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Knicks ready for fresh start

4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.

Jaime C. Harris

After finishing last season with a record of 32-50, the second worst mark in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks began training camp last week at Skidmore College in upstate Saratoga Springs with a renewed sense of optimism and a shared sense of confidence that the possibility of ending a playoff drought that dates back to 2003 is realistic."I think we can definitely be a playoff team," said Al Harrington, who is starting his second year with the franchise after being acquired in a trade with the Golden State Warriors last season."We just have to focus in and try to return this team back to the glory years. I think with coach {Mike D'Antoni} leading us and {team president} Donnie Walsh up top making all the personnel moves, that's definitely going to happen soon."Which speaks to another oft-discussed topic at the Knicks' annual Media Day event held on Monday at their training facility in Greenburgh{Westchester County}:stability or the lack thereof the team experienced on the court last season."Having consistency and being able to get know how your teammates play is critical to any team that is going to be successful," observed Larry Hughes. "When you come to a team in the middle of the season, it can be a difficult transition for yourself and the other players."Hopefully, this group will be together and develop some chemistry."The new regime of Walsh and D'Antoni jettisoned Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford, and supplanted them with Harington, Hughes and Chris Wilcox, who is no longer a Knick. Combined with injuries to promising rookie Danilo Gallinari, and the troubling sagas of Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry, the air of instability was palpable.While the Lebron James to New York countdown has begun in earnest, the potential free can't help the Knicks now."We can't control what happens with that," said budding third-year forward Wilson Chandler. "We just have to go out there with who we have."Given Walsh's recent history of uprooting his roster in hopes of landing James or other marquee free-agents to be, most Knicks shouldn't be looking to buy a house in the area.