Carmelo Anthony’s Blistering Hot Shooting is Saving the Lakers From Total Disaster

The Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled through the first 10 games of the 2021-22 season. The lack of consistency combined with injuries is preventing the Lakers from making any significant strides. The continued struggles have featured some promising moments as Carmelo Anthony is proving to be what Los Angeles needs.

Lakers edge out the Hornets in overtime

The Lakers entered Tuesday night’s game against the Hornets, coming off back-to-back losses.

With LeBron James still sidelined, Los Angeles needed to fill his massive void collectively. Anthony Davis led the charge with a strong all-around outing, posting a game-high 32 points with 12 rebounds, five blocks, and three steals despite a lingering stomach issue.

Russell Westbrook filled the stat sheet with his second triple-double as a Laker, recording 17 points, a game-high 14 assists, and 12 rebounds. However, he struggled with his decision-making again, committing five of his seven turnovers in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers built up a 14-point lead midway through the period, but their miscues allowed the Hornets to seep back into the game to force overtime. The difference in the contest became Carmelo Anthony’s stellar play that lifted Los Angeles from another crushing outcome.

Carmelo Anthony’s blistering hot shooting is saving the Lakers from total disaster

In need of an offensive spark, Anthony stepped up with another impressive performance.

His 29 points behind 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range tied the highest scoring output for him off the bench. Anthony hit countless momentum-changing shots from distance, capped off by a 26-footer that gave the Lakers a 122-121 lead with two minutes left in overtime.

Anthony’s offensive production has been critical, as the Lakers hold a 4-1 record when he scored 20 or more points. After the game, the 37-year-old voiced that he was taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him.

“I’m just taking advantage of it,” Anthony said. “I’m not thinking about it. I am just playing ball, catching, and shooting. Not giving the defense a chance to get back and close out. It’s just something that I have always worked on. People don’t see it, but I always work on that part of my game. You guys are actually seeing it more often now.

“I feel good man. I feel like I am in a good rhythm. Feel like I am taking advantage out there on the offensive end. My teammates are believing in me and finding me, and leaving it up to me to knock those shots down.”

The 10-time All-Star has been phenomenal playing at Staples Center as he’s hitting 64.4% from beyond the arc on 7.4 attempts per contest. He’s quickly proven to be a tremendous fit for the Lakers behind his 3-point shooting that the team lacked last season.

Anthony has become a crowd favorite, and more importantly, his offensive production is preventing the Lakers from slumping toward a concerning fate.

Veteran presence must lift Los Angeles forward

The further it moves into the 2021-22 campaign, the more evident it’s becoming that the Lakers need the supporting cast to provide stable production.

Davis put forth a strong performance, but the supporting cast around the star talent must be the difference. Carmelo Anthony is helping fill the offensive void with James out, but Los Angeles needs a strong collective effort.

Rajon Rondo showcased that on Tuesday night with eight assists before his fourth-quarter ejection. It’s also become clear that Westbrook is experiencing many difficulties finding offensive fluidity. That alone places more pressure on the rest of the roster to pick up the slack.

The front office put together a veteran-laden roster to address those issues. If the Lakers hope to vie for much more than the playoffs, it’s a critical element that must remain dependable.

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