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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Carmelo to start at power forward vs. Nets

By Ian Begley

With Brook Lopez sidelined with a foot sprain for Tuesday's game against the Knicks, Mike Woodson decided to go with a small starting lineup.

That means Carmelo Anthony will start at power forward for the Knicks against Brooklyn.

If Lopez were healthy, Woodson said he would have gone with a bigger lineup featuring Kurt Thomas at power forward and Anthony at small forward.

Anthony started the first 12 games of the year at power forward but the Knicks went to a bigger lineup when Jason Kidd went out with a back injury.

Anthony returned to the lineup on Sunday night after missing two games with a lacerated left middle finger and scored 34 points in a win over Denver.

On Tuesday, he will likely be matched up against Brooklyn's Gerald Wallace.

Anthony had 35 points and 13 rebounds against the Nets in an overtime loss at the Barclays Center on Nov. 26, but was slowed at points down the stretch by Wallace.

Woodson downplayed the notion that the Knicks were trying to create space and open up the perimeter by putting Anthony at power forward.

"We have the options of going big or small and both ways we've played pretty good this season so far," he said. "I don't look at it like they've got key guys out. I'm playing like we normally play."

The Knicks will need Thomas and Rasheed Wallace to help rebound off the bench against the Nets.

Brooklyn, with Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans (both starting tonight), is one of the league's stronger offensive rebounding clubs.

Thanks in part to Tyson Chandler (12 rebounds), New York held its own on the boards against Denver with Wallace (sore left foot) out. They were outrebounded, 40-39, by the Nuggets.

WOODSON TELLS J.R. TO KEEP SHOOTING: Woodson had some advice for sixth man J.R. Smith, whose shot just 26.7 over the last five games.

"Keep shooting," Woodson said.

Woodson credited Smith for contributing in ways other than scoring during his slump. Smith has averaged 2.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game in his last five games.

Woodson's confident that the up-and-down Smith will eventually work his way out of his current slump.

"You go through that during the course of a season ... he's got to keep shooting, he'll shoot his way out," Woodson said.