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Carmelo Anthony trade: NY Knicks win over Miami Heat makes Melo deal more likely

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This week, reports about the New York Knicks being back in the Carmelo Anthony trade hunt have gotten big play -- as have rumblings that possible Knicks trade component Wilson Chandler doesn't want to wind up in Denver. Amid this chatter, New York managed to beat the highly touted Miami Heat in the Garden last night -- a victory that's reinforced the view of top Knicks observers that the team needs Melo.

Prior to the matchup, the Heat's LeBron James was asked about a line he supposedly delivered around the time of Melo's wedding. The quip was mentioned in a recent Sports Illustrated profile of Anthony; James reportedly said, "If you want any chance against us in Miami, you'd better team up with Stoud in New York" -- a reference to Amare Stoudemire, who was subsequently name-checked in a Chris Paul wedding toast that lit a fire under those Melo-to-NYC rumors.

James's very cautious response yesterday? "I would like to see him happy. If that's staying in Denver or being in New York or Jersey, I want to see him happy. I like to see what happens and when it happens I can make a comment about it. The No. 1 thing is he's happy. It doesn't matter where he's at."

After the game, James and company couldn't have been pleased with their shooting, which would only have been impressive at a bricklayers convention. Nonetheless, the Knicks deserve credit for taking advantage of the Heatles' horrific percentages to earn a 93-88 win -- and NBA.com's Sekou Smith offered plenty of praise, as well as a nod to a certain Nugget. He wrote:

It was the sort of performance that exposes all the reasons why these Knicks, with a key addition (Carmelo Anthony) here or there, could be trouble for the rest of the Eastern Conference come playoff time and beyond.

Smith's right. Last night's W aside, the Knicks aren't a complete-enough squad as presently constituted to get very far in the playoffs this year -- but the addition of Anthony could very well change that equation. Hence, an allusion by the New York Post's Marc Berman at the bottom of his Heat game recap:

The Knicks, who play in Atlanta tonight, face the Heat in Miami on Feb. 27 after the trade deadline. Perhaps then they will even have a new man in uniform, Carmelo Anthony.

Speaking of uniforms, the color of the one Melo will be wearing at the February 20 All-Star game could change, depending on a deal. He was voted a starter for the West squad, but if he's traded to the Knicks before game, he'll play for the East -- although, as NBA Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson reports, he could come off the bench in that scenario.

This prospect was only enhanced by the Knicks' performance last night.

More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony trade: Deal unlikely to happen this week -- so is focus turning to Nenê?"

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