Knicks’ Julius Randle expects a ‘lot of love’ for Carmelo Anthony in MSG return
Julius Randle is expecting a warm reception for Carmelo Anthony ahead of his return to Madison Square Garden. The former New York Knicks star spent six-and-a-half years with the organization before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, but he’s still beloved by the fan base.
“I’m sure it’ll be a great environment,” said Randle ahead of Melo’s return on Wednesday when the Portland Trail Blazers come to town, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. “A lot of love for Melo, and it should be.”
Anthony has had a resurgent season after being out of the NBA for a year, finally linking up with a team determined not to change his playstyle and helping him make the most of his skill set.
The Blazers have jumped back into playoff contention after starting 5-9 prior to signing him, sitting only a half-game out of the eighth spot, which is occupied by the San Antonio Spurs.
Portland is 9-11 with Anthony in the lineup, recently enduring a four-game skid after a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Yet Melo’s visit to The Garden will signify something special for the longtime veteran and Knicks fans as well, who have seen their team progress after the firing of David Fizdale.
New York has won two in a row and five of their last nine games, riding a good wave since interim coach Mike Miller took over the helm. Randle has improved vastly over the past 11 games since Fizdale got the axe, which should only make his matchup against Anthony all the more entertaining.