New York Knicks' Landry Fields, top, pulls back as Philadelphia...

New York Knicks' Landry Fields, top, pulls back as Philadelphia 76ers 'Jodie Meeks, foreground, steals the ball in the third quarter. (Nov. 7, 2010) Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Donnie Walsh is curious about what lies ahead for his team, especially with the Knicks facing this weekend's home-and-home series with the 76ers, who sit just three games behind them in the Eastern Conference standings. Since their 3-13 start, the 76ers have gone 19-13 and have won five of their last six games.

"You've got to man-up now, because now teams are really going to bear in and you either are trying to get ahead of somebody or you're trying to keep somebody from getting ahead of you, so the games get real serious,'' Walsh said Thursday. "As a team, I don't know that we've been through that, so I have my hesitations. Can we meet this challenge? So those are the questions I ask.''

Raymond Felton called the series, which begins Friday night in Philadelphia and ends Sunday afternoon at the Garden, "like playoff games'' and expects "a dogfight, no question.''

Notes & quotes: Felton was not among those named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last night, when the reserves for both conferences were announced. Felton had been in consideration for a spot and likely will be a candidate if an injury replacement is needed . . . Wilson Chandler will be back in the lineup for tonight's game after missing the last three games with a sore left calf and, he revealed, some pain in his ankle.

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