WHAT IT MEANS: Carmelo Anthony returned to the Carrier Dome, where he began his run to an NCAA title with Syracuse in 2002-03, but he couldn't lead the Knicks alone in Amar'e Stoudemire's absence. With the Knicks' loss Monday, they dropped to 2-3 in the preseason.
POSITIVE POINTS: 1. Chris Copeland's consistency. He continues to sizzle offensively, filling in well for Stoudemire. On Monday night, he finished with 15 points. At this point, he needs to work on filling up the stat sheet a little more.
2. Pablo Prigioni's defense. He really gets after it guarding the ball handler. They say international players are known for their physical play and 3-point shooting, and Prigioni emphasizes both. While he didn't have too many steals or 3s Monday night -- he can collect both in bunches -- it's his overall presence that matters.
3. Ronnie Brewer's aggressiveness. While he didn't score, he ran the court well and made some strong moves in the paint, which shows he's probably not thinking about his previous injury. Getting over that mental block is the first challenge. Now he can focus on developing in-game repetitions to regain his offensive touch. He did have four rebounds and three assists.
4. Their transition game. While the Knicks lost the game, they clawed their way back from 20 points down to win the third quarter 28-14, capitalizing on several fast-break opportunities. During one quick stretch, Raymond Felton, who had a great game, had five points, and then Melo nailed a long bomb. Mike Woodson has wanted his guys to pick up the pace some, and they showed that more Monday night.
TO THE FILM SESSION: 1. Too much Anthony at times. And that encouraged his teammates to get too stagnant. It didn't appear Woodson called too many plays, but the stationary mode also was in place because the Knicks haven't really jelled. Injuries have prevented them from developing consistency. So far, it's been a little too much streetball. Case in point: In the first half, the Knicks had only 11 assists -- and seven turnovers.
2. Pick-and-roll D and defensive rotations. The Sixers finished the first half shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from downtown. The Knicks tend to slip a little too much on screens and sometimes get too reactive watching the ball. They are still sorely missing team chemistry and need to execute strong team defense. You also can notice the difference when Iman Shumpert doesn't play.
3. Setting screens. Not a biggie, but they got called for a couple of moving violations. Watching it on film Tuesday will be good practice for all.
THE HOPEFULS: Copeland was the only training-camp invite who played Monday night. At this point, though, you can't even call him a TCI. He's basically part of the rotation, especially with Stoudemire out.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks' first matchup with the Nets, but it won't be in New York City or Brooklyn. Instead, both teams will travel to a neutral site, the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., to tip off their cross-river rivalry Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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