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More tests await new-look Knicks

The Knicks touch down in the “Happiest Place on Earth” tonight, but they’re already feeling euphoric.   

The Knicks touch down in the “Happiest Place on Earth” tonight, but they’re already feeling euphoric.

Sunday’s thrilling 91-86 win in Miami could either be the statement game Carmelo Anthony claimed or could lead to another letdown tonight in Orlando, a la the debacle in Cleveland last Friday.

“We redeemed ourselves,” ’Melo said of that Cavs loss. “We’re not where we want to be yet. We’ve got a long ways to go.”

Tonight’s test against the surging Magic will go a long way into determining if the Knicks should be taken seriously or are just another up-and-down squad in the lower bracket of the Eastern Conference.

Orlando [38-22] and New Orleans will present nice tests for the Knicks this week because of their bigs (Orlando’s Dwight Howard and New Orleans’ David West) and stellar point guards (Orlando’s Jameer Nelson and New Orleans’ Chris Paul), which have been an Achilles’ heel for the Knicks’ woeful defense all season.

Mike D’Antoni put his team through a rigorous two-hour practice Saturday — the longest such session of the season. It paid off, as the Knicks dissolved deficits of 15 and seven to overcome Miami and split the season series at 2-2.

Anthony was solid on both ends of the floor, especially on offense scoring 29 points and collecting nine rebounds. But the biggest surprise was how he accepted the role of stopper and upped his defensive intensity — two things he’s never been known to embrace.

“Games like this are fun,” he said. “It brings the best out of everybody.”

 
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