New York Knicks

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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '04        #9701
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

ATLANTA — The Knicks’ big-man situation took another turn for the worse last night amid their giddy 10-game winning streak.

Kenyon Martin came up with a sore right knee and was rested for the final 10 minutes of the Knicks’ 95-82 victory over the Hawks Wednesday night, while center Tyson Chandler had his second straight ineffective performance, clutching his neck area on a couple of occasions.

Afterward, Chandler wouldn’t say if he would play Friday against the Bucks, suggesting the big picture of being 100 percent for the playoffs is an issue that will be discussed.

Martin, meanwhile, also gave no a.ssurance he is ready for Friday either. Martin, who has been terrific filling in for Chandler, has had microfracture surgeries on both knees. Already expected out for the regular season are Amar’e Stoudemire, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace.

“It got the best of me today,’’ said Martin, who signed in late February after sitting out the season. “I’ll have a day off, get treatment and see how it goes. I got thrown into the fire, it’s like training camp and preseason. But I’m a warrior.’’

Chandler admitted he may not be mobile enough to help right now. He played 23:31, scored two points and had four rebounds. On Tuesday in Miami, he had one point in his return from a 10-game absence.

“It’s tough trying to look up at the ball for rebounds or lobs,’’ Chandler said. “It’s thrown my timing off. I’m just a little stiff right now. I’m not as mobile. I’m not there. I’m not myself moving around like I normally would.’’

Regarding his future, Chandler said, “I’ll talk to them. Ultimately I want to do what’s best for the team. Ultimately I want to be 100 percent for the playoffs.’’

Woodson said he doesn’t plan to rest guys before the playoffs unless they come to him.

“If we got key guys who demand that, I got to be open-minded,’’ he said. “If they don’t demand it, they’re going to play. Every game is important. We want to stay atop our division.’’

* Wallace had his left boot removed a few days ago, at the four-week mark of his foot surgery and he is also off crutches. By the timetable, Wallace could be back in a month and is traveling with the team.
 4 years ago '04        #9702
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Berman

ATLANTA — With Bernard King in the building, a laser-like Carmelo Anthony looked poised to match his idol’s back-to-back 50-point games.

Anthony roared to 36 points after three quarters last night, blazing a clear southern trail of greatness after blitzing the Heat for 50 on Tuesday night.

But Anthony would have to settle for an even 40. He became more creator in the fourth quarter with Atlanta doubling him as the Knicks finished off the Hawks with a 95-82 victory to the roars of a Philips Arena crowd filled with a lot of their fans.

The winning steak stands at 10 games — the longest since the 1993-94 season when the club made the NBA Finals. The Knicks (48-26) moved 22 games above .500 for the first time since 1997.

For Anthony, 90 points in two nights is plenty good enough and he even passed up a chance of returning in the fourth quarter earlier, telling coach Mike Woodson he needed more rest. Anthony is the first Knick to score 40-plus points in two straight games since Patrick Ewing in the 1989-90 season.

Anthony finished 17 of 27 from the field, hitting tough mid-range jumpers all over Hotlanta.

After the final buzzer, King said, “I was hoping he’d get to 51.’’

“I thought I had a chance for it,’’ Anthony said. “My teammates were encouraging me to try to get it done. That always a good feeling when you got your teammates cheering you on. I’ve had games where I had great rhythm, but to have two games in a row like this, I can’t recall that.’’

King, who lives in Atlanta and set his 50-50 combo in 1985, spoke with Anthony afterward.

“He said it was impressive,’’ Anthony said. “Impressive for him to watch and reminded it of him when he played.’’

With the Knicks playing off Anthony, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton came on in the fourth quarter to deliver the knockout blows. Smith finished with 19 points and Felton had 10 of his 14 points in the fourth, with instructions from Anthony to drive the ball down the lane because the Hawks weren’t leaving him.

Anthony was 35 of 53 in the Miami-Atlanta road trip.

“Talking to him before the game, he said the torch is still lit, I got to go to work,’’ Kenyon Martin said. “I’ve seen it before. I’m not surprised.’’

Loud Melo chants rang out in Atlanta as Anthony shot free throws in the first half.

“The rhythm was still there,’’ Anthony said. “I just wanted to see if I still had it. It was just one of those nights once again.’’

Woodson pulled Anthony to start the fourth quarter. He didn’t return until 8:31 was left.

“If I didn’t sit him in the beginning of the fourth, it probably would’ve been [50],’’ Woodson said. “He was sucking wind and needed a blow. When I turned to him at the two-minute mark, he looked at me like I was crazy. I was going to bring him for [Steve] Novak, then Novak hit the 3. We went with Novak a couple of more minutes.’’

Anthony, who had a right knee draining procedure just 2 1/2 weeks ago, admitted rest was more vital than rolling two 50s.

“I was trying to get some rest,’’ Anthony said. “The schedule’s not been in our favor. He looked at me. I was like whatever you want me to do. He gave it a couple of more minutes.‘’

The Knicks led 47-40 at halftime behind Anthony’s 24 points. He had 27 at halftime in Miami on the way to 50. He finished 9 of 13 in the half last night.

“He’s playing well right now,’’ Woodson said, smiling. “He’s played well all year, but he’s back to playing really well right now.’’

Anthony was looking to distribute in the fourth quarter and fired a pass to Smith cross court. He drove to the hole and threw down a monster dunk that had the plethora of Knicks fans in the arena howling.

King’s record is safe — for now.
 4 years ago '04        #9703
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

Xavier McDaniel played the 1991-92 season with the Knicks before his bitter departure to the rival Celtics. McDaniel said he believes if the Knicks had re-signed him and not let him leave for Boston, the Knicks wouldn’t be carrying a 40-year championship drought.

“Patrick, myself and Charles Oakley as the front line, nobody could match up with us,’’ said McDaniel, in the spotlight now that Wichita State, his alma-mater, is in the Final Four. “We would have won a championship with us. Charles Smith [McDaniel’s successor], he’s 6-10. I’ve always said it. He’s got to dunk the ball and the Knicks dropped the ball.’’

There’s a lot of he-said-he-said regarding McDaniel’s departure. McDaniel said Wednesday the Knicks told him to exercise the opt-out clause to his contract in midseason, promising him a long-term deal in the offseason. McDaniel said immediately his minutes dropped, as if trying to suppress his market value.

That summer, McDaniel accepted a 3-year deal with Boston after which former Knicks president Dave Checketts said the Knicks were double-crossed by agent David Falk, that they had “a gentleman’s agreement’’ to re-sign him after certain cap maneuverings. Checketts called it “shocking to us,’’ adding “We got kicked today.’’

“Dave Checketts lied,’’ McDaniel said. “They made me the scapegoat. They knew about the offer and could’ve made a deal with us. They wanted to get other guys.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9704
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Hahn

#Knicks tonight celebrate their '73 championship team. Six Hall of Famers, yet the definition of 'team'.

"I was a rookie on that team and I was in awe," said Harthorne Wingo, a popular 15th man on the roster. "I swear, I'd be watching on the bench and WEEKS would go by before someone took a shot that wasn't completely open.

"I've never seen basketball like that before, or since."
 4 years ago '04        #9705
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

It’s great timing for an anniversary party.

Tonight’s Garden festivities to honor the 1972-73 squad could have been a very bittersweet evening. Celebrating a 40-year anniversary of the Knicks’ most recent championship team also acknowledges a 40-year title drought.

Former Knicks backup power forward Phil Jackson, the coaching legend owner James Dolan shunned this offseason, is also part of tonight’s ceremony to be held at halftime of the Knicks-Bucks game.

Awkwardness could have reigned if the Knicks were teetering and Mike Woodson were still struggling with his lineups. Fans chanted Jackson’s name last season during Mike D’Antoni’s tough times. Tonight they may even boo Jackson, whom many fans wanted over Woodson.

As it happens, tonight can’t be any sweeter — with the 2012-13 Knicks showing championship timber recently and getting a chance tonight to prove they can be as special as that team 40 years ago.

The Knicks are riding a 10-game winning streak — their longest since 1993-94 when they reached the NBA Finals. They are 22 games above .500 (48-26) for the first time since 1997 and a win will put them one away from their first 50-victory season since 1999-2000. This week they clinched the season series with Miami, 3-1, and all but sewed up their first Atlantic Division title since 1994. They lead the Nets by 5 1/2 games.

Most importantly, Carmelo Anthony is playing like a champion, finally caring more about victories and team than personal glory as his two-city, 90-point rampage through Miami and Atlanta demonstrated. Anthony wasn’t concerned about sealing back-to-back 50-point nights Wednesday night against the Hawks. He was more worried about getting rest in the fourth quarter.

“Melo is committed, man,’’ Woodson said after his star’s efficient 50- and 40-point explosions. “He’s hungry just like LeBron and those [Miami] guys were hungry a few years ago, trying to chase that title. That’s what we’re trying to do as a team.’’

Because of the Knicks’ big-man injury woes, breaking the 40-year curse still is a long shot, but looking like less of one each passing day. Beyond having the winning streak on the line, another matter of intrigue tonight will be the reception Jackson receives from the fans. There is a chance he will be one of the former ’72-73 Knicks who addresses the crowd.

Will Jackson be perceived as the former Bulls and Lakers coach whose teams have won a record 11 NBA titles, or as the man who made unfortunate sour-grapes comments in the offseason, calling the Knicks a “clumsy’’ team because of the Anthony/Amar’e Stoudemire dynamic?

Or will “Action Jackson’’ be remembered fondly tonight, the energetic defender with the long wingspan and little hook shot? The coach who proudly called Red Holzman his mentor. The guy who dreamed of coaching the Knicks all the way back to his Continental Basketball a.ssociation days guiding the Albany Patroons in the 1980s.

“Phil said himself the Garden is a special place and [he] always enjoyed being there.’’ his longtime agent, Todd Musburger, told The Post. “He’s not making statements about coaching anywhere, anyplace, anytime. I don’t think Phil has ever ruled anything out, but I think he views it as unlikely.’’

At this stage, Brooklyn would be a likelier coaching destination than Manhattan with the way Woodson has coached his club through mammoth injuries.

“On Friday, Phil Jackson is a Knick,’’ former teammate Bill Bradley told The Post. “He’s one of the championship-team members. That’s how he’s coming and why he’s coming.’’

Woodson will relish tonight, despite Jackson’s presence. Woodson played for Holzman as a Knicks rookie during the 1980-81 season, and plans to watch the ceremony rather than head to the locker room.

“It’s special,’’ Woodson said. “I’ll be there. That’s all I can say. I’m just thankful I was drafted by the Knicks and given an opportunity to play for a great franchise. Red Holzman set the table for all of us. We have him to thank.’’

Extending the winning streak to 11 seems a good bet against the eighth-seeded Bucks, but that is where it may stop. The Knicks play at Oklahoma City Sunday.

“We’ve been playing great basketball,’’ point guard Raymond Felton said. “We’re playing together. Our offense is great. Our defense is great.’’

Oh, what a night it could be.
 4 years ago '04        #9706
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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BERMAN

After Earl “The Pearl’’ Monroe rang the honorary bell to close the NASDAQ market yesterday, the Knicks legend said Carmelo Anthony’s stock is rising to new heights.

Monroe, one of the members of the Knicks’ 1972-73 NBA title team that will be honored tonight at halftime, changed his game to fit into the championship puzzle and he sees Anthony changing, too, and becoming a leader.

Anthony is coming off 50-point and 40-point performances in Miami and Atlanta, respectively, during which he sank 35 of 53 shots (66 percent), mostly on jumpers. Tonight against the Bucks, he can become the first Knick since Bernard King in 1984 to have three straight 40-plus games.

“The leadership factor with Carmelo is showing,’’ Monroe told The Post. “He had 36 far up in the game, and took five shots the rest of the way and let other guys do their thing. He let other guys know he’s as much for them as they are for him. It’s an important factor for the cohesiveness of a team.’’

➤ Kenyon Martin (knee soreness) is listed as questionable for tonight, which would be a blow since starting center Tyson Chandler is not close to 100 percent, playing despite his neck woes and admitting he’s not mobile enough to grab rebounds and convert alley-oops.

➤ Bill Bradley on the difference between the 1972-73 Knicks team and the 1969-70 team: “lt was different. We had Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas. Phil Jackson was playing then and not hurt. It was more enjoyable because Lucas was a great teammate. We communicated in our own language. He was a great passing center, and Earl was Earl.”

➤ All of the surviving members of the ’72-73 title team will be on hand tonight. The only deceased player is forward Dave DeBusschere.
 4 years ago '07        #9707
Chief|m 51 heat pts51
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[pic - click to view]





Goonin' nd Coonin'
 4 years ago '04        #9708
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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WE fu*kING IN HERE
 4 years ago '04        #9709
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

“It’s desperate times for our team to win and win now. That’s how it should be. We’re in desperate times right now to try to win an NBA title, absolutely, ’ Woodson said, acknowledging the team’s veteran status.

The Knicks have won 12 straight games, are one win away from clinching their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 and are nearly a lock to be the second seed in the East. They are coming off a rousing 125-120 win in Oklahoma City on Sunday that widely was viewed as legitimizing the Knicks as serious championship contenders.

Woodson, who at 68-32 has the best record after 100 games among Knicks coaches, is a Coach of the Year candidate considering the amount of injuries he has dealt with this season. Woodson said his coaching philosophy changed after he was fired in Atlanta following the 2010-11 season.

When asked if he had a new win-now mentality when he took over as Knicks interim head coach last February for Mike D’Antoni, Woodson said on his weekly ESPN Radio show:

“I felt that way even stronger after what happened in Atlanta. That team went 47 and 53 wins and two second-round appearances and I lose my job. I’m not knocking Atlanta. I gave them six years of my life. They gave me six years of theirs. I felt I built a basketball team, I just didn’t get to finish it. I left with the attitude next time I get a job, I have to make the most of it as soon as possible because nothing is guaranteed. When we gathered this summer, we knew the clock was ticking.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9711
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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looks like Knicks will now sign somebody else, Solomon Jones

not sure if James Singleton is still an option
 4 years ago '04        #9712
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

"Singleton deal fell through over some Chinese red tape, apparently. The Solomon Era has begun"
 4 years ago '04        #9713
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

CLEVELAND — Solomon Jones is 6-foot-10, athletic, can block shots and rebound. That’s all the desperate Knicks need right now as they go through a big-man crisis.

Yesterday they tried to add some frontcourt oomph with the signing of Jones, a journeyman big man who returned from China on March 10 after getting released by the Suns in the preseason.

He made his debut Friday night, playing 12 quiet minutes in the Knicks’ 101-91 win without taking a shot and finishing with one rebound and two turnovers.

The Knicks are without Tyson Chandler (neck) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) for the short term and are hopeful Rasheed Wallace (foot) can get back early in the playoffs. Wallace has stepped up his on-court shooting and workouts.

Deeming him unable to return in time for the playoffs, the Knicks waived Kurt Thomas (stress fracture) Friday.

The Knicks’ preference was to finish a deal with 6-foot-8 James Singleton, whom they regarded as more skilled and having a better jump shot. But the deal crashed when Singleton’s Chinese team proved uncooperative in giving him clearance to play immediately in the NBA, according to a source.

Jones is more a lunch-pail type. He played for Woodson in Atlanta, getting limited minutes in three seasons. He has played 268 career games.

“I’m in pretty good shape, not quite game shape,’’ Jones said. “I played in China, been home like a month. I’ll be in game shape in no time.

“I’m an energy guy. I just try to bring energy. I come out there and bring energy, run the floor, rebound, block shots, set packs for my teammates to get open shots.“It’s a chance for me to showcase my talent to [Woodson], which I didn’t really get to do that in Atlanta,’’ Jones said. “I’m really looking forward to that.’’

* Woodson said Thomas has an open invitation to join his staff next season. Thomas was the league’s oldest player at age 40.

Woodson said he enjoyed the experience of coaching Thomas, who never complained about playing time, was always ready when called upon and stayed healthy until mid-March. At the team’s lowest moment, when the club discovered Thomas had a bone spur and suspected a stress fracture as well, Thomas agreed to suit up in Utah on March 18. He logged 27 hard-working minutes in the post and helped the Knicks beat the Jazz to break a four-game losing skid and ignite a 13-game winning streak.

“He and I are on the same page if he ever wants to coach next season,’’ Woodson said. “He’s a been a total pro. It kind of jump-started us [the Utah win], and I’m indebted to Kurt as a coach. If he ever wants a job coaching, I’ll bring him back and let him coach if that’s what he wants to do.”

In a statement, general manager Glen Grunwald said, “Kurt’s contributions to the Knicks have been immeasurable. From the first day of training camp, to his last game against the Utah Jazz, Kurt has been a key contributor to our team.”

* Windy City native Iman Shumpert was seen crying at Thursday morning’s shootaround in Chicago. He had just been told of the passing of his friend Billy Taylor, a basketball recruiter well known in Chicago, reportedly k!lled in a hit-and-run. Shumpert had spent Wednesday night with Taylor, who worked closely with Shumpert’s agent, Happy Walters.
 4 years ago '04        #9714
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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i'll start believing in this church concept if Kurt Thomas replaces Herb on the coaching staff

:datdefense:
 4 years ago '07        #9715
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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whoa... shump was out there playing with a heavy heart when his recruiter passed... RIP


something tells me we bout to see shump shump again, the man who plays w/ a cinder block chip on his shoulder... last time he cried he got drafted and went ham til miami in the playoffs
 4 years ago '04        #9716
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Tommy Dee

So I made my annual voyage to Portsmouth, Virginia for the PIT. All of the Knicks executives were there keeping a close eye on potential draft picks. In my opinion, the Knicks need some depth up front as well as in the backcourt, but the bottom line is that the Knicks will take the best player available when they draft which will be somewhere in the mid 20s.

They also have show the propensity over the past few years to dip into their wallets and purchase second round picks and there were some players at the PIT this week that would be really solid choices. I absolutely loved Tyler Brown from Illinois State. This kid is a pure scorer and athlete. He could shoot off the bounce and in catch and shoot situations and defended both positions pretty well. He’s not a great defensive player, but I believe he can be taught. The Knicks have an interesting situation in front of them post season with JR Smith, and they will need polished scoring in the backcourt should he sign elsewhere.

Ramon Galloway and Khalif Wyatt, two players who shined down the stretch in March, also played very well. Wyatt, to me, proved that he has some serious PG skills and has the ability to control a team. With an aging Jason Kidd, Wyatt could fit a need should Kidd decide to not finish out his contract.

The Knicks need depth up front as well at the 5 and frankly there weren’t any NBA ready centers there in my opinion. The Knicks scouting department has been pretty tight-lipped recently so it’s hard to get a read on what their draft decisions will be moving forward but as usual we will be on top of the process as the draft approaches. One tidbit I can tell you that I’ve heard is that they are really big fans of Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, who should be gone well in advance of when they pick. But they have him atop their big board. They also, I’m told, like another Syracuse player, James Southerland, and his ability to stretch the floor with range at 6’8. Southerland passed on competing at Portsmouth but will be in at the next camp in Chicago.

Whatever they decide to do, TKB will be your home of all draft information. But let’s worry about that post playoffs.
 4 years ago '04        #9717
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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like always i'll worry about the draft and announce my hopeful choice once eligibility is over so i can do my hw properly with all the players named
 4 years ago '04        #9719
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Berman

J.R. Smith has 100 tattoos, including Yankees and Devils logos.

If the Knicks break their 40-year championship drought, Smith vowed to add orange-and-blue ink to his body for No. 101.

Yes, a Knicks tattoo could be coming, even though he is a free agent this summer.

“If we win a championship, I’ll definitely get it,’’ Smith told The Post. “Other than that, I’m not sure yet.’’

Smith is a devout Yankees fan and, as a Freehold, N.J., native, the Devils are his favorite hockey team. But he has been more discriminate lately about adding more tattoos — he is running out of space. He hasn’t had a new addition since joining the Knicks 14 months ago.
UPI
J.R. Smith

“My mother, she loves them now, but she probably wishes I didn’t have so many,’’ Smith said.

Smith also has a tattoo of Michael Jordan’s Bulls jersey and state map of New Jersey.

“If I wasn’t from Jersey, I don’t think I’d have the basketball knowledge I have,’’ Smith said.

Smith declined to show His Airness his Jordan tattoo when the Bobcats owner visited the Knicks’ locker room in Charlotte after Smith’s miracle buzzerbeater.

“He’s my favorite player, he didn’t need to see it,’’ Smith said. “It’s about the impact he had on my life and career.

“My fans love the tattoos,” Smith added.
 4 years ago '04        #9720
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Berman

There will be no “We’re second seed’’ or “Bring on Boston’’ T-shirts hanging in the Knicks’ lockers today at the Garden if things go right.

But coach Mike Woodson will breathe a sigh of relief.

The Knicks, proud wearers of newly minted Atlantic Division champion T-shirts, can lock up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round tango against the Celtics — who clinched the No. 7 seed with a 120-88 win over the Magic last night — with a Garden matinee win over Donnie Walsh’s Pacers.

That would render the final two regular-season games meaningless, and would allow Woodson to rest one of the league’s most dynamic 1-2 scoring punches — Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith — the latter of whom has had a sore knee. In light of Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tendon tear, that is no small matter.

With the Bronx-born Walsh back in the house today to watch, a Knicks victory would allow Woodson’s team to avoid the Bulls, who swept the season series 4-0.

The Knicks were 3-1 vs. the Celtics this season and their nemesis, point guard Rajon Rondo, is done until 2013-14.

“I love our chances [against Boston],’’ Smith said. “We’re playing our best basketball. Were still handicapped without our bigs, but I like the situation we’re in right now.’’

Anthony, having scored 30-plus points in seven straight games, is threatening Amar’e Stoudemire’s franchise record of nine. But today could be Anthony’s last game until the postseason.

Walsh, however reluctant he was to give up so many pieces in the 2011 deal, brought Anthony to New York when he was Knicks president.

“It is not surprising because he has been one of the most prolific scorers in the league since he came to the league,’’ Walsh wrote in an email yesterday. “It was just a matter of time until he had a stretch like this.’’

Smith appears to have the inside track on the Sixth Man Award with his terrific final month, surpassing ex-Knick Jamal Crawford, now with the Clippers. Smith, who added a penetration game to his jump-shooting arsenal during March’s West Coast trip, has become unstoppable. His nickname in the locker room used to be “Swish.’’ Now it’s “Sixth Man of the Year.’’

“I think I have a good chance but I haven’t really thought about it as much as these guys,’’ said Smith, referring to his teammates. “They remind me about it every day. I think I have a great chance. Jamal has a great chance too. [The Clippers] are still playing good basketball. If I don’t get it, I think he should get it.’’

Smith told The Post in January the Sixth Man Award wasn’t high on his list, that being considered by the coaches as an All-Star team reserve shooting guard was bigger. But Smith’s shooting dipped in February before roaring like a lion in March and April.

“It would be a great honor, but it’s not one of the goals on my list,’’ Smith said. “I still want to come and have a great playoff in the real part of the season. If I didn’t get it and we got deep in the playoffs where we want to go, I’d be extremely satisfied.’’

The Knicks still are in the midst of a big-man crisis, though Kenyon Martin (sprained ankle) hasn’t been ruled out of returning today.

Center Tyson Chandler (bulging disk in his spine) probably will be rested until the playoffs begin Saturday or Sunday.

At least the Knicks have signed a serviceable big body in 6-foot-10 Solomon Jones.

Already with an Atlantic Division title and 50-win season, a second seed would be icing on the cake and put Woodson in the conversation for Coach of the Year.

“It means a lot,’’ Smith said of the second seed. “It’s something we’ve been talking consistently about for a couple of weeks. We want to lock up the second spot, get out of the first round, second round and meet Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.’’

The Pacers are struggling, losers of three of four games, and still haven’t locked down the third seed with the Nets still alive. However, the Pacers are likely to hang on. If form holds, the Pacers will get the Knicks in the second round.

It will be a boon to have homecourt against the Pacers’ physical, tough squad, which boasts David West, Paul George, Lance Stephenson and center Roy Hibbert. The Pacers’ toughness is embodied by Brooklyn’s Stephenson, who got under Smith’s skin in the last contest. The Knicks lost both meetings in Indiana this season.

“We definitely want to win this basketball game,’’ Anthony said.
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