Carmelo Anthony has arguably been the best performer for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Coming off the bench, Melo has shown that he still has his incredible scoring ability, despite being one of the oldest players in the league. Anthony has been one of the key players for the Lakers so far this season.
So far this season, Anthony has averaged 17.6 points per game and is shooting 52% from the three-point line. In fact, Anthony is second in the NBA when it comes to points off the bench with 194, just behind Tyler Herro.
Given LeBron James' injury status, which could keep him out for 1-2 months, fans have wondered why Anthony is not starting in his place. After all, Melo and LeBron both play small forward, fans think that Anthony can be useful playing more minutes and starting for the Lakers.
Frank Vogel explained why Melo has not been given a spot in the starting lineup as of now. Vogel noted that Anthony's energy coming off the bench is crucial to the second unit, and he does not want to tamper with a formula that is working at the moment and disrupt the team's chemistry.
"Our crowd is amazing with him. They're keeping him out of the starting lineup because of the energy we get when he checks in, is something that I don't want to mess with. Obviously, there's the temptation to move AD to the five, but I like what we're getting with him coming off the bench. We just gotta continue."
While Vogel doesn't rule out Melo eventually starting, right now he wants him to come off the bench and do his thing. And there is a lot of sense in that. Last season, the Lakers struggled a lot when their second-unit took to the court. And Vogel doesn't want a repeat of that this season.
Anthony's performances have been crucial for the Lakers, and have served as a reminder of just how good he still is. Fans even signed an 'apology note' to Melo after his recent spectacular performances. And the hope is that he can continue playing this way and help the Lakers eventually win a championship.