George: Melo didn't deserve criticism after season debut
Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Paul George is delighted to see Carmelo Anthony back in the league ahead of Tuesday's tilt between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers, but he isn't pleased with the criticism his former teammate received after a rough season debut.

"I just hate how (his) first game, Melo came back, the whole media was (focused on) his plus-minus was this and him being on the floor, Portland generated this and now he's playing well and the media is (pointing out how) three games straight where he did this," George said Sunday, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

Anthony finished with 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting in 24 minutes while posting a team-high five turnovers and a game-worst minus-20 rating in his first NBA appearance since November 2018.

In his five games since, however, Anthony has averaged 19.2 points on 49.4% shooting, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.

Portland is scoring 8.4 points more per 100 possessions with the 10-time All-Star on the court, and Anthony's net rating of 10.1 ranks second on the team, per

"Melo has been a great player, he's going to be a great player, he's playing terrific from start to finish, and shoutout to Portland for opening that door back up for Melo and prolonging his career," George said.

George and Anthony spent the 2017-18 campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs that year. Anthony was then dealt to the Atlanta Hawks during the offseason in a cost-cutting move.

George: Melo didn't deserve criticism after season debut
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