Jae Crowder's goal: Hold Carmelo Anthony to half his average

NEW YORK – One of the things Rick Carlisle loves about rookie Jae Crowder is the second-round pick doesn’t get intimidated by anyone or anything.

Or anywhere, for that matter.

Crowder sure isn’t scared of the Madison Square Garden stage. The former Big East player of the year played there plenty of times during his Marquette days.

“Hit a couple game-winners there,” Crowder said with a big smile. “It’s a great stage. It’s a great platform to play on. It’s like playing in a movie.”

The villain in this movie, at least as far as Crowder is concerned, is Carmelo Anthony. Crowder, who will probably continue starting until Shawn Marion’s ready to return, readily admits he’s never been matched up with a scorer of Anthony’s caliber.

Crowder has great respect for Anthony, who has a career average of 24.7 points per game. But Crowder doesn’t fear ‘Melo.

“You have to make those guys feel as uncomfortable as possible,” said Crowder, who started studying Anthony’s tendencies as soon as he got home after Wednesday’s win over the Raptors. “Try to cut their average in half. It’s going to be hard to stop a player of his caliber, but you can definitely contain him and cut down his numbers for sure.”