Buddies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James will face off on Aug. 18 in spherical 1 of the NBA playoffs, and Melo’s assured that Portland can ship a grueling upset to the extremely favored Lakers.

It appears like we’re again within the early 2000s speaking about an on-court battle between Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. The veteran stars will go toe to toe on Tuesday evening in a extremely anticipated Western Convention matchup in spherical 1 of the NBA Playoffs. Melo, together with celebrity level guard, Damian Lillard, helped Portland to clinch the ultimate playoff spot within the Western Convention on August 15. And now, Melo’s hungry for extra.

“Carmelo and Portland are engaged on all cylinders proper now. The Lakers haven’t performed as much as their potential, and LeBron is nicely conscious that they’re susceptible proper now — and Carmelo can completely see that,” a supply near Carmelo tells MeSlop, completely. “He is aware of LeBron is without doubt one of the finest gamers, if not one of the best participant on the earth, so it’ll be an uphill battle to win the collection,” the insider says, noting that regardless of the chances stacked in opposition to him, Carmelo’s extra assured than ever.

LeBron James throughout the first half of an NBA recreation in opposition to the Denver Nuggets on August 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Photograph credit score: AP Photograph/Ashley Landis, Pool)

“He trusts that his personal play, his workforce’s play and particularly Dame’s presence on the ground will likely be sufficient to shock the world and knock out the Lakers within the playoffs. That’s Carmelo’s mindset proper now,” the supply admits — including that he’d love nothing greater than to win a championship at this level in his profession. “And, going by means of the Lakers would sweeten a victory immensely.”

Carmelo Anthony, left, tries to maintain the ball from Atlanta Hawks ahead De’Andre Hunter throughout the first half of an NBA recreation on Saturday, February 29, 2020, in Atlanta. (Photograph credit score: AP Photograph/John Amis)
The Lakers-Portland collection marks the primary time Carmelo and LeBron will meet within the post-season since 2012. The longtime buddies go manner again, each personally and on the courtroom. In 2002, they had been high-school prospects when LeBron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary’s highschool confronted off in opposition to Carmelo’s Oak Hill Academy. One 12 months later, LeBron and Carmelo had been chosen No. 1 and No. Three total, respectively, within the 2003 NBA Draft. After that, followers went on to look at them battle it out on the hardwood for 17 seasons.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony speak throughout their recreation on November 5, 2003 in Cleveland. (Photograph credit score: AP Photograph/Ron Schwane)

Carmelo and LeBron have performed in various All-Star Video games all through their intertwined careers. They even gained two Olympic gold medals collectively in Beijing and London (in addition to a bronze in Athens). So, every time these two have the chance to reunite on the courtroom and play on the highest stage, it’s at all times a memorable second.

“I can’t even lie. It’s at all times particular to be on the ground with a brother of mine,” the 3-time NBA champion mentioned after taking part in Melo in December of 2019, through ESPN. “We obtained a lot historical past,” LeBron continued, explaining, “We’ve been competing for a very long time, we’ve been on the identical workforce with the Olympics after which simply our brotherhood. That’s my brother, man. It’s at all times nice to have the ability to compete and simply be on the identical flooring — interval,” he mentioned, including, “Regardless of if it’s, like I mentioned, with Workforce USA, after we’re teammates or simply competing on our respective golf equipment.”