The Knicks won convincingly in Miami in December without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, and they did so again when faced with that missing combination Saturday night against playoff-contending Utah at the Garden.
Stoudemire will be out at least six weeks because of his upcoming second knee surgery this season, but the Knicks are hoping Anthony will return at some point on their pending western swing after missing three games with his own knee injury. Anthony has been listed as questionble for Monday night when the five-game trip opens vs. Golden State.
“You’d like to win them all, that’s the goal,” Mike Woodson said following the victory over the Jazz. “We’re taking them one at a time. I just want to see us compete and make sure that we put ourselves in a position to win. I think if we do that, we have five games, and if we come back over .500, I'm happy. That’s a successful road trip. If we win them all, then I’m really happy.”
Whenever Anthony returns, the Knicks (38-22) must remain committed to what Woodson termed a “scratching and scraping” defensive effort Saturday night. They also received a combined 44 points off the bench from J.R. Smith and Steve Novak – and strong contributions in Stoudemire’s stead from suddenly important veteran Kenyon Martin (10 points) and little-used rookie Chris Copeland, who chipped in 12 points in barely seven minutes in his second appearance in 14 games since Feb. 6.
“I know Cope can score the basketball. That’s where he’s going to be valuable for us, as well,” Woodson said. “When I’m in a pinch and need guys that can score, I’m not going to hesitate to throw Cope in. He can do that. He does it very well.


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