Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 1/3/13
Tim Duncan and Carmelo Anthony, power forwards for their teams, will be the matchup when the San Antonio Spurs face the New York Knicks. The two men probably won't guard each other with their coaches possibly switching their centers (Tiago Splitter for S.A. and Tyson Chandler for N.Y.), but they'll have plenty to do with how the other performs this game. Anthony shot just 17% in the paint area (1-6) and only 33% in mid range (1-3) while Duncan 100% in the paint (3-3) and an impressive 60% mid range shooting (3-5). With the Knicks going small with Anthony at the 4-position, Duncan will get good looks at the basket even if Tyson Chandler is in the game. Tiago Splitter isn't considered athletic to guard Anthony one on one, but he moves just as quick as Dejuan Blair and Blair did a good job on Anthony in their first meeting. What Duncan must do on offense: The San Antonio Spurs need to play fast to get a decent lead in the game. Once they get a lead, Duncan has to try to slow down the game with post ups. He's great at getting others to foul him and New York isn't really primed to have Amare Stoudemire as their leader. Anthony and Stoudemire have not built up chemistry together with this new team with Amare's injury, so Duncan exploiting the Knicks and getting them in foul trouble should be key for San Antonio. What Duncan must do on defense: Since it's doubtful he'll guard Anthon, he still has to help whoever is guarding Carmelo including if the assignment is for Kawhi Leonard. Anthony is such a versatile scorer that one man can't stop him alone, but Duncan must also be prepared to rotate quickly on offense. The Knicks are really good at lobbing passes for Tyson Chandler and TD has to watch out for that even from Anthony in a double team. The Knicks tend to have more than 3 guys who can shoot the ball on the court, so it will be a hard time for Duncan to have the energy to use his legs for the majority of the game on defense with the Spurs already having played last night against the Milwaukee Bucks. With Duncan looking to funnel Carmelo in the baseline, it'll be hard for Anthony to get a clean pass and a shot if two centers are on him or even Kawhi Leonard who has a 7'3" wingspan
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