Jeremy Lin returns to New York; Carmelo a game-time decision

December 17, 2012

Jeremy Lin has struggled to adjust to life with the Rockets. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

Jeremy Lin will return to Madison Square Garden, where Linsanity was born, tonight when the team he now plays for, the Houston Rockets, faces the New York Knicks.

The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, who sprained his ankle Thursday night in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, will be a game-time decision.

Just what kind of reception will Lin receive in the Garden, where fans went wild during the heady days last winter. Raymond Felton, brought in when the Knicks opted to let Lin leave as a free agent, hopes the guy he replaced is warmly received.

“They should give him a standing ovation when he comes back here,” Felton told ESPN New York, “without a doubt.”

Lin famously slept on a couch after signing with the Knicks last Janaury, then sparked the team with Anthony and Amar’e Stoudamire injured.

“I think they’re going to give him a heck of an ovation. I’d be shocked if it was anything else,” Steve Novak said. “Unless everybody changed their mind and hates him, he’s one of those guys that people are going to remember for his time here. It wasn’t a very long time, but it was special. He played unbelievably well. I think there will be a movie about it one day.”

The Rockets won the first meeting between the teams in November in Houston, with Lin scoring 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Now, Lin told the Houston Chronicle, he’s “ready to get it over with” because he has struggled, averaging averaging 11 points, 6.1 assists and nearly two steals per game.

“I’m not doing close to what I’m capable of doing. It’s a matter of figuring out how to play more like myself within the system,” Lin, who’s shooting 39 percent from the field, said. “I’ll be my harshest critic, but I’m doing terrible.”

Lin isn’t the only one who’s moved on.

“What Jeremy did was amazing, was great. I’m happy for him, he got his money. He’s the starting point guard in Houston,” Felton said. “I used to watch him every game. But it’s time to move on. We’re 18-5, we’re 10-0 at home, so there’s no need to talk about that no more.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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