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Tonight, the Knicks may face a top-10 defense on national TV without 4 of their top 5 scorers

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert is recovering from a dislocated shoulder. J.R. Smith did not make the trip to Chicago because of his foot injury. And:

Nothing alarming here: Amar'e Stoudemire is taking a night off because the Knicks have a weirdly tight schedule this week (back-to-back matinees Saturday and Sunday). Carmelo Anthony has a chronic knee thing and won't just hang the sneakers up for real, so there will occasionally be days like this.

But to my point: The Knicks are playing the Bulls tonight. The Bulls are pretty good, and always good at defending the Knicks. The game is on TNT, with Charles Barkley announcing. If Melo sits, the Knicks will be absent four of their top five scorers. One thing stands out to me:


If Melo sits -- and come on, just sit, Melo -- I want to see Tim Hardaway Jr. gun like he's never gunned gan before. I'm looking for a hyper version of J.R. Smith vs. the Thunder. TONIGHT IS YOURS, TIMOTHY. RAIN FIRE.

Or Pablo. Either way.