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W2W4: Knicks vs. Celtics

Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Sunday's New York Knicks-Boston Celtics game:

Titanic Division: If they played on another coast or in another time zone, the Knicks would likely be a long way from a playoff spot.

But they're in the Atlantic Division.

Thanks to the mediocrity in the Atlantic, the Knicks (5-13) enter Sunday's game just 2½ games out of first place.

They'll have a chance to cut the lead to 1½ on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Celtics (9-12).

"It's crazy," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of the idea that his team can be in such close contention.

Sure, the Knicks have endured a nine-game losing streak and had dropped seven in a row at home. But the past two games -- both blowout wins -- have provided an infusion of optimism.

With Boston, Toronto and Philly rebuilding and Brooklyn in the midst of its own struggles, the Knicks have to feel good about their chances to win the division for the second straight year.

A win Sunday will only bolster those feelings.

Which Melo will we see? Carmelo Anthony's transformed his game over the past few days.

On Thursday against Brooklyn, Anthony scored 19 points on 12 shots. On Friday against Orlando, he had 20 points on 10 shots.

Instead of hoisting 20-plus shots, Anthony opted for an efficient approach.

He totaled 22 shots in the past two games after averaging 22.2 through the first 16. He's shooting 49.4 percent in victories and 41.8 percent in losses.

"I wanted to try to do something a little different to see if it worked," Anthony said. "Me scoring 30 wasn't working."

The result was an increase in ball movement and open shots on the perimeter.

The Knicks hit 16 3-pointers against Brooklyn and 17 against Orlando. They won both games by 30.

Has Anthony unlocked a new formula for success for the Knicks? Let's see what happens on Sunday.

What about Amar'e? Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to play Sunday after missing Friday's game for precautionary purposes.

Woodson has said he'd like to use Stoudemire more frequently in pick-and-rolls rather than solely in the post. That's something to keep an eye on Sunday.

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