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In big-time matchups like these, fantasy stocks always wind up trending in one direction or the other.
When contenders play contenders, it brings out the best in some. These early, prime-time excursions are a great barometer for what you can expect from a player in the immediate future.
Setting your lineups Thursday shouldn't be a problem since there are only two games being played across the league. For future reference and any potential trade ideas, though, it's best to keep an eye on those who will stand out in this game.
Anthony is primed for a big night, even though he's going up against Chicago's staunch defense. You heard it here first. And if you didn't, say you did. It makes me look good.
Against the Milwaukee Bucks, 'Melo attempted just 16 shots. Through the first three quarters, he put up just eight. This comes after hoisting up over 22 a night last season en route to winning a scoring title. Following a reserved performance like that one, you know he's itching to shoot.
New York's star forward also grabbed 10 rebounds against Milwaukee to complete a double-double. His aggression on the boards was encouraging and is something that should carry over to a marquee matchup like this.
More 4-of-15 outings aren't in the cards for Mr. Rose. Not against New York, anyway.
The Knicks are notoriously porous when it comes to defending point guards. Floor generals tend to have a field day against their switch-heavy defensive schemes, and with only one true rim protector in Tyson Chandler, they're not built to adequately contest dribble penetration.
Also, Derrick Rose is Derrick Rose. Spout off as many comments about rust as you like. He's unlikely to have two abysmal performances in a row.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Eventually, the Knicks must resort to chucking up threes again. Think of their 13 deep-ball attempts against Milwaukee as one of a few unavoidable aberrations.
When the Knicks begin chucking again (tonight), Tim Hardaway Jr. will be camped out beyond the arc and ready to bound away.
I'd say I'm dead serious, but I hate that expression. It's depressing.
There's no complicated science here. The Knicks defend opposing combo guards terribly. As a member of the second unit, Kirk Hinrich should make for a lethal pick-and-roll catalyst and secondary scorer here.