GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony might have squirmed in Game 6 when he re-aggravated a left shoulder injury from Game 5, but he said he "felt pretty good" on Saturday -- one day before the Knicks tip off against the Pacers in the second round.
"I ain't dead. I'm here," he said. "I'll be ready to rock at 3:30. ... The only time I really feel it is when I extend it hard, get yanked on it -- something like that. Other than that, I try not to think about it."
After Game 6 in Boston, Anthony said his shoulder "popped in and out," which to some would mean a dislocation, but he clarified what he meant on Saturday.
"No dislocation," he said. "It moves depending on how like yesterday he hit me from behind, and it like jerked forward and went back in. But it's not dislocated."
The injury initially happened in Game 5, when Anthony was looking to set a screen. Anthony got tangled up with Kevin Garnett who yanked back on his arm.
That type of contact will be coming Anthony's way against the Pacers, the NBA's top team in defensive rating (a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions) during the regular season. After facing off against Brandon Bass, he'll see a similarly-physical defender in David West. He's also "hungry" to get past it.
"We're hungry. As a team, we're hungry. I'm starving," he said. "We want to get past this. We want to take it one game at a time. We want to win games here on our home court first, starting tomorrow, and let everything else take care of itself."
Anthony advanced past the first round for just the second time in 10 tries. He had no interest in celebrating that accomplishment, though.
"I haven't done anything yet. We haven't done anything yet," he said. "Yeah, we did something special by winning the first series against the Celtics, which is a tough series, but at the beginning of the season that was our goal. We always felt we put together a team to do something special."
Anthony also knows it's not going to be easy against Indiana.
"Against a team like the Indiana Pacers, we want to play the way we've been playing, get up and down the court, hold them to one shot, keep them off the offensive glass, win the hustle game," he said. "We know they're a great hustle team, they hit the offensive glass big time. So we want to win that aspect of the game and let the rest take care of itself."
Chandler added that beating the defensive-minded and playoff-successful Celtics will help his guys plan for the Pacers.
"Absolutely," he said. "I think we couldn't have had a better first round matchup to prepare us for the rest of the playoffs."
STAYING THE SAME: Like the Celtics, the Pacers present a bigger frontcourt with George, West and Roy Hibbert. But Woodson is going with the same starting five. However, at times, Chandler, Kenyon Martin and/or Marcus Camby could play together to counter the Pacers' size. They also have Ian Mahinmi, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph off the bench.
"It could play out that way based on their size," Woodson said. "But we've got to stick to what's been good for us, too. If it's not working, then I've got to make the adjustments. We have enough bigs to do that. I feel great about our bigs, and we have enough perimeter [players] to play the way we want to play."
OUT OF NOVAKAINE: Woodson said Steve Novak (back spasms) will likely not play in Game 1. He missed Game 6 against the Celtics.
"Novak will probably be a no-show tomorrow," the coach said. "He’s still nursing his back. We’ve got to be open-minded to that and eventually hopefully get him back."
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