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Knicks Hot, Lakers Not As D’Antoni Returns To MSG

Carmelo Anthony  (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images), Mike D'Antoni (credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images), Mike D’Antoni (credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Things are going great for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.

As for the Lakers and former New York coach Mike D’Antoni?

Not so much.

D’Antoni will return to Madison Square Garden for the first time Thursday since his sudden resignation from the Knicks last March. Anthony wasn’t so sure what the reception would be like for his former coach, who was criticized heavily in the Big Apple for the Knicks’ defensive struggles.

The Garden has been rocking under coach Mike Woodson. So here’s the question: Will the MSG faithful give D’Antoni the business?

“We shall see. I don’t know,” said Anthony, according to the New York Post.

Anthony, building an MVP resume, is coming off a 45-point effort in a win over the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks sit atop the Eastern Conference at 16-5, and are 34-11 under Woodson going back to last season.

Meanwhile, D’Antoni’s Lakers, inherited this season from fired coach Mike Brown, are just 9-13 and riding a three-game losing streak.

“We play at a very slow pace and we struggle. Maybe it shifts over to defense. Maybe we’re slow. Maybe we can’t do it,” said D’Antoni, who dropped to 4-8 with Los Angeles. “It’s my job to fix it – and that’s what I’ll do.”

Anthony is determined not to let it happen on his watch.

“We know they’ve been struggling a little bit as of late,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “We know, everybody tries to step up when they come to the Garden. So we want to try to win that basketball game. We know we have a great opportunity to do something special over these next couple of weeks having a home stand. We want to take advantage of it.”

What’s your prediction for Melo vs. Mike? Be heard in the comments…