This week, reports about theNew York Knicks being back in the Carmelo Anthony trade hunt
have gotten big play -- as have rumblings that possibleKnicks 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:
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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?"