Carmelo Anthony in golden shape after Olympic experience
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony didn't return from the Olympics with only a gold medal. He also came back in shape and with more belief in his teammates -- two things that should help the Knicks.
"I'm way ahead, as far as conditioning goes, normally where anybody would come into training camp," he said after practice Monday. "I'm far along."
Anthony never thought his conditioning was an issue, but the subject came up previously, including from coach Mike Woodson late last season. He said he wanted Anthony to return in better shape. Discussing Anthony and Tyson Chandler Monday, Woodson said they're both "in damn good shape" from the Olympic experience.
That experience and playing with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and the other Olympians also gave Anthony a better understanding of what it takes to win and that he needs to believe in his teammates more.
Anthony, whose teams have gotten past the first round of the playoffs once in nine appearances, has said his nights of scoring 30 or 40 points are over. That's doubtful, given that there will be plenty of games in which the Knicks need his offense. But to go deep in the playoffs, they also need Anthony to become a more complete player and keep his teammates involved.
"For me, [it's] trusting my teammates a lot more," he said. "If we can trust one another out there on the basketball court, it will make things a lot easier. And being with the guys that were on that team this summer, it really put that in perspective."
The Knicks have no James, Bryants or Durants, but they have a collection of veterans who have been effective throughout their careers. Now they have to mesh their talents.
Woodson said of Anthony: "I think he's committed. I always thought he was committed. He's going to have to be even committed more if you're talking about trying to take this team to the next level. And that's everybody; it's not just Carmelo Anthony."
During scrimmages, if teammates miss a shot, Anthony said he's encouraging them to take the next one. Anthony, who never really clicked with Jeremy Lin on the court, also said having a proven point guard in Raymond Felton "settles everything down" and will make things easier for him and his teammates.
"It's his show," Anthony said. "He gets the ball, we space out, we do what we have to do. He runs the team, so the ball is in Raymond's hands right now. It makes things a lot more easier out there."
Notes & quotes: Woodson doesn't know when Rasheed Wallace will start scrimmaging. Wallace did some boxing workouts, lacing up gloves and throwing punches to help his core while the Knicks scrimmaged. "It's all conditioning work to better the player," Woodson said. "Eventually, we'll get him out on the floor ready to play." . . . Tuesday's practice will be shown live on MSG Network at 11 a.m.