#StayMe7o: Lakers get their first win thanks to Carmelo Anthony’s record setting night, and a LeBron-Westrbook inverted pick and roll

Just midway through the third game of the season the media and fans began calling for the heads of Russell Westbrook, Frank Vogel, Rob Pelinka and yes even LeBron James as it looked like the Lakers were about to fall to 0-3 in year that they are title favorites.

And then Carmelo Anthony reminded everyone to simply take a deep breath and #StayMe7o.

Anthony scored a team-high 28 points and was a team-best plus-19 in 28 minutes. He made six 3-pointers, repeatedly making the Grizzlies pay for loading up against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

At the 3:22 mark of the third quarter, Carmelo Anthony took two dribbles, sizing up Brandon Clarke, before rising up for his fourth 3-pointer to give him his 16th point, passing Hall of Fame center Moses Malone for ninth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Anthony also put forth his best defensive effort, with a couple of strips and some solid trapping in pick-and-roll situations and along the sidelines. He remains a liability due to his lack of mobility and athleticism, but Anthony’s quick hands showed the blueprint to how he can be a passable defender.

Anthony isn’t going to shoot this well every night, but with the caliber of looks he’s going to get this season, this type of performance won’t be an anomaly. As long as he continues to prioritize good shots — for reference, he’s 12 of 18 on 3-pointers and 6 of 17 on 2-pointers — and try defensively, he can be an effective bench player for this team. It’s early, but Anthony could be in the Sixth Man of the Year running this season.

There were some other bright spots in a game which Melo carried.

The Lakers may have found a way to exploit defenses and maximize a LeBron James and Russell Westbrook closing rotation. Let the guards set the picks for the bigs.

Wait run that back, point guards setting picks FOR LeBron and Davis? Yeah you heard that right.

Sunday marked the Lakers’ first crunch-time minutes of the season. One interesting wrinkle in the crunchtime offense: LA unveiled the James-Westbrook inverted 1-3 pick-and-roll.

Using Westbrook as a screener does a few things. First, it partially solves the issue of what to do with Westbrook when he doesn’t have the ball, as it directly involves him in the action while also keeping the ball in James’ hands. Second, it confuses the defense, as most teams will have their point guard guarding Westbrook and won’t want to switch him onto James (they will adjust in the future, of course, but there are various trade-offs depending on the team). And third, it leverages Westbrook’s ability to attack downhill and either finish at the rim or find an open teammate with a dump-off or kick-out pass.

For that third point, think of Westbrook playing the role of Draymond Green in the dynasty Warriors offense.

There are still some glaring head scratching moves like playing DeAndre Jordan who is a fringe NBA player at this stage of his career, and giving Dwight Howard bulk minutes when he loses his ability to play basketball beyond 15 minutes of action.

I’m still holding off judgment til the Lakers are at full strength but simply sliding AD to the 5 solves 90% of the teams problems. There’s no need for the team to need to claw back from deficits which are caused by DJ and Dwight playing bulk minutes.

Once Ariza, Nunn and THT return from their injuries I never want to see Jordan or Dwight getting bulk minutes.

But for now just #stayMe7o.

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