GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony ducked any mention of who he would prefer to play in the postseason, but he did concede that the New York Knicks' recent surge may be giving the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat something to think about.
"Right now I think everyone’s seeing how well we’re starting to play, how we’re starting to gel together, how we’re starting to do things right, how we’re starting to figure it out at this period of time going into the playoffs. That can linger in a lot of people’s heads," Anthony said Friday after the Knicks' morning shootaround. "As far as who we play and guys worried about us, I’m not too concerned about that."
The Knicks moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference with their victory at Philadelphia on Wednesday night, but they will be without Amare Stoudemire (ankle) tonight in Newark and possibly in Indiana on Sunday, too. They finish the regular season with a home game against Chicago next Tuesday and a road game in Boston on Wednesday, and they will face either the Celtics or the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
"The best thing for him (Stoudemire) is to get it right, get healthy and be ready by next week," Anthony said. "At this point, my only concern for him is getting healthy. Just get that ankle right and be ready to rock."
With five consecutive Ws, a victory tonight would give the Knicks their second-longest winning streak of the season (the team won eight in a row from Nov. 28 through Dec. 12).
If they win the remainder of their games, they will stay in the sixth seed and play the third-place team in the conference (Boston and Miami are currently tied for 2nd with 54-24 records, and the Celtics own the tie-breaker edge by virtue of their 3-0 lead in the season series. The Heat and Celtics play Sunday afternoon on ABC).
"Both of them are great teams. We’ll just see how it works out," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Obviously we’ll see more as the week goes on who we match up against. I think it’s still way up in the air for everybody."