Enough help for Melo? Too early to tell

GREENBURGH, NY -- Carmelo Anthony needs more time to see if the New York Knicks have added enough help around him to be better than last season.

"It's still early," Anthony said on Monday after Knicks practice. "It's kind of hard to say what type of team we have. Do we believe we can win it? Yeah, we have to believe that.

"It's kind of hard to say right now as far as where our team is at, how good of a team we can be. It's a hard thing to address [now]."

The Knicks added Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. in the offseason. But savvy veterans like Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas and bench pieces like Steve Novak and Chris Copeland have moved on.

This preseason, the Knicks have taken it slow with the health of players like Amar'e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith. So the Knicks haven't really been able to see how they are at full strength for a long period of time.

"Yeah, that's what I mean," Anthony said. "You got new guys, you got guys with injuries, and all that stuff comes into play along the way."

Mike Woodson also says he isn't sure what his starting lineup will be for Wednesday's opener and whether Bargnani or World Peace will start.

Anthony is itching to see how the Knicks will look once the season starts. He's ready to start playing games and letting that answer some of the questions he's had to try to answer in the preseason.

"I'm tired of all the 'what's Coach Woodson's gonna do with the lineup?' and things like that," Anthony said of all the questions. "We're ready to go out there and play. It's about that time. We felt like we had a great training camp and it's about that time to get it going."

And Anthony surely hopes he will have a better supporting cast around him to keep up with others in the Eastern Conference.

"As a whole, the Eastern Conference is a lot tougher, top to bottom," Anthony said. "With all the teams who've gotten better and even some of the teams that have a chance to creep up into playoff position, the East is definitely [going to] be a powerhouse."