Melo addresses crowd before game

Before tip-off Friday night against the Heat, Carmelo Anthony took to the mic to address the local fans.

"We want to thank everybody that came out tonight and showed some support. We really appreciate you," he said. "We know a lot of lives and a lot of families have been deeply impacted by the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy. We just want to say once again just thank you for coming out in hard times and supporting our New York Knicks. This is the most important time for the city of New York to come together as one and help rebuild the city back up."

Afterward, the Garden had a moment of silence to honor the storm victims and the thousands of people taking part in the relief efforts.

Before the players even stepped on to the floor, both teams discussed the situation affecting the Northeast. Mike Woodson told his players to recognize the magnitude of what's going on and to put things into perspective.

"This has been a tough week for a lot of people," he said. "It's a sad day in this area -- the New Jersey, New York area -- in terms of what has happened. We've got to be open-minded and try to be helpful if we can to people who are struggling to feed their families and have a roof over their head.

"That's tough. It's widespread. It's not just in one area. You've got a lot of people who are out of homes and not able to feed their kids. I want our players to understand and appreciate. I know I do, where I am today, because it's tough out there right now. You wish those people the best."

Before the game, the Heat reflected as a unit as well.

"We just pray and just wish each other strength," Ray Allen said. "You take for granted to be able to go out and perform every night, regardless of what field of entertainment you're in. Just being able to go to work in general, we take that for granted. There are people all over the world that don't even have jobs, so we're in that one percent.

"If you look around the world, and what we're able to do here, do something we love, we always count our blessings before we go on the court. We have to make sure that we say a prayer because we want to keep ourselves safe, but at the same time, appreciate what we're able to do."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.