It seems the Oklahoma City Thunder have managed to put their troubles from the start of the season behind them, and Carmelo Anthony thinks he knows the reason that will be the key to their success this season.
Following a 124-107 victory against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, the Thunder has now won their last six games after starting the year 14-15.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook were two of the main reasons why Oklahoma was able to win on the night, as both of them managed to score at least 30 points. George finished with 33 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, while Westbrook had 30 points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists.
The current MVP is back in his MVP form, as he is averaging 30 points, 10.3 assists, and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 56.3 percent. Prior to their recent run of form, he was only averaging 22.8 points on 38.8 percent from the field.
Speaking to reporters after the win against the Raptors, Anthony believes Westbrook 'not trying to defer to anybody' is the key to OKC's success this season.
Anthony said, via The Score: "I think the fact that Russ (Westbrook) is just playing, not trying to defer to anybody - to any one of us - just playing his game and letting us play off of him. And I think he's just much more effective by doing that rather than deferring to myself or Paul (George).
"We know what he brings to the game. We understand it. We accept it and by that, he's able to just play his game, relax, and do what he do best. We need that Russ out there. Not the one who defers to us. Let us figure it out."
With their form picking up, the Thunder have managed to move themselves to fifth in the Western Conference, but they're still nowhere near the superteam expectations which many people had for the team at the start of the season.
However, there's still over half of the season left for them to change their fortunes, and they'll be hoping to continue their winning streak when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.