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Melo's matinee performance lifts Knicks

Carmelo Anthony's plan coming into the season was to score less and get his teammates involved more.

"I’m done trying to score 30, 35, 40 points for us to win a basketball game," Anthony said in the preseason. "I don’t want that role anymore. ... In order for this team to be successful with the guys that we have, we need a more well-rounded team."

Sunday afternoon, the Knicks got a more well-rounded Anthony.

The All-Star forward got it done on both ends of the floor against Philly, combining an aggressive approach on defense with an efficient afternoon on offense in New York's 100-84 win.

"I’m just trying to do little things to make this team better," Anthony said. "That’s it."

The Knicks are 2-0 for the first time since 1999-2000, and Anthony, not surprisingly, has had his fingerprints all over both wins.

He finished with a team-high 27 points Sunday, getting there on 18 shots. It was a departure from what we saw in Friday's win over the Heat, when Anthony took 28 shots to get 30 points.

"He's reading the defense and he's taking what's in front of him," Mike Woodson said. "Melo doesn't have to force anything, he's too good of an offensive player. ... If he doesn't have it, he's capable of sacrificing the ball and making guys around him better."

Historically, Anthony's been criticized for stopping the ball too often on offense.

But Sunday afternoon, he was an integral part of a Knicks team that shared the ball early and often -- an effort led by veteran Jason Kidd.

"You can’t guard the pass," Kidd said. "No matter what you do, the ball’s always going to travel faster."

The ball movement translated to great efficiency in the paint.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Knicks were 18-for-27 inside the paint, including a stretch of 10 straight makes in the second and third quarters. Anthony went 4-for-5 in the painted area.

He was also extremely engaged on defense.

Take this sequence midway through the first quarter as an example: Anthony swatted away a Nick Young attempt, and then dove into the stands to try to save the ball. He landed in the second row.

"When you've got your star player doing that, everybody else has got to step up and play, no matter what," Ray Felton said.

It's early in the season, to be sure, but Anthony seems like a different player after the Knicks' first two games -- especially on the defensive end.

After hanging around his buddies LeBron James and Kobe Bryant all summer during the Olympics -- both of whom have already won NBA titles -- is Anthony hell-bent on bringing the Knicks there?

That's a question for another day.

Sunday, though, we may have seen a glimpse of things to come.