Given that Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is 2-0 since the trade sending Carmelo Anthony to New York for 4/5ths of the Knicks starting lineup, you’d think he’d be taking the high road following months of anxiety over the fate of franchise and superstar alike.  Instead, his not-so-subtle (and hardly inaccurate) burial of Anthony has resulted in a the sort of cross-conference pissing match not seen since…well, since Carmelo showed an MSG crowd just how quickly he could run backwards. From the New York Post’s Marc Berman :

“Defense is commitment. I’ve got young guys and if they don’t give me the commitment, I’ve got other guys who will give me the commitment,” Karl said on TNT Thursday. “The system sometimes ties you up from getting the commitment.

“You have to handle what ‘Melo gives you. I’m not knocking ‘Melo, he is a great offensive player. ‘Melo is the best offensive player I’ve ever coached, but his defensive focus, his demand of himself is what frustrated us more than anything.”

Anthony also fired back this morning at shootaround in Cleveland, where he will play his second game with the Knicks against the Cavaliers.

“That’s George Karl. I try not to pay too much attention to that,” said Anthony, who scored 27 points in his Knicks debut Wednesday. “I know what I’ve done in 7-1/2 years I was there going to Western Conference finals.

“I know we were top in defensive categories last year. Don’t know where it’s coming from,” Anthony said.