When the Oklahoma City Thunder landed Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, many expected the team to be among the Western Conference's best squads.
However, that hasn't happened yet, as reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Thunder have struggled their way to a 10-12 start to the 2017-18 season.
One of the biggest problems is that Anthony, one of the best pure scorers in NBA history, has had trouble adjusting to OKC's style of play under Westbrook. The Thunder have won their last two games, though, so perhaps they are starting to turn things around.
After a 90-87 victory over the short-handed San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night, Anthony said the Thunder are still sorting things out, but he's OK with not carrying so much of a scoring load as long as the team is winning (via ESPN.com):
"I think at this point, this process we're still trying to figure it out, still trying to see how we want to play. So we're still trying different things out there," Anthony said. "For me personally, it's just about doing something different, seeing where the team really needs me on a night-to-night basis. And just be willing to do that and being willing to sacrifice, not every night having to score 20 or 30 points, and I'm good with that, it's a good feeling as long as we're winning. I think these past couple games that we've been winning, we've been moving the ball well and putting a complete game together, and as a result, have won two in a row."
OKC still has a lot of work to do to solidify themselves as a playoff team, but it is still fairly early in the season.
George said ball movement is key to the Thunder's turnaround, crediting Melo for making a big sacrifice to help the team's offense flow better:
"I think we're building in the right direction," George said. "We're not caring who's getting shots. The ball is just moving. I mean, you see it, Melo's been taking a huge sacrifice, in terms of his shots and his ability to move and make plays. Russ, myself, man, it's moving. And you're going to see guys like Steven [Adams] being on that better end of it from us playing this attack, penetrate and kick and try to find our teammates."
Will Melo continue to be happy in a situation in which he isn't getting as many shots as he normally does? That remains to be seen, but if he is happy, that's good news for the Thunder moving forward.