Knicks-Bobcats Preview

Carmelo Anthony isn’t ignoring the MVP chants he’s been hearing

lately, but he also realizes they’re a bit premature given the New

York Knicks have plenty of season remaining.

He sure didn’t look like an MVP the last time he faced the

Charlotte Bobcats.

New York faces a stretch of three road games in four nights and

looks to get off to a good start by sending Charlotte to a fifth

straight defeat Wednesday night.

Anthony scored 34 points to help lead the Knicks (12-4) to a

106-99 victory over Phoenix on Sunday, eliciting the chants from

the home crowd. He’s averaging 30.7 points over his last six, and

his 26.6 per game average ranks among the NBA’s best.

“If I said it doesn’t feel good to hear, I’d be lying to you,”

Anthony said. “I’m just working, we’re working as a team and as a

result that’s what you hear.

New York has won three straight after dropping three of its

previous four.

“We’re winning games and we’re doing it in great fashion,”

Anthony said.

Anthony, though, had one of his worst performances as a

professional the last time he faced the Bobcats, scoring a

career-low one point while going 0 for 7 from the field. Despite

his offensive woes, the Knicks still rolled to a 111-78 road win

Jan. 24.

He and Tyson Chandler both sat out the most recent meeting April

26, when the Knicks won 104-84 for their third straight win over


Chandler, who spent the 2009-10 season with the Bobcats, had 15

points and grabbed 13 rebounds Sunday for New York, which also has

a showdown with Miami on Thursday before facing Chicago on


“This is a tough road trip,” Chandler said. “Having three games

in four nights, we have to make sure we concentrate, focus, don’t

get ahead of ourselves and go game by game.”

The Knicks received good news Tuesday when Raymond Felton said

he will play despite suffering a bone bruise in his left hand

Sunday, when he scored 23 points and added seven assists. Felton,

selected fifth overall by Charlotte in the 2005 draft, averaged

13.3 points in five seasons with the Bobcats before beginning his

first stint with the Knicks in 2010.

Jason Kidd also is expected to return after missing the last

four games with back spasms to give the Knicks a healthy starting

lineup against the Bobcats, who are hoping to bounce back after

another tough loss.

Charlotte (7-9) blew an 18-point fourth-quarter lead before

falling 118-112 in overtime to Portland on Monday, its fourth

straight defeat. Ben Gordon scored 29 points and hit eight

3-pointers off the bench, while Kemba Walker added 22 and seven


”NBA games are long,” Gordon said. ”I’ve seen a lot of crazy

things happen and it’s never really over until it’s over. So, when

you have that type of advantage on a team, you just have to keep

your foot on their neck and try and put them away.”

Coach Mike Dunlap suggested the young Bobcats, whose last three

defeats have come by six or fewer points, may not have been

prepared well enough to hold that type of lead.

”It is unfamiliar territory,” Dunlap said. ”I thought I could

have done a better job helping them, for example with

substitutions. So I sort of point the finger at me on that.”

New York has won seven of the last nine meetings.