There was a point in time when Carmelo Anthony was considered one of the best, or even in some discussions, the best player in the NBA. He was rocking the braids, the baggy clothes, and occasionally the loose fitted du-rag. It wasn't exactly a time when basketball players were dressing to impress. But once he started playing in New York, that all changed. He married Lala, he became a well-dressed man, and his children became models. But besides the occasional big game from Carmelo here and there, we haven't seen that same player that used to dominate for the Denver Nuggets. Maybe we need him to rock some baggy clothes again to get his mind right, or maybe he should rock his USA jersey underneath his uniform, or maybe he should rock the hoodie everywhere he goes. We need the old Carmelo back.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had somewhat of a disappointing regular season, at least in terms of what was expected of them. They traded away and released a handful of bench players and Victor Oladipo to acquire Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. It was supposed to be easy, they were supposed to score 130 points per game. But as we have seen over the course of the season, there has been many growing pains and questions about how these guys can fit together.
But even with their lack of dominance that everyone expected, they still managed to get home court advantage as the 4 seed in the first round and a matchup with the Utah Jazz. They are currently up 1-0 in the series and their Game 1 featured Paul George absolutely going off for 36 points on 8/11 from three point land. He was talking all trash to Joe Ingles, who has been a key offensive weapon for the Jazz all season, but has no chance in hell of guarding Paul George. Carmelo poured in 15 points, and the Thunder got solid play from Alex Abrines and Steven Adams. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell played great, but over the course of the series will have his hands full with Russel Westbrook, who is coming off of another triple-double season. The first game will be indicative of what the series will be like, and the Thunder will simply be too much for the Jazz when they win in 5 games.
The second round will be the toughest test for the Thunder, as they will have to face the best team in basketball in the Houston Rockets. Westbrook has been on a mission to defeat everyone in his path, especially those he has formerly played with. James Harden against Russ for 7 games might be the most explosive offensive showing we have seen between two point guards in any series in NBA history. These guys will average 30 points and 10 assists and will do whatever they can to drag their team to the finish line. The Thunder had sticky fingers all season and led the NBA in steals per game, and with a team that has two point guards in their starting lineup, the aggressive defensive play will shut down all passing lanes. Outside of Harden, the Rockets are not great at isolation, and the Thunder will do their part to force their shooters to create their own shots. The defense of the Thunder will come up huge in Game 7 when they force 20 turnovers and block Harden's game series clinching shot at the buzzer.
Westbrook's revenge tour will continue when he and the Thunder face off against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. The teams split their season series 2-2 with three of the four games resulting in blowout victories. Steph Curry will not be able to overcome his injury, and the Warriors will have to play the series without him. This will open the door for the Thunder, and we will get another level of Russ that we have never seen before. He will Lebron-like as he will average a triple-double over a 7 game series against the Warriors. The key in this series will be Carmelo Anthony as he will be matched up against Kevin Durant. Somehow, someway, we will finally get what we wanted from Carmelo; Hoodie Melo. He will drop 60 points in a huge Game 6 victory that will force a Game 7 in Oakland. Paul George will hit 10 three's and will lock up Klay Thompson, and Russ will have the first 20-20-20 game in Game 7 history. People will put Durant's face on that meme of Wolverine looking at that framed picture and it will be of Steph Curry.
Having George, Westbrook, Melo, and Lebron in the NBA Finals will make for one hell of a show. It will also feature some of the best dressed men in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers had one of the worst defenses in the NBA all season, and by this time nothing will have changed. Lebron will carry his team to this point and will average a triple-double throughout the entire playoffs, another historic notch in his belt. But all will be for not as the Thunder's offense will prove to be too much. The role players of the Thunder will lock in defensively all series and will allow their Big3 to carry the offensive load. The Thunder were 5th in the rebounds per game, and the lack of big men on the Cavs will allow Steven Adams to dominate the boards and give his team all the second and third chances they need, All three of those guys will average 25+ points over a 7 game series and will prove to the world that this experiment worked. Russel Westbrook will win the NBA Finals MVP and will call out every player, coach, and media member that doubted him in alphabetical order. The 3 hour speech will be on the bonus footage of the NBA Finals Blu-Ray.
Why Not Russ?
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.