Found January 18, 2013 on
New York Knicks
The Knicks have not yet had their expected lineup healthy at the same time this season; Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert started the season injured and injuries throughout the season have caused other roadblocks.
Right when Stoudemire returned, Raymond Felton then went down with a broken pinkie on his left hand, leaving the Knicks again short-handed at times in the back-court. Things should start looking like they were expected to when training camp started as Felton is expected back January 26th and Shumpert made his impressive season debut Thursday in London against the Detroit Pistons; and not a day too late.
Shumpert will bring a defensive mentality to a Knicks team who has started lacking intensity on the defensive end, falling behind in big deficits off the bat of games and not slowing down opposing teams.
One problem has been the back-court, as Jason Kidd is no longer capable of staying with the quicker guards in the NBA and the Knicks being poor defenders on the perimeter; both problems Shumpert should help alleviate.
Entering the New Year, the Knicks were ranked as the worst team in defending isolation’s by their opponents; Shumpert’s calling card when he came into the NBA was his defense and the Knicks will desperately need that starting Thursday. Much like Avery Bradley for the Boston Celtics, Shumpert is looked at as a savior of sorts for the team, especially on the defensive end.
Shumpert will take pressure off of Kidd, who can now go back to guarding shooting guards again with Shumpert in the lineup. He will also help shore up the perimeter defense, as he is more than capable of guarding the best guard on the opposing team night in and night out, something Ronnie Brewer has struggled with as his minutes have become sporadic and his efficiency has waned.
Shumpert will also help in the open court, as his presence alone should make the Knicks a more dangerous team in transition and in the open court. With his presence on defense, the Knicks should find themselves in transition more because of steals and pressure situations caused by Shumpert’s defense.
Shumpert can also be the one finishing off the transition opportunities, as his breakaway speed and ability to finish at the rim are a beautiful combination for any player to have.
Shumpert should also be a much improved shooter coming off of this surgery. With it being to his knee, Shumpert was able to dedicate time to his form and consistency, constantly working on his shot during rehab.
“His jumpshot is going to come back a lot better than what it was, I’ll tell you that,” said Knicks shooting coach Dave Hopla. “His jumpers and his free throw percentage are going to be up. I’m telling you. That’s all you can do. You can’t do anything else, but shoot around and just shoot free throws.”
That is good news for the Knicks, who cannot get enough shooters on the court and unlike the other shooters on the team like Steve Novak and Chris Copeland; Shumpert is a two-way player that will not hurt the team on the defensive end.
Expectations should be tempered for Shumpert though, at least in the beginning. This is not a small injury that Shumpert is returning from as he suffered a pretty serious injury in tearing his ACL and meniscus. There are some people that expect him to step in right away and return to what he is, but not everyone is Adrian Peterson and is capable of doing such a thing.
For example, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio suffered a similar injury to Shumpert and looks like a shell of himself this season. Rubio was never as athletic or played the type of a game Shumpert does so it is fair to ask if Shumpert will actually help the Knicks right off the bat; some people will not like hearing that but it is the truth.
For the Knicks sake, hopefully Shumpert returns more like Peterson than Rubio as he should offer the type of lift this Knicks team needs.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
The post How Iman Shumpert’s Return Will Impact the Knicks appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
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