After being eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Miami Heat in five games, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony says he is confident in the direction his team is headed.
"We're only going to get better," said Anthony. "If we can get me and Amar'e and Tyson Chandler and Jeremy Lin all healthy and playing together through a full training camp and NBA season, as well as maybe adding a few new pieces? I could see us getting all the way to a first round Game 7, I really can."
Anthony says his playoff track record gives him the wisdom to make such a prediction.
"I've been to the playoffs nine times in my career and once made it to the promised land of the second round," he said. "I want to take the Knicks there one day. Maybe not next year, maybe not the year after that. But I can guarantee that the Madison Square Garden rafters will rain confetti and streamers two to possibly three times next year in the playoffs for first round wins, provided we are given a playoff opponent we match up well with, preferably a team who is without several of their top players due to injury."
Anthony acknowledged that the Knicks will have to put in a lot of work to double or triple their playoff win total of this season.
"We have to do what needs to be done," he said. "That said, this is going to be a very busy offseason full of distractions. I assume there will be parades and statue unveilings and stuff like that over us delivering the franchise's first playoff win in 11 years. But we can't rest on our laurels."
Fellow Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire also predicted that next year he won't slice open his hand in the playoffs by punching glass.
"Plans are already in place for 2013," he said. "The second I come off the court, an assistant will put oven mitts on my hands. So, yeah, Knicks fans can feel excited for the future."