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Opening Tip: Can Melo and Lin mesh?

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip."

Today's Burning Question: Can Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin mesh?

Hate to rain on your Lin parade today, but this is certainly something to watch for when Carmelo Anthony returns.

As we've all seen over the past three games, one of Jeremy Lin's strengths has been his innate ability to penetrate into the lane. This has created opportunities at the rim and drawn defenses in to free teammates for uncontested shots.

To penetrate, of course, Lin needs the ball in his hands. And that hasn't been a problem for the past two games.

Anthony is out with a groin injury, off the floor for all but six minutes of the two games Lin has started, so it's been easy for the Knicks to hand the ball to Lin and watch him go.

It will be interesting to see how the offense under Lin changes with Anthony on the floor -- if it changes at all. Can they co-exist? Of course. But will both be effective on the floor together? That's an open-ended question at this point.

Remember, Anthony likes to handle the ball (his usage rate ranks fourth in the NBA). In 12 games played, Lin's is 11th in the league. But it's likely closer to Anthony's if we take the last three games as a sample.

Anthony and Lin shared the court for long stretches during Saturday's win over New Jersey. That was Lin's 25-point, seven-assist night. Anthony finished the game with 11 points and missed 12 of his 15 shots. So there's that.

Of course, Amare Stoudemire has to be pretty excited about Lin's emergence. The former Harvard standout is effective in the pick and roll, which is Stoudemire's strength. Tyson Chandler had been the primary screener on pick and rolls. Maybe this changes a bit when Stoudemire and Lin share the floor.

But the more interesting pairing is Lin and Anthony. Which leads us to our question:

Will Anthony's return affect Lin's game? Or can they feed off of each other and remain effective while on the floor together?

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