Knicks guard Jose Calderon shoots a three-point basket during the...

Knicks guard Jose Calderon shoots a three-point basket during the first quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Uncasville, Conn. Credit: AP / Jessica Hill

Jose Calderon will try to do what Raymond Felton couldn't last season: help the Knicks get to the playoffs and help Andrea Bargnani reach his potential.

It wasn't all Felton's fault that the Knicks went 37-45 or that Bargnani was a disappointment. But point-guard play was a definite weakness, and the general feeling after the Knicks acquired Calderon was that they immediately improved because Felton was gone.

"I'm going to try to do my best for this team to be the best we can and to get as far as we can go and win as many games as we can," Calderon said before the Knicks defeated the Celtics, 96-80, Saturday night in a preseason game at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Knicks looked much sharper on both ends than they had in their preseason opener Wednesday, when they yielded 106 points and lost by 20 to the Celtics. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 16 points, J.R. Smith had 14 and Tim Hardaway Jr. and rookie Cleanthony Early had 11 each.

"We are a team," said Calderon, who had nine points. "It's too many things. It's not a weakness in one position or another. Last year, they had 30-something wins. It's not only one guy."

There was plenty of blame to go around, and Bargnani, Calderon's teammate for seven seasons in Toronto, received his share. It was nothing new for the former No. 1 pick.

After the Knicks sent Toronto three draft picks in the package for Bargnani, he averaged 13.3 points in only 42 games, as injuries limited him for the third straight season.

Since averaging a career-high 21.4 points three years ago, Bargnani, who sat out Saturday night with a mild strain in his right hamstring, has played in only 108 of a possible 230 games and averaged 14.9 points. But Calderon thinks he and the triangle offense can help revive the 7-foot Italian's career.

"We were together for so long," Calderon said. "We got really close. I know everything, how he feels, how he plays. Hopefully, I can help him again. I know it was tough for him with the injuries last year and never getting into a rhythm. Hopefully this year he's back. He's a great, talented player who can help us a lot for sure."

"The good thing about the system is we're going to find the right spots for him and where he feels more comfortable, and he's going to be able to play the best basketball hopefully of his career."

Coach Derek Fisher believes that if Bargnani can stay healthy, he can have a big impact. "The versatility he provides our roster is at a really high level," Fisher said. "We're looking forward to having all that he can bring for us."

But Calderon, acquired in an eight-player trade in which Felton and Tyson Chandler were shipped to Dallas, is expected to be a difference-maker.

Smart and unselfish, Calderon is a good fit for the triangle. The Spaniard has averaged 10.2 points and 6.8 assists and shot 41.1 percent from three-point range during his nine-year NBA career. His assist-to-turnover ratio is an elite 4.09-1.

Maintaining that ratio could be challenging, given that he's in a new offense with new players, but Calderon is focused on learning the system and where his teammates like the ball.

"You start knowing a little bit what the guys [want]," Calderon said. "I cannot say what the time is going to be. You need time. I feel more comfortable every day. That's a good thing."Notes & quotes: Fisher continues to look at different lineups. He started Calderon, Iman Shumpert, Anthony, Quincy Acy and Samuel Dalembert. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Amar'e Stoudemire started the second half for Shumpert and Dalembert . . . Pablo Prigioni did not play because of what the team called "a scheduled day of rest."