GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Carmelo Anthony became somewhat of a forgotten man because of his health last year and the Knicks' struggles. But he plans to remind people he's still a top-tier player.
In the annual NBA general managers' survey, Anthony was voted fourth in the player they want to shoot with the game on the line category. But the Knicks' lone All-Star last season didn't receive any votes for who's the best small forward in the league or who will be the MVP. Anthony said it doesn't bother him and he's confident he will have a big season.
"It will be," Anthony said after practice Tuesday. "For sure, it will be."
Anthony also believes the Knicks will be far better than people think. One national website predicted the Knicks would increase last year's win total by 10 games and record 27 victories. Anthony found that comical and inspirational at the same time.
"I think we'll be better than what people predict," Anthony said. "If people are predicting 27 wins, I laugh at that. We use that as kind of motivation. It's a good thing to kind of be under the radar. I know what type of team we have. It's just a matter of going out there and putting it together."
Anthony is returning from season-ending left knee surgery and hasn't shown any effects from the February procedure.
The eight-time All-Star has shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 16 points in four exhibition games. Anthony believes being off since February has helped his body and he feels fresher than usual. He can't wait for the regular season to begin a week from Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
"My mentality is just to come out strong and want to get back to where I was before the injury," he said. "That's just me motivating myself. As far as proving anything to anybody, I'm not trying to prove anything. I know what I can do. My teammates know what I can do. Guys in the NBA know what I can do. Teams know what I can do. So I'm not about going out there trying to prove anything."
Anthony finished third in the MVP voting in 2013 after averaging 28.7 points and leading the Knicks to 54 wins. They've totaled 54 wins the last two years with Anthony averaging 27.4 and 24.2, respectively. He said last season is why league executives are overlooking him.
"I think they go off what they saw last year," Anthony said. "I know where I stand in this league. For somebody else to tell what I am and what I'm not, that's way beyond me.
"Nobody cares what kind of year you had if you're on a losing team. I could average 30 and if we won thirty-something games it still would be a down year all the way around. Nobody cares about that. We'll be all right. I'm not concerned about myself at all."