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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
More on the 'Fearsome Fivesome'

By Mark Simon

The most popular note from Monday's “By the Knumbers” was the nugget we gleaned from on how the Knicks most effective five-man unit was that of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

We dug a little deeper (with that website’s help), because our curiosity was piqued. Though that pairing has seen less playing time the last two games (it had its first rough game on Tuesday), it still rates as the NBA's best (for now).

Here are five more notes to go along with Monday’s tidbit.

1. That fivesome has played together in eight of the nine games at an average of about 6 1/2 minutes per game. The only game in which they did not play together was against the Dallas Mavericks, whom the Knicks play again tonight.

2. In those nearly 49 minutes, the Knicks have outscored their opponents, 119-87. They’ve registered a net-positive in scoring as a group seven of the eight games, ranging from a plus-1 against the Memphis Grizzlies to a plus-8 in the road win over the Philadelphia 76ers. They were even (4-to-4) in the 2 1/2 minutes they played against New Orleans last night.

3. The quintet is shooting 58 percent from the field, including 11-for-24 from 3-point range. Opponents are shooting 43 percent from the field and though they are 10-for-25 on 3-pointers, they are shooting only 44 percent on their 2s.

4. The group played integral parts in the Knicks wins over the Orlando Magic (they outscored Orlando, 23-17 in their 10 1/2 minutes on the floor and the San Antonio Spurs (they had a 42-35 scoring edge over about a 16-minute clip), but has only played together for five minutes in the last two games.

5. Figure on them seeing plenty more time together. They not only rank as the Knicks' best five-man unit, but also as the No. 1 five-man unit in the NBA. The Knicks actually have the two best units in terms of net points. The Knicks' usual starting five (with Brewer in for Smith) outscores its opponents by a rate of 25 points per 100 possessions.