‘Melo says Knicks are a playoff team

Carmelo Anthony is putting in the work this summer to back up his words about the Knicks

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Don’t count the New York Knicks out of the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.

Not yet.

So says the face of the franchise, Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony is not only talking the talk, insisting that the Knicks will rebound from last season’s dismal 37-45 finish and return to the playoffs this season, he’s putting in the work to prepare himself physically and mentally for the rigors to come during the first full season of the Phil Jackson-Derek Fisher regime.

Fred Kerber of the New York Post caught up with ‘Melo and delivers the goods:

But the playoffs are another matter. In fact, Anthony on Monday asserted his belief the Knicks “absolutely” will be back in the playoffs after missing out last season.

“Yeah, I think so for sure. Absolutely,” an impressively slimmed-down Anthony said of the Knicks’ playoff chances before entering a Midtown gym for a late morning-to-early afternoon workout with a group of NBA players.

Anthony snuffed an attempt to establish any goals for the revamped Knicks, who will enter their first full season under team president Phil Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher.

“I can’t wait to get started,” said Anthony, who missed the playoffs for the first time in his career when the Knicks stumbled to a 37-45 record last season. “No goals. Not setting any goals, but I just can’t wait to get it back on.”

Whether this is just a star player exhibiting the expected confidence in himself and his situation or ‘Melo channeling the power of positive thinking is irrelevant. Knicks fans should love what they are seeing and hearing from ‘Melo. He’s either all in with the new program in New York or a better actor than anyone on Broadway.

There are plenty of factors in the Eastern Conference conspiring against ‘Melo and the Knicks.

LeBron James and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, who are expected to add Kevin Love to their mix in the coming days, have forced a complete reshuffling of the playoff deck. If what we’ve seen from Derrick Rose this summer is any indication, the Chicago Bulls (with Pau Gasol now on board) will also force changes at the top.

The Indiana Pacers are expected to tumble a bit with the losses of both Paul George (injury) and Lance Stephenson (free agency). But the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Stephenson’s Charlotte Hornets are poised to move up in the standings. The East’s defending champs, the Miami Heat, have Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade ready to hold the line sans LeBron and remain in the projected playoff mix.

That leaves a narrow opening for the handful of teams (led by the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Knicks) vying for those final precious playoff spots. I don’t know that Anthony’s confidence is warranted, especially given the 2013-14 season he and the Knicks endured.

But the bravado is good to see and should be welcomed by folks who like to see the best players embrace the super-sized expectations that come with playing in New York. Whatever the Knicks do this season rests on Anthony’s re-sculpted shoulders. If his personal transformation is any indication, and if his confidence has infected the locker room, the Knicks could very well find their way into the playoffs.

It won’t be easy, of course. And it’ll take some luck of some sort along the way.

It’s the offseason, everybody … well, almost everybody believes deep down that this is going to be their year. Even if they are completely delusional, they believe in August.

‘Melo is no different. And he’s got a 54-win season from two years ago as a reminder of what the Knicks can do when they are clicking. Some of the faces have changed and the system will be different from what the Knicks operated when coach Mike Woodson was calling the shots.

But if ‘Melo says the Knicks are “absolutely” headed back to the top eight mix in the Eastern Conference, I see no reason to dismiss the notion now.

It’s like Kevin Garnett once famously said: “anything is possible!”


VIDEO: Knicks.com highlights the top matchups for the 2014-15 season

77 Comments

  1. larry says:

    my prediction

    1 CHI
    2 WAS
    3 CLE
    4 NYK
    5 TOR
    6 CHA
    7 CHA
    8 ATL

    NYK FAN

  2. Pining Garcia says:

    Yeah right! A playoff team but not a championship caliber team,

  3. Steveplays says:

    I feel that the Knicks stand a chance for the last rwo spots

  4. daddycardona says:

    You all hating on the my Knicks is lost their mind. They gonna be 1st seed because they have Hardaway Jr as a back up and this year they gonna blow peoples mind, all their young talent is great and if we keep shump with larkin that is shut down defense. That is like having an average wide receiver go against Derrell Revis. Paul, Lebron, etc.. Shut down. My predictions right here
    1. Knicks
    2. Bulls
    3. Cavs
    4. Celtics
    5. Cavs or Wizards
    6. Cavs or Wizards
    7. Hornets
    8. Brooklyn or Miami

  5. Toyz from MLA Phls. says:

    a lot of wrong grammar goin’ on here…

  6. Tom says:

    Knicks have 0 chance of making the playoffs with that roster

  7. jdub455 says:

    whoa! melo looks fine! damn! MVP contender?!? let’s see….

  8. NYSWINGMAN says:

    I HOPE NY STOP GIVING MONEY AWAY TO PLAYER THAT ARE ON THE SLOPE OF THEIR CAREERS AND START DEVELOPING PRO MESSING PLAYER YOUNG TALENTS. THAT COULD BRING EXCITEMENT TO THE GAME. WHEN PLAYERS HAVE FUN IS EASIER TO WIN FILL THE BENCH WITH PROVEN TALENT THAT COULD STILL PLAY BUT LET THE YOUNG LEGG DO THE RUNNING.

  9. timothyhoward says:

    Carmelo.I love you man.but I don’t think New York is a playoff team yet.

  10. asdf says:

    I dont see why they cant make the playoffs, they do have some talent i new york.

  11. Ryan says:

    Why he’s wearing an Adidas shorts?

  12. helveyn says:

    yeah!absolutely sure that the knicks wii be in the play off mix because of the addition of calderon,hope they will…..

  13. d3nsyo says:

    possible but unlikely

  14. Jason says:

    What else is Carmelo’s suppose to say? The Clippers’ been saying that stuff since Chris Paul’s been in elementary school.

  15. Justin Mullen says:

    1. Chicago
    2. Cleveland
    3. Brooklyn
    4. Washington
    5. Miami
    6. New York
    7. Toronto
    8. Indiana

  16. JC says:

    you people make laughing , really you think those prediction above can be real , do you think because Lebron is not in mianmi , then miami heat will not win the championship , hahahahaha , all you people going and check the player that are in the Heat , Remember when Pacer fired Granger i said the pacer sold the soul , now he is in Miami heat ready to win
    beside , bosh , wade and Deng , we have Granger, bird man , James Ennis, Hamilton, Williams , Chalmers and many more here my predictions
    1-Miami heat
    2-???
    3-???
    4-???

    -Lebron will crying from now until he be retired , lebron he is not a team and Cleveland is not team either
    -Melo will continue talking and bla bla bla
    -Chicago , stop to dream , Rose is injury , he will play a couple of games and that is it , the same with Paul Gasol

    I will sit and watching and laughing form TV all season

    JC

  17. lbj says:

    melo talking boldly about his bad new york team will not get him a ring, which he still has not earned in his long nba career. what he needs to do is to join our king “lebron” in ohio. We will trade future hall of famer tristan thompson and legendary sharpshooter mike miller to the knicks!

  18. MELO AINT MAKIN' PLAYOFFS says:

    Barring any substantial injuries, here are my East predictions:

    SEASON STANDINGS
    1. Chicago (Central) – 61-21
    2. Cleveland – 56-26
    3. Toronto (Atlantic) – 52-30
    4. Atlanta (Southeast) – 45-37
    5. Washington – 44-38
    6. Charlotte – 44-38
    7. Miami – 42-40
    8. Indiana – 38-44
    9. New York 36-46 (sorry Melo)

    EAST 1ST ROUND
    (1) Chicago def. (8) Indiana 4-1
    (2) Cleveland def. (7) Miami 4-1 (This would be fun)
    (3) Toronto def. (6) Charlotte 4-3
    (5) Washington def. (4) Atlanta 4-2

    EAST SEMIS
    (1) Chicago def. (5) Washington 4-2
    (2) Cleveland def. (3) Toronto 4-1

    EAST FINALS
    (2) Cleveland def. (1) Chicago 4-3

    • erere says:

      you forgot brooklyn, dummy

    • Yeezus says:

      The fact that you put Atlanta so high ruins everything you said

    • Miami fan(dwade) says:

      I like you predictions but

      SEASON STANDINGS
      1. Chicago (Central) – 61-21
      2. Cleveland – 56-26
      3. Toronto (Atlantic) – 52-30
      4. Atlanta (Southeast) – 45-37
      5. Washington – 44-38
      6. Charlotte – 44-38
      7. Miami – 42-40
      8. Indiana – 38-44
      9. New York 36-46 (sorry Melo)
      Swap miami and Atlanta :

      :::: my prediction
      chi-
      cle-
      toron-
      Miami-
      washing-
      nets -
      bobca-ind-
      Atlanta-ny

  19. harriethehawk says:

    Okay Melo, I hear you. Since you will be wiining so many games, I guess I don’t have to anticipate any more of your verbal diarrhea at every post game loss media conference: “You know, we just have to play harder!”

  20. BWorld says:

    no offense to any Knickerbocker hater or non-believer, but yeah, the Knicks really look awful, even on paper…however, there’s change in them and I see that it’s positive enough to bring good results..maybe it’s gonna be awful to see the Knicks play, but in the end, it’s gonna be much more awful to see them knock some ideal playoff teams out of the eastern conference playoffs, what’s worse than that is the Knicks may even come out as winners…just like what the B’s did back in 2008…

    The Knicks will surely have a big turnaround season this year…it will be really surprising…

  21. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    they’ll fight for 7-8 seed with Charlotte, Atlanta, Brooklyn and even the Pistons under SVG. i don’t think they’ll get it though.

  22. James says:

    Post-linsanity.

  23. Zen-Master-Flash says:

    To all the haters, the Knicks will be no lower than the 5 seed in the East this year. look at the seeds of the Zen-master in summer league.

    Where’s user lbj? I want to hear his incite on this matter.

    -Clippers fan

  24. RogueGhost says:

    I never count a bad team out of the post season in the Eastern Conference.

  25. Garen says:

    Riperoni Carmelo. Your team is screwed. Say bye to your chances of making the playoffs might as well a championship. Greed op. Get rekt son. Gg no re.

  26. Teddy Bubbles says:

    Eastern Conference Playoff Prediction
    1. Bulls
    2. Cavs
    3. Wizards
    4. Heat
    5. Raptors
    6. Hornets
    7. Hawks
    8. Knicks

    I think 1-7 are all a lock to make the playoffs (maybe not in this seeding), but 8th seed is a toss up between Knicks, Pacers, and Nets.

  27. HAHAHAHA says:

    Good one Melo.

    1) Making the playoffs in the east is very easy, so guaranteeing it is definitely not a bold prediction.

    2) That being said, they won’t even win the division. Probably 8th seed at best.

    3) Jose Calderon + Bargs…. this is like the 2010 Raptors.

  28. Chris wegner says:

    He doesn’t care about the playoffs he is only saying that because he took the max contract for the wifey instead of following his dream for a championship. hohohoh in your dreams melo…

  29. Brooklyn Woodzzzzzz 82 says:

    Most of these comments are not warranted… First of why read this article if you think poorly of the Team, then comment?? (Don’t get it, Waste of Time) All these teams mentioned above the NY Knicks all have great starting line ups. Fact is, Phil Jackson is following the Spurs formula… It is called a ” Well balanced Team ” and the only other team in the east that has it, is Washington… Other than that, I see the Knicks either taking the eastern conference or maybe coming in at 2nd. We have a great solid bench and a great array of players to compliment the triangle offense.. We all seen what happened during the NBA finals last year… That was a big wake up call for the NBA……A Big Team is better than a Big three….. #Knick4Life

    • Garen says:

      Noob

    • skrutz says:

      Dude, all the power to you for being a knicks fan, but really… they’re terrible. There’s hardly much different, and it’s not well balanced at all. Having Carmelo (unless he makes a big change in playstyle) makes balance pretty difficult.

      Also, Bargnani is on the roster.

  30. Unkle Daddy says:

    Ha, ha and another ha

  31. vern says:

    People need to stop measuring the Knicks by only last season. They had a bad season. Injuries to some important pieces and a couple of admitted quitters and any team will have a bad season. Watch Indiana this season, they have two main pieces gone for the season. Nobody expects them to win a championship, we expect them to be very competitive. Everyone is looking at additions to different teams. On paper those teams look like beasts, nobody is even discussing personality conflicts. Last season the Knicks looked good on paper but that didn’t work out did it?
    Fans switch ships fast. Right now the Heat bandwagon is now the Cavs bandwagon.Some people damn near have the Cavs hoisting the trophy already, others have the Bulls the only threat just because Rose looks good right now. What happens if and when he goes down again?

  32. melofannatic says:

    Your all idiots, of course the Knicks make the playoffs. Melo just came off of arguably his best season as a pro. You add in a real point guard like jose who can actually shoot the 3, a new system that takes some of the pressure off of melo, a few rookies to add some energy, another year under Shump & Hardaways belts and you got yourself a lock, maybe top 3 seed. Melo will lead the league in scoring again, Calderon will lead in 3pt %, Shump/ Hardaway candidates for most imporved, Knicks only concern should be bulls & cavs!!

    • skrutz says:

      Having your best season personally while your team plummets isn’t a good point to be making in his favour. The new coaching system and coach might take a while to work, or may not at all potentially.

      We’ll see!

    • DenH says:

      Rookie HC, no rim protector, a point guard that is lethally allergic to playing D, not a whole heap of depth, as good as melo is, and as much of a game changer that Phil is (even from a front office role) the knicks wont leave the first round, not with the quantum leap the rest of the east took.

  33. Jimmy Buckets says:

    Cavs have 0 defense….LBJ is a horrible defender, not because of skill or physicality, its his attitude. So I do not want to hear that argument. Last aug. everyone was hyped on the cavs, I told all you idiots Charlotte (Big Al hello), Washington, and Atlanta were better than the cavs. Looks like i was right. Also im a bulls fan but….STOP SLEEPING ON ATL they will do better than cleveland this year mark my words

    • skrutz says:

      Dude, what world are you living in where Lebron is a horrible defender? He’s like the most versatile defender out there, and good at it.

      And how are you right about ATL, WAS, and CHA being better? Have you seen the whole 14-15 season already, somehow?

      • skrutz says:

        I take back the last part, I didnt read what you meant. I too expected the Cavs to do way better than they did last year, and CHA was a surprise.

  34. lets get it cant wait for next year.e\

  35. RipCity2014 says:

    Notice he underachieved with his promise to only make the playoffs. Nothing was said about winning a title. The Knicks might as well re-hire Isiah Thomas for all the good Melo’s burdensome contract will do them.

  36. Bryan says:

    There’s always a chance of winning it all in the playoffs the knicks was the eighth seed one year in 1999 and went all the way to the finals. Also 2nd in the East in 2012. People seem to forget that and view a team by the last season and not the roster now. Getting rid of Felton is also was a plus and a slow TC is also a good thing when haters were thinking no one wanted them.
    #Facts

  37. Jacob says:

    Knicks are absolutely going to make the playoffs, they are in the eastern conference,,; there are only 2 or 3 teams with a better roster than them in the east. Now that Indiana lost Lance Stephenson and Paul George there is a good chance they wont even make playoffs.

    • TTKIN says:

      Just off the top of my head WAS, CLE, MIA, TOR and CHA I would say all have better rosters. Actually, I would even say DET has a better overall roster. Melo is he only player NY has.

  38. Joeseph says:

    Wow, 10+ years and hundreds of millions later Melo decides it’s ok to get in shape!?!? Should I be impressed ….NOT !!!

  39. NNM says:

    The dynamic duo, Stoudamire and Bargnani to the rescue…. Can’t wait to see those 2 play 82 games @30+minutes/game, to help the New York Melos reach the playoffs…!
    *sarcasm yay*

  40. Dejaun says:

    You can’t knock him for trying, its all a part of his new health. He’s learning to be more positive and with the way he is toning up you can’t blame him to have some insane confidence. Would any of you train and work hard with the mentality that you would lose? uhh no… So its all his confidence in full swing, he’s thinking they’re great and he’s preparing to be great. A winner’s mentality. Let’s Go Knicks!

  41. B Prichard says:

    I’m going to go against the stream i think the Knicks will be vastly improved i see a 4th or 5th seed and a dangerous team come playoff time

  42. jakolito says:

    in your dreams melo

  43. See red says:

    Lol! He thinks the knicks can the playoffs!!!! Maybe if he had chosen the bulls over the Knicks…..

  44. LeSleeves says:

    Oh, Carmelo… please stop talking. Go count your big cartoon bags of money while continuing to falsely tout yourself as some pensive family man. You will never win anything important. Ever. The time came for you to take an awesome chance on winning instead of lining your pockets further, and you choked. You folded. You quit. You ran.

    You and Phil Jackson can sit around and and dab each other’s tears as you bomb out repeatedly in the years to come.

  45. TD Touch Down “Common Sense when Sense is not Common” says:

    The TIANGLE offense is based on paasing, moving w/o the ball and it is that simple. The problem comes in when you have players who want the ball in their hands. Hense- The Knicks have a team full of problems. Starting from Carmelo. We will see how he season unfolds and procresses and eventually end!

    So Nice they had to name the City twice: New York, New York!

  46. meli melo says:

    they had a bad year last season but they end up 3rd in the east in 2013 … let’s not forget that

  47. Dragutin says:

    Nope i don’t see them doing any better than last year

  48. edward says:

    They was never a bad team to begin with just didn’t know how to play together

  49. johnnyhoops1980 says:

    Wow, bold statement. LOL The East is absolutely terrible and became worse when Paul George went down. He really went out on a limb with this prediction. LOL

  50. zDr0T says:

    Owwwwwwzzzzz?

  51. Well, what can a guy say after he signed for more than $122 million…….he ain’t going to say anything negative.

    In my opinion Knicks are not even a top 6 in the East. Cavs, Heat, Bulls, Wiz, Raptors, Bobcats are all better!!

    7th or 8th seeded is best they can reach by hoping that Pacers, Nets & Pistons/Hawks do mess up their season.

    Any way, reaching playoffs will be a 1st round sweep this season for them. Another terrible year coming up for MSG.