- Associated Press - Thursday, December 13, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Mike D'Antoni never built the team he wanted in New York. Now he looks at the Knicks and sees what he would like his Lakers to become.

D'Antoni returns to Madison Square Garden on Thursday for the first time since resigning as Knicks coach last March, hoping to see the type of performance his new team hasn’t demonstrated nearly enough.

The Knicks were a disappointment last season, with D'Antoni saying things went “sideways” right from the start. Things haven’t been much better in Los Angeles, where the Lakers are playing without injured starters Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.

While they struggle, the Knicks have surged to the top of the Eastern Conference, with Carmelo Anthony playing at a level never reached under D'Antoni.