NEW YORK — With Amar'e Stoudemire out of Friday's game, the Knicks will likely be playing Carmelo Anthony at power forward. In other words, Anthony and LeBron James could be going at each other more than usual.
New York practiced on Thursday with Anthony at power forward, Jason Kidd at shooting guard and Ronnie Brewer at small forward. Shane Battier most likely will be Anthony's primary defender.
"Just Carmelo on the floor, he's going to make it happen," James said. "It doesn't matter, he's that kind of player. He's great. He does a little bit of everything. It doesn't matter if someone is out of the lineup with him. He's going to do what he needs to do."
LeBron scored 26 points in the season opener but left the fourth quarter early with cramps in his legs. He doesn't expect it to be a chronic problem. James famously cramped up during Game 4 of The Finals.
"I feel good," James said. "I got a run in, got an opportunity to get better today. I was out there in practice and there were no issues. I have to stay hydrated — which I was. I was hydrated on Tuesday. I just have to keep drinking fluids and take care of my body."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said James' cramps might have been a product of the hotter-than-normal temperature inside AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday. James said the heat wasn't the problem and joked that he wouldn't mind if the Knicks cranked up the heat inside Madison Square Garden on Friday.
"That'll be fine," James said. "I'll be alright. I usually do that."