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- The Knicks (34-45) were officially eliminated from the playoffs Saturday and won’t appear in the postseason for the first time since 2010 “At the end of the day, I’m the coach and I didn’t get it done,” Mike Woodson said. “It’s just that simple. There’s a lot of factors that came behind it, but you can’t sit here and complain about it now. I mean, we didn’t get it done and being the coach, I just apologize to the fans because they paid their hard-earned money to come see us play and we didn’t come into this season expecting this.”
- The biggest question the Knicks going forward revolves around Carmelo Anthony, who has said he will opt out and become a free agent July 1. Woodson said he expects Anthony to play these final three games despite him battling a shoulder injury. “He hasn’t indicated to me that he’s going to sit down, he’s going to play tonight,” Woodson said. “That’s Melo’s. He’s been there all year, he’s had a helluva season for us.” Going forward under new President Phil Jackson, Amar’e Stoudemire said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Anthony and other players. “There could be a lot of changes, that’s the unknown factor,” Stoudemire said. Stoudemire added with a straight face: “On paper we might be the best team in the league.” He also said he expects to be back next season and helping the team reach the playoffs. “If I return healthy, I’m sure we’ll make the playoffs,” he said.
- The Knicks will start Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Anthony, Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
- Woodson said he would use the last three games to evaluate younger players like Toure’ Murry, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich. “You gotta start thinking about the younger players,” he said.
- The Bulls (47-32) entered the day one game ahead of Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the East.
- Chicago is expected to start Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Mike Dunleavy.
– Adam Zagoria