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- Carmelo Anthony, who has missed all of the last seven games and most of an eighth game back on Feb. 6 against the Utah Jazz with a pulled groin, will suit up and start tonight against the Nets. Without Anthony around recently for the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks are 6-1 in those seven games. Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni on working Anthony back into the swing of things with Lin, “I don’t know if he needs any benefits, he was pretty good with him, so I imagine he’ll be pretty good with him. Every player will benefit from a good point guard.”
- Baron Davis (herniated disc) is slated to make his long-awaited Knicks debut this evening. Davis, who has averaged 16.5 points and 7.3 assists per game over a 12-year NBA career, had been viewed by many as the answer at point guard. That was before Linsanity took hold over Madison Square Garden on Feb. 4. Now, Davis is very likely to be Lin’s backup moving forward.
- Tyson Chandler had X-rays on both wrists and his back after Sunday’s 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks, with everything coming back negative. He was reevaluated before tonight’s game and has been given a clean bill of health. D’Antoni on his 7-foot defensive specialist, “He’s sore, but he’ll play.”
- Chandler will not have to deal with Nets center Brook Lopez, who returned Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks after missing the first 33 games of the season thanks to surgery to repair a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Dec. 23. The plan for Lopez, at least before the All-Star break, is to play every other day. With that, he only worked out on Friday in Chicago, debuted on Sunday against the Bucks and will sit tonight against the Knicks. He will play again on Wednesday when the Nets host the Orlando Magic. Tonight against the Knicks marks the third game for the Nets of a back-to-back-to-back stretch.
- Bill Walker (sore left elbow) is out for a second straight game, while rookie guard Iman Shumpert (left patella tendinitis) has also been ruled out by D’Antoni.
- Rookie center Josh Harrellson remains out with a fractured right wrist, but D’Antoni indicated a return is coming. After the All-Star break this weekend, D’Antoni said Harrellson could return on Feb. 29 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Garden. If not, March 4 at the Boston Celtics appears to be likely at this point.
- A win tonight would move the Knicks to one game over . 500 for the first time since Jan. 14, when it was 6-5 before a 104-92 loss at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Winners of eight of their last nine, the Knicks are 7-1 since Lin took over as the starting point guard back on Feb. 6.
– Josh Newman