Carmelo Previews Knicks-Magic

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Celebrity poster Carmelo Anthony gives us the inside scoop on tonight’s game against the Magic…

I know there’s been a lot of haters out there talking about the way the team’s been playing.  People are talking like, “You were brought here to win, but now you don’t want to play defense,” and, “You just wanna get your shots up,” and, “Your wife is distracting my eleven year-old.”  And to those people I say, hey, you barely know me.  I mean, my wife didn’t play defense when I first met her either, and besides, she doesn’t distract me from getting my shots up, so why does your eleven year-old have a problem?

The point is, I think you all still have a lot to learn about me.  That’s why I’m doing this post, to show you there’s more to me than what you’ve all seen so far.  Like for instance, sometimes people say all I want to do is shoot and I’m a selfish player.  But you misunderstand: I just want to win, and I think it’s best for the team if I shoot – like, all the time.   Now sure, sometimes I’m not going to be having a good game and it’s gonna come down to either me shooting or the team winning, and that’s when I have to tell people, Did you not read the last sentence?!  I just told you it was better for all of us when I shoot!

But I realize that’s not good enough for all of you, so let me explain what I mean.  We had a situation against Boston on Monday where Ronny Turiaf was just coming wide open under the basket all the time and screaming for the ball.  I mean, they were ignoring him like Don Knotts in a singles bar.  Now, I’m not gonna pass him the ball because…well, you know why.  But then during a timeout – and this is why Ronny is such a great teammate – Ronny pulls me aside and says, “If you don’t give it up, I’m going to rip out your heart and feed it to my au pair.”  Now that’s how changes get made!  Ronny is French so when he threatens me I mostly think of that crazy Haitian voodoo, and that stuff scares me so I know I’m gonna start passing him the ball.  See, it’s all about how you frame the question; losing is one thing, but when I see Ronny on the bench poking a little Melo doll with a stick, I’ma think twice before I get my shots up.

So as you can see, it’s a little more complicated than me just wanting to shoot.  We’ll get to the Magic in a second, but before we do I want everybody reading this to notice how much effort I’m putting into this post.  I don’t have Mitch Albom ghostwriting over my shoulder throwing in commas and capital letters where they don’t belong.  This is all me, so recognize the effort, and see how hard I’m going on this game preview.  Unless I get hit in the face – then, I’m telling you right now, I’m going home.  Getting hit in the face does not work for me.

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Projected Starters:

PG – Jameer Nelson: I can relate to his shot selection and baby fat.  However, and I’m not pointing any fingers, I really hate it when point guards such as the one I’ve played with for three years decide to pull up for three with 22 seconds left on the shot clock.

SG – Jason Richardson: People always talk about him as a great catch-and-shoot player.  I don’t understand this.  What’s the point of catching and shooting if you don’t throw in eight size-up moves in between?

SF – Hedo Turkoglu: Apparently I’m going to be guarding him tonight.  I don’t know anything about him except that he’s foreign, so I will assume this means he’s a good shooter and isn’t very athletic.  This is my usual method for scouting opposing players.

PF – Brandon Bass: I heard through the grapevine that Brandon is averaging 8.5 field goal attempts per game.  Who is this guy, Gandhi?!

C – Dwight Howard: Recently got suspended for getting his 16th technical foul.  All I’m saying is – and by the way, I’m working my way up to 16 myself – if you get fined $500 for every T, I mean, you do the math.  That’s $8,000 for a vacation, right there.  Who doesn’t want to get down on that deal?

Magic Rotation: Now typically, I’m not going around talking about bench guys, but I threw this section in so I could talk about Gilbert Arenas.  I love this guy’s style.  He’s got everything: the baby fat, the shot selection, the rampant, almost psychotic desire to shoot 24-foot two-pointers, and most importantly, the swag.  Not just the on-court swag, but the swag to do stuff like bringing firearms into his place of business.  I don’t carry guns as far as you know, but let’s just say I respect his disrespect.

One Matchup to Like: The Knicks’ frontcourt vs. Dwight Howard.  Because nobody’s gonna blame me for not going in there.

One Matchup to Hate: Me vs. Turkoglu.  Foreign players can be very tricky – one minute you think you’re past them because obviously you’re faster and generally better at basketball, and the next they’re writhing on the ground and they need that weird spray can to make them feel better.  Seriously, I can’t breathe on these guys without getting called for a charge.  Hey, wait a second, that gives me an idea…

…One More Matchup to Like: Me vs. Turkoglu.  Time to settle for jumpers, baby!

A Final Word: So far in this preview I have clearly addressed fans’ concerns about my shot selection and effort.  Now allow me to talk about the final issue many fans seem to have with our recent play: defense.  I have been paying quite a bit of attention to this topic and I firmly believe that come playoff time I will be up to snuff on the defensive end.  Here’s an example of what I’m doing to improve my game that you can all watch for tonight:

On Monday against the Celtics, I was guarding Paul Pierce in the left corner.  He dribbles to his right towards the lane, and I’m shuffling my feet literally as fast as I can to keep up – sounds good so far, right?  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Kevin Garnett comes and just stands right where I was about to go!  He totally got in my way and the result was an uncontested layup for Pierce.

After the game I was bombarded with questions about why I handled the situation the way I did.  Essentially what I did was stop moving entirely, and I can understand why that was misconstrued as a lack of effort on my part.  Fans and journalists, please know that my response to Garnett’s “screen” was only a stopgap procedure that was developed very much spur of the moment.  Garnett got in my way, and my first thought was maybe, if I just stand here motionless, he’ll forget I’m here and leave, and then I can catch up to Pierce.  (I also thought this would work because Kevin Garnett did not go to college.)  It was going to be like that scene in Predator where Arnold has to cover himself in mud to disguise himself from the Predator’s heat sensors.

Anyway, I recognize that plan is no longer workable, and I have developed some new strategies to deal with similar situations as they occur.  I don’t want to give away too many of my secrets, but one of them involves an air gun and $40 worth of detergent.  It’s gonna be a doozy.

Enjoy tonight’s game secure in the knowledge that I am in fact all about the effort.  I may write more often for this site depending on my very busy jump-shooting schedule, which does not allow for much outside of jump-shooting and, formerly, staring down wide open Ronny Turiaf’s in anticipation of more jump-shooting.

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