Oct 13, 2012; Hartford, CT, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots a free throw against the Boston Celtics during the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Looking at Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire's First Game Together

I am often a believer that scores and stats don’t mean a whole heck of a lot in the preseason, but even I was a bit intrigued and paid close attention to the New York Knicks loss to the Toronto Raptors Friday night.

Dec 25, 2011; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) and small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

It wasn’t the final score that mattered, but instead I wanted to pay close attention to how the two major storylines of the Knicks’ offseason would play out in what amounted to the first time Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire shared the floor together this preseason.

All we’ve heard about in the offseason was Stoudemire’s new post-game and whether or not the Knicks two superstars could finally co-exist this season.

Beginning with STAT’s post-game, we didn’t see much that was impressive.

The first half showed a very nice balanced Knicks attack and while everyone wanted to see the ball fed down low to Stoudemire, instead it was Anthony who received the touches on the block, which was fine. Anthony, who finished with a team-high 24 points, went to work early and often, abusing former Knick Landry Fields.

Personally, I’m fine with that. When there is a mismatch on Anthony, feed him the rock in a position he can have success.

I liked what I saw in the first half. The ball moved and the Knicks had a balanced attack, but all of that changed in the second half.

The final 24 minutes looked more like the Knicks team that struggled for most of the 2012 season. There was no chemistry between Stoudemire and Anthony and the isolation took over as there were many more threes taken, especially in the fourth quarter. For the game, the Knicks were only 5-for-27 from downtown (18.5 percent), while the Raptors heated up in the final period, finishing 12-for-26 (46.2 percent) for the game. The Knicks as a team also could not get to the foul line and when they did they didn’t make them, shooting only 65.4 percent on the night.

It was only a preseason game, so the loss doesn’t really matter, but there’s a reason why the Knicks are an under .500 team when both Stoudemire and Anthony are in the lineup together and we saw the reason why in Friday’s second half.

If that’s the way this Knicks team is going to play at times, well they won’t be very good in 2013.

The good news is that there are two more preseason games to try and get that out of their system.

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