Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony has had a big transition to his new role with the team after many years as the primary option.
Anthony has one of the highest career usage rates out of high-volume contributor in the league since 1979. But despite the fact he has already played over 1,000 games, Ezekiel Kweku observed that Anthony has only recorded over 10 assists in a game just six times.
Michael Pina explored an interesting curiosity about the 10-time All-Star (via VICE Sports):
“Being a third option and the fourth-best player on his own team is all new for Carmelo Anthony. His usage rate is the lowest it’s ever been and Oklahoma City’s possessions don’t live and die by what he thinks should happen … His True Shooting and assist percentage have never been lower.”
Pina noted that not only is his assist percentage the lowest it’s ever been in his career but his assist-to-usage ratio is actually the lowest in the league, per Cleaning the Glass.
Among players who started a single game last season, no one had a usage rate above 24.0 percent with an assist rate below 7.0 percent – which is what Anthony has had for the Thunder.
Not including centers, we’ve only seen this kind of production from two different regular starters since 2010: Ryan Anderson and Nick Young. But this has been an ongoing trend in his career for Anthony before this season, as once tweeted by Kelly Scaletta.
His new team is an especially tough fit because Oklahoma City has averaged 254.7 passes per game, which ranks as the lowest in the league.
Among those who have played as many minutes, only one player in the NBA has a lower assist-to-pass percentage than Anthony (3.5 percent) so far this season.
It’s something that the 33-year-old will need to remedy before the postseason as he is no longer the lead scoring option for his team.