It was just about three weeks ago when the Knicks were riding a four-game losing streak. The offense was struggling without Carmelo Anthony and the defense looked atrocious. It looked like injuries were going to be the Knicks downfall in their quest for a division championship. But thanks in part to a weak schedule, New York has been able to get things turned back around in the right direction. New York has now won eight straight games. Not only have they extended their lead in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference but the Knicks have climbed all the way up to the second seed in the East playoff picture. Before all the injuries piled up, the Knicks looked like the only legitimate threat to Miami in the East. They are starting to have that look once again.
Carmelo Anthony joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to talk about the key to the Knicks turnaround lately, how important it is for the Knicks to win the division, what he likes best about the Knicks team this year and how excited he is about the playoffs starting soon.
On the key to the Knicks turnaround lately:
“Well, guys are starting to get healthy. That is the most important thing. I think we kept our composure throughout that little scare that we had on that road trip. We came back, we bounced back and guys are starting to have fun again, guys are starting to get their confidence back as individuals and as a team. We are taking it one day at a time. We know it’s a long season. You’re going to have ups and downs and it’s just a matter of how you bounce back from that.”
How important it is for them to win the division:
“That’s our number one goal, to win the division. That was our goal coming into the season. Right now we’re sitting right there at the top where we want to be at, where we belong. We feel like we have a chance to do that. We control our own destiny at this point.”
Besides getting healthy, what is the most important thing the Knicks have to do to be as good as they can be?
“Well that is the most important thing. I think everybody saw when we were a healthy team how good of a team we are and how we respond out there. At the end of the day, that is the most important thing for this team. We must go into the postseason healthy.”
Whether he is disappointed the Heat lost because the Knicks didn’t get a shot to end the streak:
“I definitely wanted to end that streak, but as a fan of the game, it’s 27 straight games so you have to take your hat off to them. But as a competitor you’re like, ‘damn I wish they would have won a couple more games so I could have chance.’ I wanted to be the team to try to beat them.”
What he likes about this Knicks team this year:
“Just how we’ve been able to respond to different circumstances and bounce back. Every time we hit a little bump in the road we’ve bounced back. That’s something I love about this team. At the end of the day, regardless of what is being said about us, in that locker room nobody can take that away from us. We understand each other, we get each other, we’re around each other all day long and we know what we have to do. We had to figure out some of the reasons why we had that little skid.”
If his knee is still a problem:
“No it’s not a problem. That was the main thing. Just had to figure out exactly what was wrong. Once I got the knee drained I was back to normal.”
How much he is looking forward to the playoffs:
“I can’t wait, I can’t wait. It’s something I have been looking forward to. Even before I first came here, I always told myself and the people around me, ‘this is going to a three year process to get back to where everything needs to be as far as basketball goes.’ This is the third year. We just have to get into the postseason healthy, confident and with a division title and keep it going.”