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Camby: 'I was ready to play' vs. Miami

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Marcus Camby sat out of the Knicks' first three games, but he said after Wednesday's practice that he was ready for action against the Heat in the season opener.

"I was ready to play in the Miami game, but I don't make those decisions," he said. "I just have to be ready when my name is called."

Mike Woodson previously said that he wanted to hold out the backup center because he didn't feel the 38-year-old had experienced enough contact in practice after recovering from a left calf strain. When the coach was asked on Wednesday about Camby's status for Friday night's home game against the Mavericks, he wasn't sure.

Camby said he felt fine going through a 5-on-5 scrimmage on Wednesday -- even joking that he didn't need a sub -- but Woodson is focused for now on monitoring and bringing him up to speed with the team's schemes.

"He's got to learn our coverages and get a little sharper there," Woodson said, "but I thought overall he was pretty active and got up and down the floor, did all of our drills. He's smart enough. He'll pick things up. We'll keep drilling and we'll take it a day at a time. A lot of it is still conditioning and maintaining something during his running. So we'll see."

With the older roster he's managing, Woodson obviously needs to be extra careful about balancing minutes and knowing when to return players overcoming injuries to the court. Now that the Knicks have a few days to prepare for Dallas, Camby said the time will help him get ready for Friday -- just like he felt heading into last Friday.

"I practiced last week, too, and I felt I could have helped the team," he said. "But now, we know the schedule is Friday then Tuesday, so we'll get good practice in."

While Camby has been watching and cheering from the sideline, he said he's been most impressed with the team's unselfishness.

"I see a lot of open shots that we get and a lot of open, uncontested 3s," he said. "With the team that can shoot like we got, I think it's money every time. ... The guys have been out there playing exceptionally well. I mean, guys are laughing, having a good time out there, making the game easy for one another, and that's the way the game should be played.

"We're all playing for one. We don't really care who gets the shine or gets the credit. We're all buying into the common goal thus far this season, so the most important thing for us right now is to be consistent."

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