Melo Buys In On Playing Power Forward
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Carmelo Anthony has a history of not particularly wanting to play the power forward position mostly because he believes his natural position is small forward.
The Knicks wanted to switch and he did at times but usually ended up going back to power forward.
So when he came to the Thunder naturally a lot of folks wondered if Melo would truly consider playing the four instead of the three, after all OKC already has an All-Star at small forward and Paul George would be truly out of position trying to bang around with the big boys.
But at Monday's media day Anthony seemed ready to make the switch without much (if any) grumbling.
"I feel like there have been times where I've been my strongest at that position (power forward) and like I said earlier, I can adjust. If you need me to play the three, which is my natural position, I would do that. You need me to play the four, which I think I could actually be a lot better at the four with this team, then I'll do that."
And head coach Billy Donovan left no doubt after Tuesday's practice that Melo would indeed be playing power forward.
"He's going to start at the power forward spot for us," Donovan declared. "That's what he's going to do."
On this Thunder team, like with Team USA and even some of the Denver Nuggets teams Anthony was a part of, the fit will be best by far at the four. Melo is stout enough to bang with the big boys down low but as everyone knows he can stretch defenses out beyond the 3-point line and create mismatches.
"I have no problem with playing the four," Anthony said. "None at all. I actually like that. I actually embrace that. I think for this team it would be better for me to play the four and more beneficial to everybody."
These first few days of training camp will be mostly for the new guys (Anthony, Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton) to learn the Thunder's system and for everyone to learn about each other.
“We have to become a team. It’s a collection of all of us,” Donovan said. "We still have to be a team if we want to achieve the things we’re trying to achieve.”
“Chemistry doesn’t just happen overnight,” Anthony added, “You have to work towards that. You have to stay in the gym and build that bond between the guys. It’s not just about me, Russ and PG. It’s everybody.”