With Carmelo Anthony exploding in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at the four spot, the New York Knicks face many problems.

At long last, he exploded. Not that we haven’t seen him explode prior, but Carmelo Anthony just looked right in the third quarter of his team’s 93-77 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at The Garden.

Melo looked comfortable. He appeared to be at ease.

This wasn’t the case in the first half, one which the New York Knicks managed to pour in just 36 points against a Dirk Nowitski-less Mavs squad.

We already know what happened. Head coach Jeff Hornacek showed great conviction when his Knickerbockers took the court in the third quarter. Rather than Joakim Noah trotting out there, Hornacek called upon Justin Holiday. This means the Knicks — for the first time in a long time — played small ball.


It was a lineup welcomed by all Knicks fandom. For years, since Mike Woodson capitalized on Melo’s strength as a power forward, onlookers have been calling for the lineup.

Anthony and the Knicks responded in a renaissance type fashion. Melo led the way with 17 of New York’s 31 third quarter points, ultimately blowing the doors off the undermanned and outgunned Mavs team.

The positives are many. First and foremost, Anthony is a flat-out better four man in today’s league. Since nearing the age of 30, he’s been better off looking to out-muscle bigs rather than out-quick wings. Additionally, defensively, New York is a much better unit with Melo at the four. He simply cannot keep up with quicker small forwards.

Most importantly, though, the Association is a place that has rapidly gone down in size while increasing speed. It’s a 3-ball bonanza run by the little guys in the league. No longer are there Patrick Ewings or Hakeem Olajuwons being force fed in the post.

On the other side of the token, as great as the flurry of this small-ball momentum was, this action now creates several problems in Knick-land.

Join us as we sift through each issue:

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