Carmelo Anthony inspired by title at Syracuse to get one for Knicks
SYRACUSE -- Two banners hanging high atop the Carrier Dome signal what Carmelo Anthony brought to Syracuse, and seeing them has inspired him to raise one at the Garden.
Anthony led the Orangemen to the 2003 national championship. It's been nearly 40 years since the Knicks won a title, a drought Anthony wants to end.
"It's just motivating just to know what I was able to do here by bringing a championship to the university, to the town," Anthony said. "It motivates me to want to bring that back to my respective town now, New York City. It kind of puts everything in perspective."
Anthony received a standing ovation Monday night from the Syracuse fans, many of whom wore No. 7 jerseys, when he was introduced before the Knicks' 98-90 preseason loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Anthony scored 23 points, shooting 7-for-23.
Monday night was the first game for projected starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer. Brewer, who had his left knee scoped Sept. 7, shot 0-for-2 and was scoreless with four rebounds and three assists in 16 minutes.
Being here was the latest experience to put things in perspective for Anthony. Playing in the Olympics during the summer was another. Anthony said he learned he needs to trust his teammates more and not try to score 30 points every night.
The Knicks have more weapons now, but this was the training camp in which Amar'e Stoudemire was supposed to mesh with Anthony. That was derailed with the knee issues Stoudemire has developed. He had a bruised left knee that kept him out of the first two preseason games and suffered a ruptured popliteal cyst that is expected to sideline him two to three weeks.
Mike Woodson said he has not yet spoken with Stoudemire, who got treatment Monday. If Stoudemire is out the first week or more when the regular season opens, the Knicks probably will use Anthony at power forward and could even start him there, as they did Monday night.
Speculation has begun about Stoudemire coming off the bench when he returns. That wasn't the plan coming into camp, and Woodson has never said it will happen. But he does like playing Anthony at power forward.
When Stoudemire was out last season, Anthony was quicker than most power forwards and had an easy time getting his shot and scoring.
"It's kind of a nightmare for a lot of [power forwards] in this league," Woodson said. "There's a variety of things he can do that causes problems for bigger [power forwards] that have to guard him. That's the advantage that he has. It's good for our team as well."
Woodson said he doesn't always want to start Anthony against bigger power forwards because it takes its toll on him defensively. But Anthony said doing what it takes to win is his focus.
"My approach this season is to take it one day at a time," he said. "For us to be successful, we have to approach it day by day, one day at a time, and really put in perspective what is the task at hand and what we need to do in the midst of that journey."