Carmelo Anthony has missed seven games with a groin injury and will make a slightly surprising return to the New York Knicks starting lineup on Monday against the New Jersey Nets. Melo was previously expected to miss another game or two, but will get his first chance to play a full game with Jeremy Lin as a starter against the Nets. Rachel Nichols of ESPN broke the news on her Twitter feed and on ESPN television.
There's been plenty of speculation about how well Anthony will play with Lin at the point. Anthony played in Lin's breakout game against the Nets and played six minutes in Lin's first start, but the two have not started and finished a game together. Melo doesn't think there's going to be a problem.
"I know there's questions about, 'Can I fit in?' and stuff like that, but this is like a dream come true to me. It takes some pressure off of me. I don't have to play point guard. I don't have to try to get Amare 20 points, try to get this guy 20 points, me try to go out there and get 25-30 points a night, play defense, rebound do the whole thing."
This will be the first time that Anthony, Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire will play a full game together since Lin's breakout game against the Nets on February 4. Stoudemire did not play in Lin's first start because of the death of his brother. J.R. Smith has also recently joined the team, and it'll be interesting to see if everyone can play together right away. With no disrespect intended to the Nets, this is probably a good opportunity for them to work out the kinks before they face tougher opposition.