The Knicks were 16-5 when noted Knicks skeptic Charles Barkley conceded in a mid-December interview with Newsday that the 2012-13 edition appeared to be the "the best team they've had in a while."
But the TNT analyst also cautioned that the team's age, reliance on three-point shooting and unimpressive rebounding could derail their fast start.
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So, Sir Charles, how are you feeling about the Knicks now?
"What I said about the Knicks is they're too old to stay healthy, they can't keep shooting threes like that and they don't rebound the ball," he said Monday at an event to promote CBS/Turner's NCAA Tournament coverage.
"I said that in November, I said that in December, I said that in January and February. Now everything that I said is coming true and everyone is like, 'Well, I guess you were right.' "
Barkley insisted he does not have an anti-Knicks agenda, a reputation he considers "really unfair," and added that he would like to see them do well for the sake of the NBA. But even though he said he doesn't "know anything about anything in the world but basketball,'' he did insist he knows the game and knows the Knicks are in trouble.
He said he is unsure they can survive the first round of the playoffs, and felt that way even before the loss of Amar'e Stoudemire.
And if Carmelo Anthony is not physically sound down the stretch? "Oh, man, they have no chance if he's not healthy -- zero," Barkley said. "I mean, they have a fighting chance to win a first-round series if he's healthy, but I don't see them getting past the second round."
In early February, Barkley gave the Lakers no chance of reaching the playoffs, a prediction that now looks shaky. He expressed exasperation with media members for obsessing over the Lakers the way they did over a certain struggling football team last autumn. "Y'all talk about the Jets all the time like y'all talk about the Lakers," he said. "The Jets stink and the Lakers are mediocre at best."