Carmelo, Blazers force themselves to the ninth spot

Carmelo, Blazers force themselves to the ninth spot

Carmelo Anthony and the Blazers took a nail-biting win against the Houston Rockets after a game-sealing shot by the veteran.

The contest for the eighth spot in the Western Conference is heating up. It could down as one of the most entertaining parts of the restarted NBA season.

The Grizzlies could be in trouble as the lower-seeded teams find their groove. Consequently, they are in a precarious situation. The Spurs and the Blazers are hot on their tracks, which could be detrimental for the Grizzlies.

Carmelo proving doubters wrong

Anthony was one of the veterans left unsigned early in the season. He showed via social media what he was still capable of. Fortunately, the Blazers needed reliable bodies after losing so much talent because of injuries. Their gamble paid off. The 36-year-old veteran immediately went to work and carried the Blazers in crucial situations.

Melo immediately became the third scoring option in the team behind Lillard and McCollum. He proved it once again after he sank the go-ahead 3-point bucket with less than a minute left against the Rockets. It was a sweet moment for Melo as it was sort of a revenge shot against the team that dropped him after his short run with them.

However, he dismissed it by saying,

“No, the meaning it carried a little bit from the simple fact that we knew how important this game was to us and we approached this game as a must win just as we did in the previous two games… But tonight we all stepped up to the challenge.”

Scary and healthy Blazers team

The Portland Trailblazers have gotten back into full strength after being handicapped almost the entire season. The Bosnian Beast, Jusuf Nurkic, looks a step slower than he used to before the injury. However, it could just be attributed to rust. Nonetheless, he’s back to his old ways of cleaning the boards and defending the paint.

The other teams in the same position as the Grizzlies mostly had their team intact up to this point in the bubble. The Blazers didn’t have the same luck. Nonetheless, they’re looking to be the Playoffs contenders that they were expected off during the start of the season.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have always been locked in. Their backcourt is flanked by Carmelo Anthony and the big-men combination of Whiteside, Nurkic, and Collins.

Having them in full power is a scary thought for the Grizzlies. They wouldn’t want to go toe-to-toe with these veterans in the play-in games. If they do, Ja Morant might as well kiss his Playoffs debut goodbye.

Image from Bleacher Report/ YouTube thumbnail

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