New York Notes: Deron, Chandler, Carmelo

With the Knicks set to face the Clippers during what has been a dreary road trip and the Nets hosting the Hawks in Brooklyn, both teams could find itself in a virtual tie for first place in the Atlantic Division tomorrow if Los Angeles wins and Atlanta loses. While Manhattan deals with the uncertainty of Carmelo Anthony's knee, Brooklyn finds Deron Williams in the middle of what appears to be his second wind, as Newsday's Roderick Boone observes that the point guard looks to be past the ankle pains that limited him early on this season. Here's more out of New York tonight: 

  • Tyson Chandler, who joins Anthony in recovering from an injury, views this as an opportunity for both of them to get enough rest to prepare them for a last season push, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. In addition to calling it a "blessing in disguise," Chandler also told reporters: "I feel like (Carmelo) will fully heal and be back over the next couple of games…I know I will be back in the next couple of games. So we won with this lineup at the beginning of this year. That's when we went on our tear, and there's no reason why we can't get right back to that."
  • In reading a Wall-Street Journal piece about Carmelo, Marc Berman of the New York Post points out the impact that the Knicks star had on J.R. Smith, who credits Anthony for reigning in his focus this year (Sulia link).
  • Despite the two teams being finished with their regular season meetings, Howard Beck of the New York Times breaks down the remaining challenges that the cross-town rivals face in the race for the Atlantic Division. 

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