Last night against the Celtics, Carmelo Anthony lost his cool. Kevin Garnett, who leads the league in amount of trash-talking per game, clearly got underneath Melo's skin late in the game. The Celtics grinded out a victory 102-96 in a contest which definitely had a playoff-like intensity. At one point, Melo and Garnett were issued double-technical fouls as the two got tangled up and shouted at each other. Melo had a look in his eye that you don't often see from him, and his game looked to be influenced by the words of KG.
The Knicks' star struggled from the floor scoring 20 points on a difficult 6-26 shooting performance. It was obvious to see that Melo wanted to take charge and lead the Knicks to a victory after mixing it up with KG. Some people within the media have talked about how Melo has to learn how to temper his emotions, must keep his cool, and that he lost the game for the Knicks. And I'd have to disagree.
|Melo vs KG|
This is a side of Melo we haven't seen. But yet, when Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan would get angry and rattle off big shot after big shot, did people complain? Were Kobe and MJ criticized for showing that "fire" or that "drive" or that "passion" or that "will to win"? The answer is no! Is Melo in the level of a Kobe or Jordan. No. But he's also never had the team around him to make a true run for a championship until now. That's why I had no problem at all with how the game went last night. Although the shots didn't go down, Melo showed everyone that this is HIS team. He wanted the ball in his hands. He wanted to beat the Celtics. And he's absolutely 100% right for wanting to do this.
I wouldn't want the star of my team to be bullied around by someone and take it. That's the element that we're starting to see now with this 2012 Knicks team. Remember back in the day when Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, or Patrick Ewing would get into fights with the opposing team. This was when the Knicks were at their best. I am not by any means promoting violence, but I am a fan of sticking up for yourself and your teammates.
After the game, Melo reportedly waited outside the Celtics' lockerroom for KG, as well as the Celtics' team bus for him. Whatever was said by Garnett clearly annoyed Melo. But this is Garnett's game. He likes to trash-talk. He's done it before (see: Duncan, Tim) and he'll continue to do it.
Does Melo regret what he did? Maybe. Maybe not. The fact is that this is Melo's team. Make no mistake about it.
And if I were Coach Mike Woodson, I'd love what I saw yesterday from my superstar, Carmelo Anthony.
David is on the Sportswire weekdays from 6-7 pm on 88.1 FM & WCWP.org! Also follow him on Twitter: @David_ODog.