Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Opening Tip: No star treatment for Melo
By Ian Begley
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Mike Woodson said he was going to hold everyone -- including Carmelo Anthony -- accountable this year. And he has. How much has that played a role in the Knicks' 5-0 start?
Mike Woodson talked the talk when he said last week he was going to hold his superstar -- Anthony -- as accountable as anyone else on the roster this season.
"I'm going to stay on Melo just like I stay on the guy who plays the least minutes," Woodson said. "It's got to be that way."
On Tuesday, Woodson walked the walk.
Anthony was a step slow on the defensive end in the first half and into the third quarter. When J.J. Reddick came off of a screen untouched for a layup -- going right by Anthony -- a few minutes into the third, Woodson had had enough.
He hollered at Anthony from the sideline. A few plays later, Anthony hollered back. During a break in play, Anthony went to the sideline to talk to Woodson, who was demonstrative in discussing Anthony's lapses on 'D.'
Anthony seemed to understand.
From there, the Knicks clamped down and held Orlando to just eight points in the first 9:30 of the fourth quarter. Anthony helped their cause, pulling down three fourth-quarter rebounds.
Clearly, Carmelo got the message.
That may have not happened earlier in his career, or as recently as last season, when Mike D'Antoni was manning the Knicks' sideline.
But it seems Woodson has gotten Anthony to commit on the defensive end.
The first 28 minutes against Orlando notwithstanding, Anthony has played intense defense this year, pulling down rebounds, denying penetration and hustling for loose balls in the Knicks' five wins.
For that, Woodson deserves credit.
"I'm trying to get Melo to do everything," Woodson said last week. "I don't want him to be perceived as just a scorer. Melo's been defending for us, he's been rebounding for us, and that's what he's got to do."
And Woodson will stay in Anthony's ear to make sure that happens.
Woodson's holding everyone -- including Anthony -- accountable so far. How much has that played a role in the Knicks' 5-0 start and how important is it going forward?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.