There might not be a team in the NBA better suited to take advantage of Carmelo Anthony’s presence than the Oklahoma City Thunder. He might also be the secret elixir to upset the Goliath in Golden State.

As most know, Anthony adds scoring potential in a variety of different ways, but he doesn’t need to initiate the offense. On top of that, Melo’s biggest downside, his defense, is mitigated by what Thunder GM Sam Presti has already put together in Oklahoma City. The Thunder might have the best defense in the NBA, even after dealing Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round draft choice for Carmelo Anthony in Saturday’s blockbuster trade to bookend a wild NBA offseason.

Melo turns 34 this May and his already-suspect defense—and that’s putting it mildly—will only deteriorate from here on out. But the Thunder are loaded with the types of stretchy, hybrid forwards who can overcome his distaste for defense. These long-limbed wings have become fashionable in our current, space-and-pace NBA epoch, especially with Golden State as Goliath. Position-less switching is the only way to really defend the bevy of playmakers in the Bay.

You only have to look at Melo’s history with USA Basketball to see how great he can be as a spot-up shooter and second or third option. Hopefully, his desire to win negates any demands for more shots, especially with the talent around him in Oklahoma City. But when he’s feeling it, there still aren’t many better in the world at getting buckets.

Paul George leads the pack, defensively. The three-time All-Defensive selection is long and quick enough to defend 2s, 3s, and fleet-of-foot 4’s. He’s strong and smart and unlike a lot of players with his scoring ability, Paul takes pride in guarding the opponent’s best.

Except, Andre Roberson might be an even better defender. The All-Defensive 2nd Team selection last year has the length and foot speed to defend 1 through 4, if the power forward is more perimeter oriented. But he’s quicker laterally and can afford to expend more effort on defense than the playmaking George.

Anchoring Oklahoma City’s defense in the paint is Steven Adams. The Kiwi king of the quip has done as much for the mustache as anyone not named Selleck or Rollie (Google them), but he’s also turned into a prime-time defender who can rebound, make the proper rotations, and shield the rim. You can win a title with Steven Adams as your center, and Carmelo hasn’t had that since Tyson Chandler. Coming off the bench there’s Patrick Patterson. Of the players who appeared in at least 50 games last season, the unappreciated Raptors big held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the whole league.

Then there’s the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, who causes so much havoc on offense, it’s almost like playing great defense. Does he sometimes gamble for a steal and put his team in tricky 5-on-4 situations? Yes, but the Thunder gave up 1.8 fewer points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, too.

Defense aside, it’s the offense where some might take issue. Shot-happy Melo will join the reigning NBA MVP who had a higher usage percentage last season than Kobe Bryant with Smush Parker as his point guard. That’s compounded by Melo’s positional overlap with George and the similarity in their half-court games: isolating at the elbows, coming off pin-downs, and dashing past staggered screens along the arc.

But, coach Billy Donovan can play Melo and George at the two forward spots because both are so efficient as spot-up shooters—and George can just guard the best opposing forward on the other end of the court. Coincidentally, both Melo and PG shot exactly 41.8 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers last season, per NBA.com. Everyone knows Westbrook is going to have the ball most of the time, even with two all-stars along the wing. So it’s a good thing both George and Melo can take advantage when the defense collapses. Their presence as known shooters opens up driving lanes for Russell Westbrook, too.

Carmelo Anthony Russell Westbrook MSG 2017
Image via USA Today Sports/Adam Hunger

Try and imagine “Why Not” Russ having more room to drive the ball without your head exploding in excitement.

A lineup of Steven Adams, Melo, and George at the forward slots, and Roberson alongside the MVP in the backcourt can score and defend. Adams doesn’t need the ball, and Roberson can continue to catch sleepy defenders for baseline cuts and wide-open 3s. If Roberson can’t knock down triples, Donovan can move PG to shooting guard, Melo to the 3, and slot Patrick Patterson at the 4.

You only have to look at Melo’s history with USA Basketball to see how great he can be as a spot-up shooter and second or third option. Hopefully, his desire to win negates any demands for more shots, especially with the talent around him in Oklahoma City. But when he’s feeling it, there still aren’t many better in the world at getting buckets.

The 2017-18 Thunder were already a defensive behemoth with the reigning MVP of the league and one of the top-10 overall players in the NBA. Then, without losing much of anything, they got one of the best scorers of all time.