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Friday, January 4, 2013
Opening Tip: Woody on Amar'e, Melo

By Ian Begley

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Mike Woodson is confident that Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony can play well together in New York. Stoudemire's played in just two games, but have you seen any signs that the Stoudemire-Anthony duo can improve?


It was just one pass, one of hundreds that Carmelo Anthony will throw this season.

But, for anyone who's watched Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire play together over the last season and a half, it was significant.

With 2:52 to go in the third quarter on Tuesday, Anthony hit Stoudemire with a bullet pass and Stoudemire converted a layup for his first field goal of the season.

On Thursday, Anthony and Stoudemire seemed to play with better spacing between one another.

Mike Woodson was encouraged.

"It'll come," the coach said Thursday, when asked about the chemistry between Anthony and Stoudemire. "I saw flashes of it last year when they played together. They're going to be fine together. I know you guys are always debating, 'Can they play together?" But they both are pro players and All-Star guys that have played a bunch of minutes and have played at a high level together. They'll figure it out."

The Knicks are 30-33 with Stoudemire and Anthony in the starting lineup. But they are 8-2 with both stars starting under Woodson.

So the coach has expressed confidence that the Knicks can be successful with both guys on the floor.

It will help that Anthony's become a more willing passer this season.

On Thursday, he continually passed out of double- and triple-teams that San Antonio threw his way, creating several open opportunities for teammates. Maybe that's something Stoudemire can benefit from. If Stoudemire continues to come off the bench, he likely won't play a majority of his minutes with Anthony. That would also allow him to be the screener on the pick-and-roll, which he was in the aforementioned pick-and-roll with Anthony.

Will Stoudemire continue to come off the bench? Or will he work his way into the starting lineup? Those are questions for another time.

For now, if nothing else, the Stoudemire-Anthony tandem has shown small signs of improvement in Stoudemire's first two games back.

Question: Mike Woodson is confident that Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony can play well together in New York. Stoudemire's played in just two games, but have you seen any signs that the Stoudemire-Anthony duo can improve?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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