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Friday, January 31, 2014
Opening Tip: Stick with small ball?

By Ian Begley

How does Carmelo Anthony feel about the Knicks playing a two-guard lineup?

“I really like [it]. I don’t have no problem with that. We have had success with that. It seems to be working right now,” Anthony said after Thursday’s win over Cleveland.

The Knicks have won four in a row since going to a smaller lineup. And they’ve looked like a different team on offense.

New York Knicks
The Knicks seem to be clicking with their three-guard lineup.
For the season, New York is averaging 105 points per 100 possessions. Over the last four games, playing small ball, the Knicks are scoring 125 points per 100 possessions.

“I think the small lineup, we know that that works. Hey, I don’t know if I’ll even go back, go away from it at this time,” Mike Woodson said. “I don’t know.”

Woodson was committed to playing a big lineup of Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani on the front line.

But since Bargnani went down with an elbow injury, Woodson has started a three-guard lineup with Anthony at power forward. Anthony’s played exceptionally well in the last four games, scoring 37.5 points per game in 34.5 minutes on 54 percent shooting.

Those numbers are reminiscent of the type of scoring Anthony did last season, when he played the majority of his minutes at power forward.

So what happens when Bargnani comes back? Will Woodson go back to the “big” front line? Should he?

Up now: Iman Shumpert missed Thursday’s game with a shoulder injury.

J.R. Smith stepped in for him and thrived, scoring 19 points. Smith said after the game that he’s taking a more “serious” approach to the game.

Andrea Bargnani doesn’t have a timetable for his return, but he believes he’ll be back this season.

What’s next: The Knicks will take on the Miami Heat on Saturday night.

Question: do you think Mike Woodson should go with a small lineup for the rest of the season?

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