Carmelo Anthony
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony’s slim new look has social media buzzing and wondering how his new physique will translate to the court.

First things first, everyone needs to relax with the takes on this. Carmelo Anthony lost a few pounds during quarantine and to be honest, he looks good, but this isn’t going to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

No, Melo was never “too lazy” to get in shape when he was with the New York Knicks. The fact of the matter is that Melo played for the Knicks when the game was different.

Think back to the 2012-13 season when he was playing mostly power forward. This was before stretch fours were commonplace in the NBA and in order to hold his own defensively in the paint, he needed to be able to match up with power forwards physically. Even when he was playing small forward, he spent a lot of time posting up smaller, less physical defenders.

Even though he’s playing most of his minutes at power forward for the Trail Blazers (86% according to Basketball-Reference), stretch fours don’t need to be as big and physical as they did five years ago. Today’s game is more finesse.

Not to mention, Portland has frontcourt reinforcements coming. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are both going to be healthy after the lengthy shutdown. Nurkic is a center, but Collins can flex between both frontcourt spots with ease. In fact, the Blazers could even go with jumbo lineups that contain Nurkic, Collins, and Melo.

We all love to get worked up over workout videos and guys entering camps “in the best shape of their lives,” but let’s not this time around.

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