Like most NBA players during this 66-game sprint of a regular season, Carmelo Anthony's had plenty of nagging injuries.
Anthony's dealt with wrist, ankle, knee and groin ailments throughout the year.
But he said before Tuesday's game against Chicago that he's feeling 100% healthy -- and it couldn't come at a better time for the Knicks.
"Physically, I feel great," Anthony said, "Nothing is bothering me; I feel 100%. Mentally, I feel great. I think a lot of times when you're going through injuries, things like that that can affect you mentally.
"I'm good. The game has become fun for me right now and I'm enjoying every moment of it."
New York has relied heavily on Anthony with both Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin out -- and he's responded.
In seven games without Lin and Stoudemire, Anthony's averaging 29.9 points on 49 percent shooting (39 percent from beyond the arc) -- a significant increase from his season averages of 21 points per game on 41 percent shooting.
He's coming off of a 43-point game against Chicago on Sunday in which he hit a game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation and a game-winner late in overtime.
"The way we won, we gutted it out in a playoff atmosphere-type game," Anthony said.
Mike Woodson has been using Anthony in the post and in isolation sets more frequently with Lin and Stoudemire out. In the past seven games, he's averaging more than a point per play when he gets the ball in isolation.
But Anthony believes his recent scoring surge is due more to his health than any tweaks to the offense.
"I was dabbling with injuries all year long and still trying to fight through it, play though it," Anthony said. "Some nights it worked, some weeks it worked, some weeks it didn't. But I feel good right now. That kind of seems like a long time ago."
ANTHONY ON WOODY: 'WINNING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF' With the Knicks in the middle of a playoff race, Anthony didn't seem like he wanted to talk about the Knicks' head coaching search for next season. He was asked about Woodson's candidacy for the job on Tuesday. His answer was diplomatic, but at the same time, telling.
"He's doing a great job due to the circumstances of what happened over night with the coaching change," Anthony said. "He's responded well. I think at this point the only thing he's really concerned about is just winning basketball games. He's been doing that, so I think that kind of speaks for itself."
He certainly has. The Knicks are 11-3 since Woodson took over on March 14. They have climbed from six games under .500 into a tie with Philadelphia for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
If New York makes the playoffs, Woodson will have made a strong case for himself. But the organization is expected to show interest in bigger names such as Phil Jackson and John Calipari.
Of course, Anthony is likely to have a say in who the Knicks hire for next season. But that's not something he was ready to talk about on Tuesday.
"As far as right now, (neither) me (nor) Mike (nor) anybody has talked about that. When the season's over, I'm pretty sure that will be discussed," he said.
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