“His game is designed for the postseason!”
Now, two games into the playoffs, the poor Chesapeake Energy Arena rims are still locked in a cycle of abuse at the hands of Melo and the bricks he’s firing at the backboards.
And it’s costing the team.
After going 5-of-13 from the field in a Game 1 win over the Utah Jazz, Melo posted another dud.
He went 6-of-18 for 17 points, and now has twice as many turnovers (four) as he does assists (two).
And when the team needed him to hit big shots to stem a Jazz comeback, not only did his attempts miss, they were hideous enough to turn Medusa to stone.
He wasn’t alone, either: Melo, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook combined for one point on 0-of-14 shooting in the fourth.
But at least George and Westbrook have minor excuses: their other roles on the team. George is one of the best perimeter defenders alive, and Westbrook orchestrates the squad’s offense.
As a totally butt defender who also isn’t much of a passer, all Melo has to do is hunt open shots and hit them.
He didn’t do that throughout the regular season — posting a paltry true shooting percentage of 50.3, well below the league average — and that sure as hell hasn’t changed in the playoffs.
Melo logged 38 minutes in the Thunder’s 102-95 loss in Game 2 on Wednesday night, second on the team. Due to limited depth, it might be impossible to take him out of the rotation entirely. But he’s not giving the Thunder anything, so it’s time to start dispensing his minutes to just about anyone else.