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- Carmelo Anthony, who has missed the past three games and six of the past eight with fluid in the back of his knee, expects to start. “I feel good as of right now, so I’ll be ready to play tonight,” Anthony said at shootaround following the team’s 1-4 West Coast trip. “It was tough for me to sit and watch them play. It was tough for me to be out there not at 100 percent with them. It was hard for me to watch that, win or lose.” Said coach Mike Woodson: “He’ll probably be rusty…But Melo will figure it out…Once he gets back and gets his rhythm in place, he’ll be fine.”
- Tyson Chandler remains out what Woodson called “a few games” with a small bulging disc. Amar’e Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace are down for the rest of the regular season with injuries, and Kurt Thomas is out 2-4 weeks with a stress reaction in his right foot. Without all those bigs, Woodson said Kenyon Martin will start alongside Anthony and Iman Shumpert in the frontcourt, with Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton in the backcourt. The Knicks recently signed Martin for the rest of the season and Woodson said “somebody would’ve picked him up for the playoff run….Kenyon’s a nice piece so we just gotta keep him healthy so he can help us.”
- Woodson said he and GM Glen Grunwald don’t have any moves planned. “Our team as it stands today is what it is,” he said. “We have to try to get Kurt and Rasheed back [for the playoffs].”
- The No. 1 goal for the Knicks right now is to win the Atlantic Division, which would be their first since the 1993-94 season. The Knicks are only a game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and 3.5 games ahead of the Boston Celtics. “That’s our goal [to win the division],” Anthony said. “That’s been something we have been thinking about this whole season. That’s a goal we set at the beginning of the season at training camp and its still there.“As of right now we are still where we belong and we just have to take care of business down the stretch.”
- The Magic will start two New Yorkers tonight in Long Island native Tobias Harris, and Queens native Moe Harkless. Harris, a second-year forward obtained from Milwaukee, has averaged 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last five starts for the Magic. The 6-10 Harkless is averaging 6.8 points and 4.2 boards on the season.
– Adam Zagoria