March 1, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the ball against the Washington Wizards in the first quarter at Verizon Center. The Knicks won 96-88. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Will Carmelo perform against the Nuggets like Howard did against the Magic?

Did you watch the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic game last night? I hope you at least saw the highlights then. Dwight Howard returned to Orlando for the first time since being dealt to the Lakers after his over-the-top circus act last year as he had fans, teammates, coaches and media wondering if he is going to stay or will he go. Howard, as expected, was showered with boos from the crowd and as former Magic player – and current front office member – Nick Anderson put it, Howard wasn’t prepared for the extent of negative feedback he heard.

Mar 12, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; An Orlando Magic fan holds up a poster to mock Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (not pictured) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The thing is, Howard looked like the player the Lakers thought they were going to be getting going into the season. Howard tied his NBA record for foul shots attempts with 39 last night and made 25 of them. Howard also finished with 39 points.

Mar 12, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) dunks the ball against the Orlando Magic during the third quarter at Amway Center. Los Angeles defeated Orlando 106-97. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Was it just a great game for Howard or was it the fact he was returning to his old stomping grounds?

To me, the extra motivation carried Howard to his best night as a Laker.

With Carmelo Anthony returning to Denver tonight, should Nuggets fans expect much of the same?

In my opinion, Melo is going to go off in a big way like Howard did last night.

Coach Mike Woodson said that the New York Knicks superstar was questionable going into today, but let’s be honest, there is no way that Carmelo won’t play against his former team for the first time in Denver since the Feb. 2011 trade.

Melo will receive the same welcome – right or wrong – that Howard did last night. As one Nuggets fan told me, “It’s two-years worth of anger built up.”

The Nuggets are riding a nine-game winning streak, but Melo and the Knicks will break it tonight.

My prediction for Anthony is 42 points, seven assists and 11 rebounds.

And of course, being booed every time he touches the ball.

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Tags: Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets Dwight Howard Los Angeles Laker Nba New York Knicks Orlando Magic

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