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Monday, April 15, 2013
Opening Tip: Can Carmelo keep cool?

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: Do you worry about Melo losing his cool in the playoffs?


I'm sure you're quite familiar with what happened between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett earlier this year. And if you aren't, you can be sure you'll hear plenty about it leading up to Game 1 of Knicks-Celtics.

To recap: Anthony went after Garnett near Boston's team bus following the Celtics win at MSG in early January.

The Knicks' star lost his cool after engaging in trash talk and physical play with Garnett in the fourth quarter.

According to Anthony, Garnett used words that "you don't say to another man."

Carmelo was suspended one game for approaching Garnett off the court.

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.

Question: Do you worry about Carmelo losing his cool in the playoffs?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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