Melo wants Knicks to prepare like Heat

Carmelo Anthony,left, Jeremy Lin, center, and Tyson Chandler

Carmelo Anthony,left, Jeremy Lin, center, and Tyson Chandler watch from the bench during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Jeremy Lin isn't the only high-profile Knick who seems to have taken something from last week's loss in Miami. It gave Carmelo Anthony something to think about during All-Star Weekend.

Anthony said the Heat showed the Knicks the blueprint for not only how they have to play but the amount of work and concentration they must put into each game.

"The way that they prepared for our team, for our game, that's something that I would like to take and bring that back to my team," Anthony said after playing in Sunday night's All-Star Game. "Just the preparation that they put into the situation that it worked out."

The Heat wanted to shut down Lin and did. Miami ultimately quieted the Knicks on Thursday, too. That game is the only thing Anthony plans to bring into the second half of the season, which starts for the Knicks Wednesday night against Cleveland at the Garden.

Anthony hopes to put all the injuries that limited him behind him, along with the talk that he would have to change his game to cater to Lin's style. He appears focused on what it's going to take in the final 31 games for the Knicks to reach Miami's level.

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"It's crunch time now because it's time to buckle up, prepare ourselves to get ready for the playoffs or get into the playoffs," said Anthony, who had 19 points in the All-Star Game. "Win some games and go from there. Get everybody on the same page."

The Knicks, who are 17-18 and in seventh place in the East, return to practice Tuesday. All of the players went to the Knicks' training facility Monday for individual workouts and treatment but couldn't practice. The rules of the collective-bargaining agreement state that any team that plays the Thursday before All-Star Weekend can't resume practice until Tuesday.

That just gave Anthony another day to think about Thursday's 102-88 loss in Miami.

The Heat usually plays with a sense of urgency and commitment to all phases of the game that some teams, including the Knicks, don't have every night.

If the Knicks want to challenge Miami and Chicago -- and win a playoff series for the first time since 2000 -- it will take Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire setting the tone.

They're nowhere near the defenders that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are. But if Anthony and Stoudemire show they're committed to doing whatever it takes to win, it could make a potentially rocky transition smoother for the Knicks.

"I'm excited about getting back," Anthony said. "I know how important Tuesday's practice is just from a standpoint of getting everybody together, getting everybody back focused."

From top to bottom, the Knicks have one of the most talented teams in the NBA, but they don't have the familiarity or chemistry Miami has.

J.R. Smith has played four games but hasn't gone through a single Knicks practice. Baron Davis has scrimmaged once and played three games. Josh Harrellson, who is returning from right wrist surgery, will practice Tuesday for the first time in six weeks. Iman Shumpert (left knee tendinitis) can practice on a limited basis and could return this week.

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