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Both big men have moved on from the incident, but that doesn’t mean it will be all handshakes and hugs between Garnett and Anthony in the playoffs.
In fact, you can bet that KG will do his best to get under Anthony’s skin during the Knicks-Celtics series. That’s what he does. And it’s up to Anthony not to react, which may prove difficult.
As James White told ESPNNewYork’s Jared Zwerling, “Melo takes it personal against the Celtics.”
The Carmelo-KG incident is just one example of Carmelo losing his cool this year. He’s been whistled for 14 techs this season.
So it’s fair to ask: Do you think Carmelo’s composure will be an issue in the postseason?
To be clear: If Anthony gets whistled for a technical here and there, it won’t be the end of the world (unless it has a direct bearing on the final score).
But if Anthony’s gets ejected, that’s another story. New York needs Anthony on the floor and effective to have a chance to advance in the playoffs.
Something else to note: Carmelo will have to be mindful of his total technical foul count in the playoffs. If a player gets seven technicals in the playoffs, he is suspended for one game.
That would be disastrous for the Knicks.
The series is a week away and already the New York media is raising the question about Carmelo Anthony’s mental state. Not only is Melo prone to some hot-headedness, he’s also going to be fueled by being swept out of the playoffs by the Celtics a couple of years ago.
“That’s in the back of our minds,” Anthony said. “We want to beat Boston. I mean, let’s be quite frank.”
A little extra motivation is almost always viewed as a good thing, but there are a few players for whom it might be a detriment. Carmelo Anthony is one of them.
The playoffs are a different animal than the regular season. The playoffs bring the fear of basketball death into the equation. There’s no impending doom facing you in the regular season, especially when you’re comfortably in the playoffs. All you do is go play, and when you can do that, you’ll generally be fine.
But when individuals take match ups personally, they run the risk of going at it alone too much and jacking up a few too many shots rather than make the right plays.
Carmelo Anthony might very well win the scoring title, which is something he definitely wants. He’s going to go into the game facing the evil “playoff” Garnett, who has a proven ability to agitate Melo. He’s also in his third year as “the man” with the Knicks and he’s 1-8 in the playoffs.
For some guys, that kind of pressure will focus them on playing great basketball. Some others will turn that pressure into a personal vendetta that is ultimately counter productive. Carmelo Anthony is a fantastic offensive basketball player, and he knows it. When the shit hits the fan… and in the playoffs, it’s always about a half-inch away, what’s Melo going to do? Do you trust him to do the right thing out there, or do you think he’ll lose his head and try to do it all himself?
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Courtney Lee rounding into form | CSNNE: Rasheed Wallace might return for playoffs | Green picking his spots with Garnett, Pierce in line up | Herald: Green has key