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Carmelo preaches patience with Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- On the eve of the NBA season, Carmelo Anthony has a message for New York Knicks fans: Be patient.

"It's not going to all come together tomorrow night. Tomorrow's just the first step for us," Anthony said Tuesday afternoon.

The Knicks open the season on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls with tempered expectations.

They're coming off of a 37-win season, implementing a new offensive system and playing under a first-year head coach.

"It's a work in progress now. It's going to be a work in progress until the end of the season," Anthony said. "We're not looking for nothing easy, but we know it's a work in progress. We have a chance to create something here, and we're excited about it."

Anthony and his teammates have looked fluid at times in the triangle this preseason. On other occasions, it hasn't been pretty. Anthony knows it's going to be a work in progress for his team -- especially during the early portion of the schedule -- and he's OK with that.

"I'm not anxious. I'm patient to see how it all comes together," he said. "... I'm comfortable in the fact that I know I'm going to get better with what we're trying to do. I'm comfortable in the fact that it's uncomfortable for a lot of people on our team because it's something new. As far as me, I'm very comfortable in this challenge, and this journey."

Will the journey lead to a playoff berth for the Knicks this season? Many of the experts and statistics-based projections don't think so. SCHOENE, the predictive analysis that pegged the Knicks for 37 wins last season, has them at 32 wins this season.

"It's cool. We got work to do then," Anthony said. "I'm fine with that. I'm fine with the predictions and other people's opinions. I can't control other people's opinions, but I'm fine with that. We know what we have to do over here. It's just about us going out there and doing it, not what somebody else is predicting us to do."

It all starts for the Knicks Wednesday night against Derrick Rose and the Bulls.

Anthony was close to joining Chicago as a free agent over the summer but ultimately decided to re-sign with New York.

The Knicks star was friendly with some of the Bulls long before the summer's negotiations. He got to know others more intimately during his free-agent visit to Chicago.

But he knows there won't be time for pleasantries on Wednesday night.

"As people, as men, I respect them," Anthony said Tuesday. "... [But] come [Wednesday] night, we're fighting for the same thing, which is a championship. And it starts [Wednesday]. I'll speak to them. I'm a cordial guy, but when it's time to go to war, it's time to go to war."

Question: Carmelo is preaching patience. How quickly do you expect the Knicks to be successful this season? Do you think they can qualify for the playoffs in a tough Eastern Conference?

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