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Kelly Dwyer

Carmelo Anthony went (nearly) green in January

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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In a 12-game stretch from January 9 until January 30, Denver Nuggets super-scorer Carmelo Anthony(notes) averaged 21.8 points per game, and shot 41.5 percent from the floor. This compares unfavorably with his season-long averages of just under 25 points and 46 percent shooting. And though part of that streak took place on an Eastern road swing for Anthony's Nuggets, those games saw Denver going up against some of the East's lesser lights: Detroit, Cleveland, Washington and Philadelphia. The Nuggets played the Heat and Lakers during that span, but they also played the Cavaliers twice.

What's the point of randomly taking out a 12-game sample size in an 82-game season to dissect? Apparently, Carmelo Anthony didn't eat a single scintilla of meat during that span. Or much else, as it turns out.

From the Associated Press via, of all people, David Sirota:

From Jan. 9-30, Anthony followed what's known as the "Daniel fast," abstaining from all meats, fish, breads, sweets and soda. His diet was limited to protein shakes, raw juices, fruits and vegetables. He said he still abstains from soda and most meats.

"During that whole time, it was a lot of prayer, just taking some time out for myself and getting some clarity on things with myself, with my career, with my life, and it really helped me," Anthony said. "I started seeing things a lot more clearly from every aspect of my life."

Why poo-poo this healthy turn because of a few jumpers that went astray? Well, the AP report points to his hot turn since he went off the "Daniel fast." Anthony has been brilliant in the eight February games plus the 37-point January 31 performance against the Nets, averaging well over 30 points per game and making more than half his shots from the field. But if the juices and fresh veg were the answer, wouldn't he have been dropping 30 a game during the fast?

That didn't stop Sirota, who I like, from dropping this tweet:

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And, as it always is, both sides need to mellow out a little bit, here. No, we don't need meat to do our jobs. We don't need a lot of things to do our jobs. We don't need to be chided for each of them.

There are so many variables that go into a hot or cold swoon, when you're a guy that makes his living shooting a ball at a goal 10-feet high and sometimes 20-feet away from your hands. And pointing to a cold streak during a veg-heavy fast or a sustained strong streak following it based on the refresher course the fast may have played is as daft as pointing to a growing pile of snow as a reason to not believe in global warming, or tearing up the radio chat show lines to prattle on about it once it hits 65 degrees on a February Friday.

The meat industry's ways of procuring its wares, while delicious, would sicken even the staunchest of steak charmers. And we could all use fresher, less processed and packaged, elements in our life. But let's just credit Carmelo for what he's doing -- putting together a clearly healthy diet to help him through the dog days of an NBA season, helping to distract him from ongoing trade rumors -- and just leave it at that.


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