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As playoffs loom, some wonder where the Melo Magic is


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With the playoffs weeks away and the Knicks slumping against lousy teams, there's one question on every fan’s mind: What happened?

When the Knicks acquired star Carmelo Anthony some saw it as messianic: the Knicks got a top-five player who would form a dangerous duo with Amar'e Stoudemire.

But since the trade, the Knicks have gone 7-8, and though a playoff berth is all but secured, some wonder where the magic is.

"You can't expect Carmelo to come and they just win,” said Darren Parris, 34, of East Flatbush. “They have to mesh."

Anthony himself admitted after the Knicks loss to Milwaukee that the team wasn’t playing cohesively.

"For everyone to get 100 percent on the same page, it might take next season," Anthony said.

So how can the Knicks — who play Boston tonight — get back on track? The experts agree: It's all about the chemistry.

"The team just doesn't know who they are at this point," said Tommy Dee of "They're not clicking game-in game-out. When they sort that out, they'll do some damage."

Wayne McDonnell, sports management professor at NYU, agreed, adding, "When you make a move of this magnitude in such a short period of time, chemistry is key."

Seth Rosenthal of Knicks blog said expectations after the trade were unrealistically high.

"You can't expect a guy who spent seven years at another team with another style to mesh with another star scorer and immediately figure things out," he said.

But don’t panic, Dee said. "They're still gonna be a tough team to deal with in the first round of the playoffs," he said.

amNewYork and the Knicks are both run by companies owned by the Dolan family.

(with Theresa Juva)

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