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Carmelo Anthony says Kenyon Martin will help Knicks if he’s ‘locked in and focused’

Feb 23, 2013, 8:45 PM EST

Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Seven Getty Images

The Knicks signed Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract on Saturday, making the roster move that was reported to be in the works at the trade deadline official.

That means Martin could be active when New York plays next, at home against the Sixers on Sunday.

Carmelo Anthony played with Martin for several years in Denver, and knows what Martin can bring on a nightly basis — when he wants to.

Anthony was asked about the addition of his former teammate to this year’s Knicks roster, and seemed fine with it, but did provide plenty of qualification during his response.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“If he’s in shape and locked in, I think he can be a big attribute to this team,’’ Anthony said before last night’s defeat. “I’ve been able to play with him for a few years and I know from a basketball standpoint what he brings to the game when he’s locked in and focused. I haven’t talked to him yet. People that I know have spoken to him and say he’s been playing and he’s in shape, ready and focused. As long as that’s the plan, we’re all for it.’’

For those scoring at home, Anthony used each of the terms “in shape,” “locked in,” and “focused” twice.

Anthony may know more than the rest of us in terms of Martin’s level of effort and commitment over the years, but it would seem that team coaches and general managers are clued in to what Anthony was talking about.

Martin’s averages with the Clippers a season ago were nothing amazing, but he provided some consistent mid-range jump-shooting at times, and his size was helpful both defensively and on the glass.

The Clippers have no shortage of big men, and are as deep a team the league has this season. But if Martin was a perfect teammate who was supremely coachable, you’d have to think the Clippers would have found a way to keep him at the end of their bench, if nothing else.

There’s a reason Martin hasn’t found a home until now, after the All-Star break with just 30 games left in the regular season. Anthony seems to be aware of it; hopefully for the Knicks, Martin understands, as well.

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