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Woody believes NYK can compete for title

The Knicks are likely to enter the postseason as a 7th or 8th seed, meaning it would take a minor miracle for them to make a run to the Finals.

Recent injuries to Jeremy Lin, Amare Stoudemire and Baron Davis make that goal even more difficult.

But interim coach coach Mike Woodson believes the team -- as currently constituted -- can compete for the title.

"I really believe that. I do, I really do," Woodson said Friday afternoon in an interview with Stephen A. Smith and Don LaGreca on ESPN New York 1050. "It would be beautiful to have Jeremy Lin running the point but we don't have him. We have Baron (Davis), we have (Mike) Bibby, we have Toney Douglas and we have the rook (Iman Shumpert).

"They are very serviceable players, they have gotten us to this point," the coach added. "I believe in them, their teammates; they believe in each other. Anything is possible -- you know that as well as I do -- once you step into the playoffs. Sure, you'd love to have home court. But we don't have it. So you're going to have to go somewhere and get it on the road if you want to advance in the playoffs."

The Knicks enter Friday night's game against Cleveland in seventh place in the East. They have clinched a playoff spot and there is an outside chance that they can sneak into sixth place in the east.

Here are other highlights from the interview:

ON IF WOODSON FEELS ANY PRESSURE TO WIN NOW IN ORDER TO GET THE KNICKS JOB NEXT SEASON:

"I can't worry about that at this point right now. The bottom line is that Mr. (James) Dolan (the Madison Square Garden chairman) gave me an opportunity to take over one of the greatest franchises going and coach the New York Knicks. And that's all I'm going to do.

"I'm not going to think about next year. I'm sure that Mr. Dolan and his ownership group will figure it out when the season is over with but right now I've got a job to do and that is to try to advance once we get into the playoffs, finish these last four games off strong by trying to win all four and see if we can even move up to the sixth spot. And then go from there. That's the only thing I'm thinking about at this point."

ON STARTING AMARE RATHER THAN BRINGING HIM OFF THE BENCH:

"I can't do that. He's too valuable for anybody's ball club. And if your a basketball person, you should realize that. I'm looking at the fact that when I took over we were 6-1 with him in that lineup … and everybody was playing well, doing their part. That's the only way I look at it. He's a big part of this team, a big part of the puzzle. What's wrong with having a power forward, a center and a small forward start for you? That's three good pieces.... I'm trying to push this team in the same direction because the pieces are here."

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