Behind enemy lines: Melo, Knicks back in D.C.

Behind enemy lines: Melo, Knicks back in D.C.
October 11, 2012, 8:30 pm
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The Wizards second preseason game of the year comes Thursday night on their home court.

The contest also marks the New York Knicks preseason debut. It means the return of Carmelo Anthony to D.C., and the return of the Wizards games to Comcast SportsNet, 7:00 p.m.

The last time the scoring star and 3-time Olympian laced them up at the Verizon Center -- in an NBA game, not counting the Olympic tuneup against Brazil - Anthony dropped a cool 37 points in 36 minutes on the home team in a 99-96 victory.

That was hardly the first time the Baltimore native torched the local squad; for his career Anthony is averaging 27.1 points over 16 games against the Wizards, his fourth-best per game average against any team (oddly, the former Denver star tallied 29.9 points per game during his career against the Knicks, most against any opponent).

Don't count on that level of point producing production tonight simply because Anthony doesn't figure to be on the court long enough to make it with the regular season still a ways off. From the Wizards perspective, they hope that Anthony's output is not so prolific because now they can put veteran and defensive-minded Trevor Ariza on Anthony rather than an over-matched Chris Singleton.

*For however long he plays Anthony should be the clear-cut offensive presence for the New Yorkers since Amar'e Stoudemire will sit out after banging knees with a teammate in practice. Also missing the game will be backup center Marcus Camby (strained left calf) and reserve forward Rasheed Wallace (let's go with the Andray Blatche reasoning and say "conditioning"). The 38-year-olds are part of the Knicks new (but old) "senior citizen bench brigade" along with 39-year-old Jason Kidd.

*As for Wallace - who may be the last member of the Washington Bullets still in the league - his return to action from a two-year retirement is moving slowly. Signed by the Knicks last week, Wallace is "still not in practice shape, let alone game shape," according to the Newark Star-Ledger.