The Nuggets have played some of their best basketball of the season over the last couple of games. All WITHOUT Carmelo Anthony. Part of that reason has been a tremendous improvement on the defensive end of the floor based on Carmelo not being in the lineup. Everyone who follows the game of basketball intently understands Anthony has been one of the best purer scorers in the NBA over the last number of years; but his one weakness has been on the other end of the court.

Coach Geroge Karl addressed this situation yesterday in an interview while the new look Nuggets were taking on the Celtics. Props to balljunkie.com for getting the exact quotes:

“Defense is commitment. I’ve got young guys and if they don’t give me the commitment, I’ve got other guys who will give me the commitment. The system sometimes ties you up from getting the commitment.  You have to handle what Melo gives you. I’m not knocking Melo, he is a great offensive player. Melo is the best offensive player I’ve ever coached, but his defensive focus, his demand of himself is what frustrated us more than anything.”

I 100% agree with coach Karl’s assessment. For anyone that rips him for those comments should relax. Because it’s nothing but the truth. And it’s not like he went out of his way to make these comments. He was asked the question from someone in the media. I always support athletes & coaches who speak their mind and not give the standard BS answer to keep everyone happy and not ruffle feathers.

Carmelo had his opportunity to respond to the comments, not biting on any criticism settling for the standard answer you would expect.

“That’s him. That’s George Karl so I don’t really try to pay too much attention to that. I know what I’ve done there in the 7 1/2 years I’ve been there; going to the Western Conference Finals. Last year, we were top five in a lot of categories. All that stuff, I don’t know where it’s coming from. I try not to pay too much attention to it.”

Relax Carmelo one conference finals appearance in 7.5 years is nothing to go crazy about. And if you think that is going to change in New York you are dreaming, because the talent you had surrounding yourself in Denver was far to superior then the current crop of players on the Knicks roster right now. And just imagine if there was more attention paid on the defensive side of the ball I am sure making it out of the first round once in your career could have been accomplished.

-Chad Margulius


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