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Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will ‘absolutely’ be in playoffs next season

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Not only does Carmelo Anthony have a new, slimmer physique, the New York Knicks star has a new, positive outlook on the prospect of the team enjoying success next season.

A few weeks after stating that he does not believe the Knicks have a championship-caliber roster, Anthony hedged his bets by taking a step back from the discussion of title aspirations to discuss more reasonable expectations.

When asked if the Knicks could return to the postseason after a one-year absence, Carmelo responded in the affirmative, according to the New York Post.

“Yeah, I think so for sure,” Anthony opined. “Absolutely.”

While complete and utter organizational dysfunction seemed to come to a head during last season’s campaign, hope appears to be springing eternal for the team heading into this season, at least from Anthony’s perspective.

A new 5-year, $124 million deal certainly brightened Carmelo’s outlook, but when paired with the initial stages of a roster overhaul overseen and orchestrated by new Knicks boss Phil Jackson, along with a new coaching staff fronted by Zen Master acolyte Derek Fisher, has Anthony excited to get back to basketball.

His positive outlook certainly is illustrated by his recent weight loss. When asked how many pounds he dropped, Anthony said he wasn’t sure.

“I really don’t know how much I lost. I just know I trimmed down,” he said. “I really didn’t do nothing special, just working hard, that’s it.”

The Knicks team that the leaner, meaner and hungrier Anthony will anchor next season is vastly different than the one that went 37-45 last season and missed the playoffs, the first time the superstar has failed to reach the postseason during his career. As the Post notes in its report, in are Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Travis Outlaw, Quincy Acy, Jason Smith, Shane Larkin and Cleanthony Early. Out are familiar faces Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Jeremy Tyler.

Anthony endorsed the moves but stopped short of discussing them, saying, “I’m cool, I’m happy, but I don’t really want to get into details about that.”

Either way, Carmelo cannot wait to get the ball rolling.

“I can’t wait to get started,”Anthony said Monday, but stopped short of making any further bold proclamations, saying, “No goals. Not setting any goals, but I just can’t wait to get it back on.”

After a year-plus of speculation regarding what Anthony was going to do in free agency, Knicks fans, without the near-daily distractions caused by the star’s uncertain future with the team, probably can’t wait to get started, either.

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