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Sports Trainer: Melo 'completely bought into' adapting his game

15:10  22 november  2019
15:10  22 november  2019 Source:   thescore.com

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"He was completely bought into the (idea that on) the defensive side of the ball, he's got to get better," Bazzell said. We would still work on his mid-post because I think that's going to be a part of his game that he's going to have to rely on to score every now and then.

"He was completely bought into the (idea that on) the defensive side of the ball, he's got to get better," trainer Alex Bazzell said, per Bazzell acknowledged Anthony had the luxury of being one of the best players in the league and a dominant scorer in his prime but had to adapt his game at 35 years old.

a man holding a ball© Sean Gardner / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Less than one week after Carmelo Anthony's NBA return was first reported, the 35-year-old managed to play nearly 24 minutes as a starter in his Portland Trail Blazers debut on Tuesday, completing a rapid transition back to the professional ranks.

According to Anthony's trainer Alex Bazzell, the 35-year-old's ability to quickly ramp himself up for game action stemmed from an adapted training program, one that addressed his weaknesses, including defense.

"He was completely bought into the (idea that on) the defensive side of the ball, he's got to get better. He was bought into not being able to hold the ball (on offense)," Bazzell told SNY's Ian Begley.

Melo and the Blazers: A marriage of desperation

  Melo and the Blazers: A marriage of desperation Ever since the Houston Rockets asked him to make himself scarce just over a year ago, Carmelo Anthony had been waiting - and sometimes pleading - for another NBA team to take a chance on him. He did media blitzes, expressing his desire to keep playing and blaming the Rockets organization for scapegoating him. His trainer told the world Anthony simply wanted a farewell season like Dwyane Wade got. Countless videos were released of him hitting jumpers in empty gyms. His peers campaigned on his behalf, with some going so far as to suggest he was being blackballed.

Anthony is still without a contract after playing just 10 games for the Houston Rockets last season.

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"When we would play one-on-one scenarios when he'd catch, it's hard because sometimes you just have a tendency to hold it, relax and kind of let the defense make a mistake. It was just trying to break habits that he's built up for so long and he was never defensive about it," Bazzell added.

Enhancing Anthony's off-ball movement was another point of emphasis during training, according to Bazzell. His ability to put himself in the right spots will be crucial for a Portland team that heavily relies on its backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to manufacture offense.

" ... We worked on getting used to (moving without the ball). Getting used to the actions of catching. His footwork efficiency with rips and jabs and all of that off the catch ... it was just getting him comfortable with moving in different ways than he has in the past."

Anthony struggled on both ends during his debut, finishing with a game-worst minus-20 rating while connecting on 4-of-14 field goals for 10 points.

Despite his subpar return, Anthony will have ample opportunity to carve out a role on an injury-depleted Blazers squad; head coach Terry Stotts acknowledged on Tuesday he intends to keep Anthony in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.

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Melo appreciates PG standing up for him: 'It means a lot' .
Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George recently defended Carmelo Anthony after the Portland Trail Blazers forward was scrutinized for a subpar season debut in mid-November. Anthony expressed appreciation for his ex-teammate's comments after the two clubs met Tuesday at the Staples Center. "It means a lot," the 10-time All-Star told reporters postgame, including ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "But also, the real ones know what's going on. It's not them. IAnthony expressed appreciation for his ex-teammate's comments after the two clubs met Tuesday at the Staples Center.

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