A few thoughts from the first half of Knicks-Bucks:
STARTERS FLUID: The Knicks' starting five of Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire came out red-hot, hitting their first 11 shots. But that group also struggled on defense. In all, they hit 14 of their first 18 but trailed by two after the first. A bad sign.
ROOM FOR STAT: One byproduct of the new starting five? It gave Stoudemire a chance to operate as the primary screener on the pick and roll. Stoudemire finished the half with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and five rebounds. He had several opportunities on the pick and roll. He also thrived with Anthony on the floor. Anthony finished the half with 15 points. Stoudemire and Anthony shot a combined 11-of-19 in the first two quarters.
LIN LETTING IT FLY: After struggling for the past three games, Lin looked like the Lin we saw in mid-February, when he helped lead the Knicks to seven straight wins. The second-year guard led an offense predicated on spacing and ball movement, handing out eight assists on three turnovers. He had nine points on 4-of-6 shooting but was whistled for three fouls.
JENNINGS RELATIVELY QUIET: Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings always seems to torch the Knicks. Entering play Friday, he'd led Milwaukee to a 7-1 record against New York, average 20 points per game. Jennings had a relatively quiet first half on Friday, scoring eight points on 3-for-7 shooting and handing out three assists. Mike Dunleavy hurt the Knicks off the bench, finishing with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. But he picked up his third foul with under two minutes to go in the second quarter.