Lakers head coach Frank Vogel discloses the real purpose behind not starting Carmelo Anthony despite his hot start to the 2021-2022 season.
In an eventful offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers front office managed to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with some of the league’s biggest names. Acquiring superstars like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, among many others, LAL was one of the deadliest teams in the association.
Much to their surprise, the start to this young 2021-2022 season has been rather slow and underwhelming. With LBJ sidelined with injuries, Russ committing several unforced turnovers, and the team lacking on-court chemistry and explosiveness, Carmelo’s incredible performance has been one of the very few positive takeaways for the 2020 NBA champs.
Melo has been outright sensational through the first 11 games of this season. One of the league’s greatest spot-up, off-the-dribble shooters, Carmelo has been the perfect energy Frank Vogel needs for his second unit. Thriving in this sixth man position, the 10-time All-Star has been putting up 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1 assist per game so far.
Carmelo Anthony over his last 6 games:
Melo Da Gawd 🔥 pic.twitter.com/mzzj1gApY7
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 9, 2021
“Our crowds’ energy has been keeping Carmelo Anthony out of the starting line-up”: Frank Vogel
Undoubtedly, Carmelo has been one of the Lakers’ best players. Despite being in sensational form, even with Bron out with injuries, coach Vogel hasn’t started him in any of the 11 contests. While every Laker fan would love to see the 2013 scoring champ play more minutes, Frank has a justifiable answer to why the forward has been coming off the bench.
“Our crowd is amazing with him. They’re keeping him out of the starting lineup because of the energy we get when he checks in, is something that I don’t want to mess with. Obviously, there’s the temptation to move AD to the five, but I like what we’re getting with him coming off the bench. We just gotta continue.
I’m not sure what it is and he’s just a great player that I think our fans came close to acquiring a couple of times or wanted to bring him to the LA Lakers. Now we have him and he’s playing just terrific basketball. And the fans are rewarding him.”
Carmelo seems to be extremely comfortable in the sixth man role. Shooting lights out, Melo has been more efficient than players like Stephen Curry, James Harden, Luka Doncic, and many more such superstars. His 52% 3-point FG is the fourth-best in the NBA. And is third in the league with 39 made three-pointers.
LAL now has a subpar 6-5 record placing them 8th in the West. Playing their four more games at the Staples Center, the team will surely hop to grab a few wins and rise up the standings, before they go on a 5-game road trip.