Carmelo Anthony wants Knicks to build on win in opener
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Friday night was a dream night for Carmelo Anthony. He had 30 points and 10 rebounds. The Knicks pounded the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Fans serenaded him with chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!"
So what does Anthony hope to accomplish in the Knicks' second game of the season, when they host Philadelphia at noon Sunday at the Garden?
"We just want to build off that win," Anthony said after practice Saturday. "There's not a need for us to take a step backward. We're not a team that's being talked about right now. We understand that and we know that."
The implication is that they hope to change that by continuing to play at the inspired level they reached Friday night at the Garden. The game was encouraging on a number of fronts, with perhaps the most important being that the Knicks broke their destructive pattern of building a significant lead on a quality opponent, only to blow it down the stretch.
The Knicks built an 18-point lead during the first quarter and used their defense to protect their double-digit lead even after Miami made a run in the second quarter. Then they extended the lead to 23 late in the third quarter en route to a 104-84 win.
"I think with the team we have now, we can compete with anybody," Anthony said, adding that the Knicks now have players on the court who know how to "control the tempo of a basketball game.''
One of those players is Jason Kidd, the 39-year-old future Hall of Fame point guard who started at shooting guard Friday and scored 12 points. Kidd, who helped turn around the Mavericks, Suns and Nets, was cautiously enthusiastic after his first regular-season game with the Knicks.
"I think we took the challenge to take on the best team in the league with the best player in the league," Kidd said of the victory over the Heat and LeBron James. "This is a long journey. One game does not define your team. We have to build on what we did in our next game."
That might not be as much of a challenge as it could have been. The 76ers are expected to be without center Andrew Bynum, who has a bone bruise. Anthony, however, said it doesn't matter whom the Knicks are playing; they're just looking to show what they can do.
Said Anthony: "We just want to go out there and win."
Notes & quotes: Tyson Chandler missed Saturday's practice with flu-like symptoms but the Knicks listed him as probable for Sunday . . . Woodson said he will consider using Marcus Camby Sunday but likely will wait a few more days if Chandler is healthy. Backup center Camby has seen limited contact since returning to the court after a left calf strain in training camp . . . Woodson would not commit to a starting lineup for Sunday but it's likely that he will go with the same five he started against the Heat: Kidd, Anthony, Chandler, Raymond Felton and Ronnie Brewer.