In the first quarter, Melo was having a complete offensive game. Towards the end of the half Melo was featured completely on the perimeter and was forced to use his dribble. He could only manage two shot attempts in the quarter and was called for a charged where he forced action off the dribble too far from the basket.
As the game progressed, Melo was rarely featured in that left mid-post area, and was forced out closer to the perimeter, in face up situations, where he either had to use his dribble to get to his spots, and missed, or was forced to catch and shoot off of quick ball movement. Either way it's difficult to create foul shooting situations that far from the basket. After 5 FTs in the 1st quarter, Melo could only create 4 for the rest of the game. Now, 9 FTA for the game is great, but when you get off for 5 in the first 12 minutes, you'd expect a higher outcome. Obviously, his rhythm was bothered after that quick start.
Conversely, Amar'e missed all of his first quarter shots and had a much better second quarter when Carmelo stepped aside. He was utilizing his mid-range jump shot and making it in the foul line extended area. His strength is diving on pick and rolls (as you can see by the number of floaters he missed in the paint below), but he's shown a tremendous ability to consistently hit the mid range jump shot.
There has to be more attention to Carmelo on the block and Amar'e at mid post forcing Amar'e's defender to help on Anthony. With Billups' 3 point catch and shoot ability, he has to be the entry pass maker so if his player helps it's an easy kick out that can lead into an Amar'e pick and pop as another option.
The game really turned during a critical stretch at the end of the 3rd quarter after Chauncey Billups' 3 cut the lead to 2 at 77-75 the Knicks got a steal and tried to play a 2-man game with Stoudemire in the post. It was a nice give and go and Anthony appeared to get fouled and missed a short jumper. The Knicks got consecutive stops and Anthony missed another makeable look as did Stoudemire, both in set plays. They were good looks that he normally makes that just didn't fall. Sure enough, Jamison comes down and hits a 3 then a second opportunity allowed for Alonzo Gee to hit a three to stretch the lead to 8 to close the quarter.
The point is it will take time to combine the two. Right now, to me, Anthony is still trying to find his way, which is no surprise considering he's new to the offense.
Defensively, as Billups said, has a ways to go. Billups himself got caught going under a pick and roll leading to a critical closing 3 by Daniel Gibson. Carmelo struggled giving up key baskets to Jamison down the stretch and also gave up an unlucky second chance with 1:40 to go down two when Gibson managed to nick the rim on a half court chuck at the end of the clock.
Amar'e, who missed all his first quarter shots while Melo went off for 16 in the first quarter. Even with strong first half play from both, the two still had difficulty meshing. It has been the biggest theme thus far. The Knicks were fortunate to get a solid game from Toney Douglas from the field against the Bucks, but Douglas has struggled with consistency.
No real reason to panic, but not much time to get on the same page either. In all fairness, I do agree with the idea that it took time in Miami.