Is Carmelo Anthony becoming a mature player before our eyes? It didn’t seem like it when he went after Kevin Garnett at his team bus after their game was over. Garnett had said some vile things toward Anthony during their Celtics/Knicks game at Madison Square Garden a couple of things. We’ll never know what was said but it obviously set Anthony off that much that he went after Garnett like that.
However, he insisted that beef was squashed. While what Anthony did at Madison Square wasn’t exactly the most mature thing, he and the Knicks went to Boston and handled things differently there.
Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports says that their victory against the Celtics on Thursday night showed a different Carmelo Anthony. Here’s his story:
BOSTON – Down to the floor the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett tumbled on Thursday night, a failed lob pass leaving him stretched out on the Garden court. Out of nowhere, a most improbable arm reached down, clasped Garnett’s hand and lifted him back to his feet. Out of nowhere, the message was unmistakable: The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony had come to beat Garnett with grace and guile, calm and composure.
“He fell,” Anthony said later, “and I helped him up. I don’t hold grudges.”
I like it when teams get consumed by feuds and rivalries as long as they can focus. But I can dig this, too, since Melo doesn’t seem like the guy that would play better when he’s angry and distracted by such shenanigans. Carmelo went on to score 28 points and grab nine rebounds in a close 89-86 Knicks win. Although he’s done some of the little things, too, to make his team better. He actually assisted J.R. Smith for the game-clinching three-pointer in that contest.
Back then, he would probably force that shot. This season, Anthony seems to be getting it. And I’m sure he’s tired of all the talk that he couldn’t do it. In Denver, Chauncey Billups seemed to get more of the credit when the Nuggets got to the Western Conference Finals. When he was initially dealt to New York, critics pointed at the losing record that the Knicks had after the trade was made. Last season, he was overshadowed by Jeremy Lin and, while a feelgood story, Anthony had to endure stories of jealousy.
Carmelo Anthony may be a more mature guy now. But that could all change in an instant if the Knicks don’t go further into the postseason. Currently, they are second in the East at 26-14. They may have a great chance on getting to the Eastern Conference Finals this season. But can Melo take the Knicks to the next level? Mature or not, this is what Carmelo has to do to validate his stardom.
Anthony is third in the league in scoring, averaging 29.1 points per game.