Assessing why Carmelo Anthony fizzled out with the OKC Thunder

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Change in usage

When Carmelo Anthony joined the Thunder, he was heading into his 16th season in the NBA.

For the 15 seasons prior, he never had a usage rate lower then 28.5. That number came in his rookie season.

He was taking on a role he’d never had to before, as he was teaming up with the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George, who was also coming off an All-Star season of his own.

Change was needed for Anthony. He’d have to take a back seat, and, unfortunately, going from the top-scoring option for a decade and a half to the third is no easy task.

By no means was Melo bad in Oklahoma City but his time there will be remembered for underwhelming results. He’d taken a step back. Averaging career lows at the time in points (16.2) and assists (1.3) despite playing similar minutes to his final year with the Knicks.

Carmelo did his best in the role he was given but it just never came together. Melo is one of the top 10 scorers in the history of the NBA -- his job was always to go out there and get buckets.

Being forced into a role where he had to let two other players get their shots up was a recipe for disaster from the beginning.