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Carmelo Anthony: Knicks ‘have a very special team on paper right now’

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Carmelo Anthony believes the moves the New York Knicks have made this offseason have dramatically improved the team “on paper” and expressed optimism that “the time is now” to take the next step and qualify for the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

“We have a very special team on paper right now,” Anthony said after a U.S. men’s Olympic team practice Monday, via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. “I think we have a good opportunity to do some things this year. It’s all about what we do. It’s all about us now. It’s all about how we come together, how we jell together. For the most part, the pieces are there, so it’s up to us.”

The Knicks have upgraded the roster significantly — on paper, as Anthony alludes, at least — with the additions of veterans Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee.

Anthony has been vocal in addressing the relative sorry state of the Knicks in the midst of a disappointing 32-50 campaign last season and in its aftermath, not to mention expressing hope that he would be consulted on determining the immediate direction of the organization. But he stressed that the roster overhaul was all the doing of team president Phil Jackson and Knicks management.

“The front office stepped up,” Anthony said. “It was a collective effort. They did their job and they did what they had to do to make some moves and make things happen. They put us in a situation to give us an opportunity. All we have to do is take advantage of that.”

Questions remain whether Rose and Noah can demonstrate over a full season that they’re not shells of their former selves. But with those two, Lee, the expected improvement of Kristaps Porzingis in his second season and the consistent contributions from Anthony, the case can be made the Knicks, if not contenders just yet, are at least poised at long last to begin fulfilling Jackson’s vision.

“For me, the time is now,” Anthony said. “For us as a city, as an organization, that should be the mindset.”

[CBS Sports]