Carmelo Anthony says bad shoulder won't keep him from playing

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony holds the ball before

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony holds the ball before a game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Dec. 5, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Travel deals

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony's sore left shoulder has been a cause for concern, but he made it clear that it would take a lot more than that to keep him out of Sunday's game.

"I ain't dead,'' Anthony said Saturday. "I'm here. I'll be ready to rock at 3:30.''

The Knicks open their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Indiana Sunday afternoon at the Garden. Anthony said his shoulder felt better Saturday than it did in Game 6 Friday night, when the Knicks closed out Boston.

After the game, Anthony said it got hit and "kind of popped in and out,'' leading to speculation that he might have dislocated or separated his shoulder. But he said that isn't the case.

"No dislocation,'' Anthony said. "It moves, depending on how like [Friday] he hit me from behind and it like jerked forward and went back in, but it's not dislocated.''

He hurt the shoulder in Game 5 when Kevin Garnett yanked his arm as he tried to slide off a screen. Anthony originally hurt the same shoulder on a hard foul by Indiana's David West last month.

"There is some concern there, but if Melo tells me he can play and he's feeling fine, I'm all for Melo,'' Mike Woodson said. "If he tells me he's struggling and it's bothering him, we might have to rest him, if that might be the case. He hasn't come to me with that.''

Anthony said he hasn't had any tests done and plans to play through the pain.

"It felt pretty good [Saturday],'' he said. "The only time I really feel it is when I extend it hard, get yanked on it, something like that. Other than that, I try not to think about it.''

The schedule

The Knicks will host Games 1 and 2 Sunday and Tuesday, but Game 3 won't be played until Saturday night in Indiana. That break should allow the older Knicks to rest and also will give Amar'e Stoudemire an opportunity to practice.

"It helps Amar'e,'' Woodson said. "It gives us an opportunity to work him a little more and get some contact just to see where he actually is as a player.'' Stoudemire might play in Game 3.

Empire state of mind

Woodson started his interview session by thanking the New York fans and mentioning that the Empire State Building was lit in orange and blue after the Knicks advanced to the second round for the first time in 13 years.

"I want to send a shout-out to our fans because this series was strictly for them,'' he said. "It's been long overdue.''

Around the rim

Steve Novak won't play with the back injury that kept him out of Game 6 Friday night . . . Former Pacers great Reggie Miller will be the Game 2 analyst for TNT.

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