Throughout Carmelo Anthony’s storied career, he was known for beating players off the dribble, and using his beautiful footwork to get off clean looks from just about anywhere on the court.
Going into year 19, Anthony understands he is near the twilight of his career, and he has to rely more on his experience than his skillset to gain an advantage on opponents.
The one skillset that is usually last to leave players as the ability to shoot as they get older. Pure shooters tend to have longevity in the league, take for example Kyle Korver and his 17 year career.
General manager Rob Pelinka constructed the roster to have better shooters around LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Spacing is key for James and Westbrook to become effective as they attack the rim. During a recent press conference, Pelinka bought up Anthony’s spot-up shooting as key for the Lakers success.
Per NBA.com stats, the Lakers finished in the bottom half of catch and shoot three pointers, at 36.9% ranked 19th of 30 teams.
In 69 games for the Trailblazers last season, Anthony attempted about 3.1 catch and shoot threes, converting at a 39.6% clip.
The front office has in large part failed to surround James and Anthony Davis with quality, consistent long-range shooting. Danny Green, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Kuzma, and others have come and gone, but the same question remains on the reliability of the role players making threes.
Anthony will need to knock down catch and shoot threes at a 40% rate if he is to stay effective on the court. His defense and offensive ISO-play are definitely not his strongest attributes at this juncture of his career.