By Glenn Erby
Lead Writer

The Western Conference has been the power conference in the NBA since 1998 (or in other words, the post-Michael Jordan era).

A really good season in the West sometimes would only merit a seventh or eighth seed come playoff time. In the East, a record under .500 could still merit a seventh or eighth seed.

The New York Knicks have risen, and the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets have a loaded group that can compete with the likes of the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. The East has now become the premiere conference in some eyes.

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is aware of that shift in power, and told ESPN New York that he’s preparing for better competition in the East this season.

“When I was in the Western Conference, everybody was talking about how the West is so much better. But now, the power has shifted back into the Eastern Conference, so we’re ready. We’re excited about that.

“I think we have the talent. I think the most important thing is injuries, for one, and then everybody just coming together and just taking on the challenge as one. We can’t let nothing else break that bond that we’re going to build over the season.”

Melo has been working out in Los Angeles with his trainer, and said he’s had a great summer.

“[Idan and I] are always trying to figure out what’s that next move or how we’re going to push this year. And I think we did a great job of just coming up with something and just running with it. Just certain dieting things, just taking chances with different styles of training — not just doing stuff on the basketball court or in the weight room. I’m trying to just push the limit.”

The Knicks hope to capitalize this season with a loaded team now, and look to not let their fans down like last season in a disappointing second-round exit to the Pacers. 


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