Carmelo Anthony to return for Knicks Thursday; Bargnani to start, too

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The New York Knicks have looked like a complete mess without Carmelo Anthony, who missed three games with a sprained ankle. Yes, I know they haven’t looked great with him but there are degrees of bad and the Knicks were plumbing new depths without ‘Melo.

So good news, as had been expected he will return Thursday night when the Knicks take on the San Antonio spurs. The team made it official at shootaround, as reported by Al Iannazzone of Newsday among others.

Also on Thursday coach Mike Woodson announced that Andrea Bargnani would be back in the starting lineup. The Knicks will start Beno Udrih, Iman Shumpert, and the big lineup of ‘Melo, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler up front.

For the record, in the 85 minutes this season Anthony, Bargnani and Chandler have all been on the court at the same time the Knicks have been outscored by an average of 7.9 points per 48 minutes, with a terrible defensive rating of 116.6 points allowed per 100 possessions. We’ll see how they look against the Spurs.