Updated: April 20, 2010, 1:45 AM ET

Mike & Mike: No Rest Needed

Can Miles, Matthews Check Carmelo?

By Kevin Arnovitz

Carmelo Anthony finished Game 1 with 42 points, most of them at the expense of C.J. Miles and Wes Matthews. When a scorer as lethal as Anthony goes off to the extent he did, it's unfair to lay the entire blame on his defenders. But with Mehmet Okur now done for the series with a torn left Achilles tendon, the Jazz simply can't afford to give up points at the rate they did in Game 1 and have a chance to take the series. It will now be up to Miles and Matthews to check Anthony. They don't have to shut him down -- there is only so much mere mortals can do to combat certain forces of nature -- but the young tandem must make some adjustments.

Anthony will inevitably bury a few contested 18-footers from the right side of the floor, but he was able to post-up and then face up on the right block far too easily on Saturday. When Anthony got an early pick-and-roll from Nene, the Jazz defenders were helpless to fight over or around the screen. And when Anthony was roaming off the ball, Miles and Matthews were far too passive.

In coach Jerry Sloan's perfect universe, veteran defensive ace Matt Harpring would be the man charged with challenging Anthony -- and Sloan said as much prior to Game 1 (Andrei Kirilenko -- out with a strained calf -- would be choice No. 2). Harpring is a perimeter scorer's worst nightmare, but chronic knee and ankle injuries have forced the veteran into semi-retirement.

When you see Harpring at practice playing the role of onlooker, you can't help but wonder how things might have played out differently if he had been on the Pepsi Center floor Saturday night. "When you guard a player like Carmelo who has size and strength that he's got, you have to get him outside of his game," Harpring says. "When he crosses the 3-point line, you start bodying him up right away."

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