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Melo says his "focus is very high right now" but he has lost it a little lately. Woodson got on him for it. More:
An important moment happened during the first half, when Woodson called his star player over to the sideline during free throws and had a chat. Melo had been barking at officials for a second straight game and so frustrated with non-calls that on two occasions he did not hustle back on defense.
That's the old Melo. Woodson doesn't ever want to see that Melo again.
"He's just got to keep fighting," Woodson said. "And I'm going to stay on him about that because he's not going to get calls all the time."
Still, it is impossible to overlook how an all-star player who engages so much contact around the basket doesn't get the benefit of the whistle. Melo took just three free throws against the Magic despite doing most of his scoring in the paint. He finished with 25 points on 22 shots, with three of his shots blocked.
"To me, it looks like he's getting hit but they're not calling it," Woodson said. "We can't sit and complain about it. We've got to get down the court as a unit and get stops."
It's Woodson's job to work the officials to help his star get the calls his way. But it's refreshing to see that Woodson also knows he has to keep his star player focused on getting back on defense and not sulking.
That's the accountability he has talked about since the day he took over as coach late last season.