thing that Melo hasn't lost, will be his confidence. In ten games for the Rockets last season, though unsuccessful overall, he had two outings where he hit six three pointers. Whether off the dribble or the catch, he will look to score the ball aggressively. Though he isn't a thirty point a night guy anymore he will suck in defenders. This is huge for the Blazers as they try to take some of the offensive load off their main guys. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum currently lead the league in minutes, if Melo can ease the burden on these two this will help them in their quest for another playoff run. People may criticize Melo but he can take and make tough shots. He has a short memory and will keep shooting if he is open. Carmelo Anthony is a proven scorer who has the swagger and confidence to bring a real positive energy to this team. If his shot drops he can add 12 – 18 points a night and be the difference maker this team needs. On a non guaranteed contract its a low risk move for both parties. Here's hoping Melo can provide some of the spark this team needs to get out of the rut they are in. Note: A number of things could be going on here.