"Dr Strangelove" or "How quickly I was able to stop worrying and criticize Carmelo"

During last night's TNT broadcast of Knicks West  Denver vs Boston George Karl made some unabashedly acerbic comments about Carmelo Anthony's ability/interest in playing defense.

"He (Karl) said he was disappointed by Carmelo’s general approach to defending.

"Defensive focus, his demand of himself, is what frustrated us more than anything," Karl said.

Add these to Karl's prior comments about his effect on their offense and a backhanded criticism re his character...

Karl: "So you think the way our offense was played necessarily is good basketball?"

The reporter suggested that sometimes Melo slowed down the offensive flow by holding the ball too much.

Karl went on to say: "In the NBA, you win (by) how the game (determines) what is your best chance at winning. Sometimes, how we played was not exactly how I really wanted to play."

Lastly, Karl said, "when the trade went down, I was more sad than happy, and that was mostly because of Chauncey." Karl feels for Chauncey Billups, the Denver native who was included in the deal, in order for Denver to maximize its assets."

take the jump for some thoughts about what this might mean for the Knicks and their fans.

So were these just bitter comments from a coach who felt jilted by a player's desire to play for a different team or are they a harbinger of things to come?

"Anthony apparently did not appreciate Karl’s words. The truth does have the tendency to hurt. He responded on Twitter with a tweet noticed by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.

"Damn, are u serious. Some people never seize to amaze me. Unbelievable."

Is Carmelo miffed because Karl is kicking him in the ass on the way out or does he dispute the claim and believes he was committed to playing defense while playing for Denver?

The answer to these questions could possibly be:  all of the above.  In any case this won't quiet the Melo skeptics.

What will the identity of this team be?  Will ride the strength of his offensive All-Stars and continue winning games 110-105, 115-110?  Can he leverage more defensive effort from Melo than George Karl?  Will most of the defensive help come from players like Toney Douglas, Jared Jefferies and Corey Brewer?

As we have all heard, D'Antoni believes in a high efficiency offense, spacing 3pt shot makers and crunch time game closers.  He and his coaching staff have been more cognizant of their critics re the topic of defense this year (with the press, post game analysis, MSG's Mike D'Antoni show), does he have the time and personnel to make real strides this year?  Is it realistic to expect to start winning games 105-95? 


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