3 Things that need to happen for knicks to make the Finals:

1. Raymond Felton to start defending like he means it and shut down quick point guards without worrying about his pinkie.

2. Carmelo Anthony has to take fewer shots, trust his teammates and focus more on defense.

3. J.R. Smith has to look like the Sixth Man of the Year again and not be so inconsistent.

Are the Knicks still legit championship contenders?

Tyson Chandler delivered a message to his teammates before they scattered for the All-Star break Wednesday night. Chandler reminded them they are championship-worthy, despite a hellish Garden loss to the Raptors that greased a 1-3 skid into the break and tarnished the Knicks’ unofficial first half.

The Knicks (32-18) still are in first place in the Atlantic Division at the break — for the first time since 1994 — and second in the Eastern Conference behind the Heat, whom they have beaten twice by 20 points. But the Heat now lead the Knicks by a season-high 4 games, and they are starting to look their age.

“I was just talking to the guys,’’ Chandler said. “There’s not too many times in a career where you come back from the All-Star break with a legitimate shot for a championship. We have a shot when we come back this year. That’s happened to me only once [when he won the title with the Mavericks in 2011]. You have to let everyone understand that you don’t want to pass up this opportunity in your career.’’

Championship teams usually peak in May and June. The Knicks may have peaked in November and December.

“We want to come back with a clear mind,’’ Carmelo Anthony said before departing for Houston to join Chandler at Sunday’s All-Star Game. “There’s no reason to think about what’s happened already. We need to think about the future. This break is definitely much needed for a lot of people.’’

The sudden downturn has coach Mike Woodson considering making a change to the starting lineup after the break, which ends when the Knicks reopen Wednesday in Indiana.