Woody: Melo has to control his emotions

Mike Woodson winced a little bit when he saw Carmelo Anthony -- his best and most important player -- square off with Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes on Sunday.

Nothing came of the skirmish.

Anthony was whistled for a flagrant and Hawes and Tyson Chandler -- who came to Anthony's defense and shoved Hawes out of the way -- received technical fouls.

But it was the latest example this season of Anthony letting things get under his skin.

"He's just got to control his emotions," Woodson said. "Melo is a physical player and he likes contact which is great. He doesn’t back away from contact. We had the altercation and we were able to pull away from it. No punches were thrown. They assessed the technicals and the flagrants the way they saw it and we moved on."

Woodson appreciates the intensity Anthony and Chandler displayed on the play, but he'd like them to save it for when it counts.

"I'd like them to direct it in the game. I don’t want to see guys get suspended or fined for throwing punches or anything of that nature," the coach said. "When you lose four in a row, and we haven’t done that very often, you’re a little on edge a little bit and it’s my job as coach to make sure the guys just relax and just play and let their play dictate what happens on the floor."

Woodson added that the Knicks have been jawing with the refs too much in recent games.

"Right now we can’t worry about the officials," he said. "... As of late, we’ve struggled a little bit in that area, complaining too much. We’ve just got to leave the officials alone and just play."

Anthony, among others, has been vocal with referees for most of the season.

He's also been in the middle of several skirmishes -- with officials or opponents -- this year.

He was ejected for getting two technicals in the Knicks' loss to Chicago in December (one technical was later rescinded) and was suspended one game for going after Kevin Garnett in the bowels of Madison Square Garden after a loss to the Celtics.

What happened on Sunday wasn't nearly as egregious as the Garnett incident.

Melo hit Hawes in the back of the head while battling for a rebound late in the third quarter. Hawes angrily approached Anthony but was shoved away by Chandler. Hawes and Chandler had to be separated by the officials.

"I didn’t mean to hit him in the head. It was just one of them plays. I didn’t mean to," said Anthony, who had a team-high 29 points.

Anthony wasn't ejected and the Knicks walked off the floor with a win. No harm, no foul, you might say.

And Woodson would probably agree. Except he'd prefer that his superstar keep his emotions in check.

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