Now it's over. It was good, but not nearly good enough.
The Knicks were eliminated Saturday by the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was the Knicks' first appearance in the second round since 2000, but they expected to go further.
"We all knew what was the goal that we had set," Anthony said. "Everybody wants to win a championship."
They had to settle for their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 and a 54-28 record that was their best since winning 57 games in 1996-97. Anthony won the scoring title and J.R. Smith was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, so Anthony wouldn't consider the season a failure.
"Overall, we had a hell of a season, hell of a year," he said. "It's a learning curve for us, and we'll be back better and stronger next year for sure."
Not without a change of personnel and perhaps a change in philosophy.
Coach Mike Woodson wanted veterans, insisting teams need them to contend for titles. But few clubs have ever loaded up on them the way the Knicks did, and the old guys either finished poorly or couldn't finish at all.
Kurt Thomas (40) and Rasheed Wallace (39) never made it to the playoffs because of foot injuries. Marcus Camby (39) hardly played. Jason Kidd (40) lost his Hall of Fame-bound game in the playoffs, missing all 17 shots across the final 10 games and finishing 3-for-25 from the field.