By Matt Moore
The Knicks announced Sunday morning that Carmelo Anthony will not play vs. the Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. Baron Davis and J.R. Smith will both be active for the first time but are not expected to log heavy minutes, as Davis continues to work into game shape and recover from a back injury and Smith tries to learn the playbook having only gotten back to the United States from China within the past five days.
Anthony will miss his seventh game with injury. Questions have been raised as to how he and Jeremy Lin will work together in the offense, due to Melo's tendencies towards isolation, versus the success the Knicks have had with Lin in the pick and roll set. Against the Mavericks, Lin will need the same kind of performance he had against the Lakers earlier this month. Lin's coming off of his first loss since gaining heavy minutes in the Knicks rotation. The Mavericks have a world of experience in defending the pick and roll well so it'll be interesting to see what approach they take with Lin and if Lin can recover from a series of poor games in terms of turnovers. If not, the Knicks could be on a losing streak and Linsanity could be fading from the popular consciousness.
Seeing Smith operate in the offense without any real knowledge of the playbook should be an adventure as well.