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- Carmelo Anthony won’t play because of a sprained left ankle suffered in last Thursday’s win over the Lakers. This is is his second straight game out. “Hopefully, he’ll be ready Wednesday [against Brooklyn],” coach Mike Woodson said, adding that it was Anthony’s decision to sit. “We just have to hear from the doctors.” Asked if Anthony could play Wednesday, Woodson said, “I hope so. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.” Anthony is the NBA’s second-leading scorer (29.9 ppg).
- In Anthony’s absence the Knicks’ starters are point guard Raymond Felton, shooting guard Jason Kidd, small forward Ronnie Brewer, power forward Chris Copeland and center Tyson Chandler.
- Amar’e Stoudemire has been cleared to practice and will practice with the Knicks’ D-League team, the Erie Bayhawks, Tuesday and Thursday in New York. Stoudemire could potentially make his season debut Friday or Sunday after missing the season with a knee procedure. “I just want to make sure he gets out of the practice not hurting,” Woodson said. “I want to make sure that his knee is sound and that he’s ready to go.”
- Former Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin makes his first appearance at Madison Square Garden since opting to sign with the Rockets last summer. The Knicks were 8-15 before Lin took over the point guard duties and led the team to seven straight wins and 16 victories in the next 25 games. “I’m definitely ready to get it over just because I think in some sense, there will be some closure,” Lin told reporters. “There probably will be a little bit of nostalgia and I’m thankful for those times, because those were some great times. But at the same time, it’s the next chapter.” Once at the Garden, Lin added: “I don’t think anybody from the Rockets organization is expecting me to recreate anything, and I’m not either.”
- Felton said he wasn’t trying to get into any one-on-one battle with Lin and believes that Lin deserves a “standing ovation” from the crowd. “I don’t get into no one-on-one battles,” he said. “I could say that about every night. when I play against any point guard. You can’t get into any one-on-one battles, that’s where your game mess[es] up. And that’ s when you lose focus of what you’re trying to do and the main goal is to win.” Chandler echoed those sentiments. “What Jeremy did last year was great,” he said Saturday after the team’s 103-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. “He brought a lot of excitement to the city. A lot of excitement to the fans of New York…I had lot of fun playing with him. But he’s on the other side now and he has to pay for that.”
- Woodson said the Knicks wanted Lin back. “We wanted Jeremy back…but things changed from a business standpoint and Jeremy decided to take the Houston deal,” he said. “And as an organization, we’ve moved on….It’s no knock against Jeremy, he did what he had to do.”
- The Knicks are a perfect 10-0 this season at Madison Square Garden and are 20-1 at home under Woodson.
– Adam Zagoria