The anticipated return of Iman Shumpert is almost here and it could not have come at a better time for the New York Knicks. It is very apparent that in the last couple of weeks, the Knicks defense is not the same as it was at the beginning of the season. The intensity and physical play has declined tremendously. Part of this is due to injuries, but another part is due to lack of responsibilities and lack of hustle. This is why the Knicks will welcome Shumpert with open arms.
As a rookie, Shumpert became a fan favorite with his intensity on defense. He gives 100 % on every defensive possession and quickly gained national attention as one of the best perimeter defenders in all of the NBA. Standing at 6’5, with a very long wingspan, Shumpert has a big advantage while guarding point guards who are smaller than him most of the time. He has the ability and toughness to guard all guards and most small forwards. This is something the Knicks have lacked so far this season as point guards have been penetrating and breaking down the Knicks defense with ease. Shumpert is a defensive stopper and his defensive presence on the court will drastically improve the Knicks team defense. Opposing point guards will have a very hard time getting past Shumpert which will lead to more shock clock violations, steals and transition baskets for the Knicks.
On the offensive side of the ball, Shumpert can play point guard or shooting guard. He has the speed and quickness to break down defenses, which is something the Knicks have lacked ever since Raymond Felton got hurt. He also has proven that he can create his own shot and also knock down shots with consistency. With Ronnie Brewers recent decline in performance, Shumpert can slide right into the shooting guard or small forward role that Brewer was playing.
Now it might take some time for him to knock off the rust as he is coming back from major knee surgery so Knick fans might have to be patient as he gets back into playing shape and builds chemistry with his teammates. Look out NBA, because the Knicks are about to get even better!!
Ray Corbett @Raycor83 – Knickswag Contributor
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