Friday, February 15, 2013 Updated: February 17, 1:48 PM ET
Knicks' Carmelo Anthony to start
By Jared Zwerling Special to ESPNNewYork.com
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will be in the starting lineup for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Houston.
Anthony suffered a deep right arm contusion Wednesday night in a 92-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors, and after the game he said his availability for Sunday was in question. On Saturday, however, during the All-Star team media session, he made it clear he was ready to go.
"I feel good," said Anthony, the league's second-leading scorer at 28.6 points per game. "A long weekend, but I feel good."
2013 NBA All-Star Game
The 2013 NBA All-Star Game will take place Feb. 17 in Houston. ESPN has the entire All-Star weekend covered. Index
Anthony will be making his sixth All-Star appearance, starting alongside Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh, who replaced the injured Rajon Rondo. Melo said that being an All-Star, especially getting a chance to hang with the rare breed of talent in Houston, motivated him to suit up.
"Doing this type of stuff, being in the locker room, having fun with them -- I mean, you can't ask for nothing better than that," he said. "It's like a dream come true."
Anthony said all he's thinking about for Sunday is to win, and for obvious reason. The West has won the last two All-Star Games, in Los Angeles and then Orlando.
"That's the most important thing," he said. "At the end of the day, we're all competitors. We joke around and have fun out there on the court together -- it's the All-Star Game and the fans want to see that -- but at the end of the day when the game is close, our competitive spirit comes out and we want to win."
On Sunday, Anthony will have defensive help from his Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler, who will be making his first All-Star appearance.
"I want him to enjoy this experience," Melo said. "He's the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, he's having a hell of a season. He deserves it."
Chandler hasn't missed a game this season, despite battling injuries, the flu and other viruses, and has even put in extra work without much of backup centers Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace. Chandler is shooting a league-high 67.3 percent from the field. He's also averaging a double-double (11.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game) for only the second time in his 12-year career.
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Chandler said the Houston experience so far has been "great," as he's been able to reconnect with many of his 2012 Olympic teammates who won the gold medal in London. He's also enjoyed the excitement of some of the players' children around the team, leading to many smiles from the guys. In fact, when Anthony and Chandler did their media interviews on Saturday, they had their sons, Kiyan and Tyson II, respectively, sitting on their laps.
"We've been so busy, running around, but I think just our boys," Chandler said. "Seeing Melo with his boy, Chris [Bosh] with his. They're jumping in the locker room."
Chandler has been trying to take it all in because he knows what's in store after the break.
"Just knowing that after this, it gets real serious," he said. "When we come back, you've got to be ready mentally and physically to go."
The Knicks (32-18) are in the second spot in the Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat (36-14).