DALLAS -- The TNT crew must be proud of Carmelo Anthony.
Charles Barkley and Co. tore into Dirk Nowitzki during last season's playoff series against the Nuggets because he dared to say some complimentary things when asked to compare the defenders Denver used against him.
Melo made a point not to give Shawn Marion any props for his shutdown defensive performance last night, when Anthony scored a season-low 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting. He wouldn't even acknowledge that these Mavs, who are 17-5 since the All-Star break, are a better team than the squad dismissed by Denver in five games last spring.
"To be honest with you, I didn't really see a difference," Anthony said. "I didn't really see a big, big difference."
Despite committing the crime of providing honest, complimentary commentary about an opponent, Dirk managed to average 34.4 points per game as the Mavs' lone bright spot in the series.
Melo might not to able to score against Matrix's Mavs -- 13 points on .229 shooting in two losses this season -- but I reckon he earns respect by giving Marion none.