Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Karl Not Acting So Cool Anymore

(Boulder-CO) Things are finally getting too close for comfort in the Nuggets Nation with George Karl finally going public with some flame-hot words for Carmelo Anthony. In an article titled, “Melo must mature or sit”, Denver Post writer Mark Kiszla reports these sentiments.

“Carmelo Anthony is too old and too rich to be bent over the knee of a basketball coach and spanked, although some tough love seems to be precisely what Melo deserves. But the stressed-out, sulking star of the slumping Nuggets is not so big that coach George Karl is afraid to bench Anthony.”

Kiszla then adds Coach George Karl’s take on the situation and all hell breaks loose!

“I think that's the next move,” Karl said Monday, revealing that Anthony will be removed from games and shown a seat on the bench if the all-star forward fails to play smart, team basketball.

“I've told Melo in the last two weeks, ‘I don't think you're listening. I don't think you're listening as well as you need to listen.’ For me, the next step is to change the democracy back to a dictatorship.”

The rest of the article is nothing short of gripping. I highly suggest you give it a read, but before you do, I have this to offer.

First, we all know that Carmelo’s defense is shoddy. It makes it even worse that he is so brilliant on the offensive end due to creating such a large discrepancy in his overall game. As for the rebounding… that is pure desire. The only way to board is if you want to get your hands dirty and hit the glass. Plain and simple. It frustrates me sometimes when Carmelo doesn’t hit the glass because his lower body is so strong that there is no reason why he shouldn’t average close to ten boards a game.

In his defense, however, I do not think that the problems with this team are entirely Carmelo’s fault. To a certain extent I feel that the Nuggets were instantly expected to be an upper echelon team with the addition of AI and such was obviously overly optimistic. He is the leading scorer in the league and is doing so at a reasonable field goal percentage. He is scoring more efficiently than Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd, Kobe Bryant, and Ray Allen just to name a few of the games scoring elite.

Maybe George Karl is trying to get a knee-jerk reaction out of Anthony due to the dire need for some defense out of him, but one thing is for sure… Knee-jerk or not, for every action; there is an equal and opposite reaction. Stay tuned!


aeneas said...

I think the effect Karl's criticism has on Carmelo is less important than his change of attitude towards the deficits the team has (you pointed that out). I hope the team now starts to realize the trouble they are in and stops accepting 'it how it is'(which were Carmelo's words on ending at 7th or 8th seed.. I wonder what he'll tell us when they miss the post-season).
Benching him would signalize that it's not just about scoring stats, but also about the right attitude. I don't think that he has to work harder. He just has to rethink his position and his influence on the team and realize that there's more up to him than scoring a lot. (I don't think anyone would mind him scoring a little less in fact.)

ThaAnswer said...

Coach Karl can only sit on the scorer's table with a blank stare for so long. If he showed half the emotion I show in my own living room it might do the team some good. I hope to see some fire from him tonight, and hopefully that can get the team fired up and working on the defensive end.

Rodrigo said...

If Melo and Iverson both understand that at least one of the other three guys that are on the floor with them will be WIDE open on almost every possession, the nuggs will rock n´ roll.

I agree with Karl, partly : Melo isn´t playing smart basketball indeed, but he isn´t the only one. Offense still needs a bit of unselfishness and movement. How bout make them watch some Phoenix Suns tapes for 3 days non-stop?

Denver does have some good defenders on the frontcourt - Camby, Nene and Kleiza, mainly. But the perimeter defense is atrocious (did I spell it right? :)
Nugs are still a work in progress, but I´m faithful we´ll work it out!

btalk said...

Pretty intersting stuff. The head coach tells his star player to play defense...is this the first time he's told him that or the last time? I'm betting it's neither.

Jason said...

Karl has called out Melo before, and Melo always reacts positively. I expect no different here either. However, I do think if I am Melo I am bit upset as to why I am being singled out.

Yes Melo's defense needs to improve, and maybe he is being a bit selfish on offense, but...

AI is also being selfish on offense. They both tend to try to force things too often, so Melo is not alone and so why should he be the one called out by himself? Also, AI tends to make stupid, boneheaded passes that cost us possessions. He needs to stop doing this. That is where you really miss a ball control point guard.

Camby (except for last night) has been playing like a shy school girl lately, unwilling to do the dirty work that he has to do!

Multiple players on this team have not been stepping up, it is not just Melo. For Karl to call him by himself to me is bad coaching. It may work, but to me, not the right move. Although it is nice to see Karl do SOMETHING!!!

Karl needs to accept the majority of the blame though. He needs to get these guys to play some sort of offensive sets, not just relying on the fast break. And defense is all coaching in my mind. Karl is the one that should be called out by Stan Kroenke.