Carmelo Anthony keeps negativity at arm's length

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks shoots a three-point

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks shoots a three-point shot in the first half against the Boston Celtics during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (April 20, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

BOSTON -- Carmelo Anthony hasn't shut off his phone or stopped tweeting the way LeBron James does in the playoffs. But Anthony has created his own way to lock in this season: He isn't reading the papers or listening to sports talk radio at all.

That's been his policy all season because too much negativity "crept in'' the previous two years.

"I felt like I could just focus in on playing basketball and getting better and making my team better,'' he said Saturday. "A lot of things throughout the course of a season are always said about this, about that. If you listen to it and you read it, the negativity could easily sink inside you.''

Last season, reports of Anthony's relationship with Mike D'Antoni and whether he could play with Jeremy Lin led to tension and uneasiness in the Knicks' locker room. This season, Anthony has become the unquestioned leader of the Knicks.

He led the league in scoring and the Knicks to their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years. They are one win from advancing to the second round for the first time in 13 years. It would be the second time Anthony has gotten out of the first round in his 10-year career.

"I told you from day one, I would not let any negativity in our locker room, around me, around as a unit. It's been working,'' he said. "This year was the first year where I really could focus on playing basketball and put everything else to the side.''

 

Amar'e's returnAmar'e Stoudemire, who had knee surgery March 11, said he could be ready in the second round. If he is, Mike Woodson said he "absolutely'' will play. Woodson said he's not worried about a disruption of the chemistry the Knicks have built in winning 19 of 21. "Not at all,'' he said. "You guys worry about that. I don't. I really don't. He's a big piece to our puzzle.''

Tyson Chandler said: "The veteran leadership, as well as the coaching on this team, wouldn't allow [such a disruption]. Amar'e is eager to play. I think he's only going to help the team when he does come back. He'll give us that extra big in the rotation . . . If anything, it'll be a big positive.''

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