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Melo has the Knicks' sights set on a title.
The Knicks were expected to still be a good team without Amar'e Stoudemire. But no one quite expected this much success.
Really, things all turned for the better last season when Jeremy Lin jump-started the team, and then they continued to play well when Carmelo Anthony returned. Lin is now gone, but Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd have played well together in the backcourt.
And Anthony has matured as a player into a true MVP candidate. Melo is posting 27-plus points per game and hitting his highest field-goal percentage since the 2007-08 season in Denver.
The Knicks are 18-6 and have the best record in the Eastern Conference, and they hadn't lost a home game until a Dec. 17 loss to Lin's new team, the Houston Rockets.
The Knicks were blown out the last time they faced the Rockets in Houston too, but have rolled against the East, going 12-2. Their two losses against teams in the East came in Chicago and Brooklyn.
Can the Knicks build on this and get even better with STAT healthy and playing? Stoudemire is scheduled to return as early as Friday against the Bulls, according to the New York Daily News. It's unclear what exactly Stoudemire's role will be since Carmelo Anthony has been playing the 4-spot all season.