Knicks fans love Iman Shumpert. They love the intensity he brings to the court every night, especially on defense. Well, they may want to come to grips with a truth: He’s no longer a favorite of New York’s front office.
The ball movement has either been nonexistent or turnover prone. Until that changes, and the Knicks’ best players start to shoot better, there’s going to continue to be rough basketball at MSG.
Last week I wrote about how Chandler might be the Knicks’ most irreplaceable player, so naturally less than a week later he fractures his leg and will miss anywhere from a month to a month and a half.
The Knicks showed many good things in Wednesday’s season opener. But there were also a couple of red flags that could prove to be a problem in the season’s first true test against the Bulls.
“I think the perfect way to punish myself is to take my hair, just to end that whole separation of trying to be cool or trying to separate myself so that I look different,” Shumpert declared.
Schmeelk says this year’s Knicks squad is capable of winning 50 games.
Shumpert averaged 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 45 games, all starts, last season after returning from torn knee ligaments.
Kemba Walker scored 18 points and made the tiebreaking basket with 1:31 remaining as the Charlotte Bobcats escaped with an 85-83 preseason win over the Knicks 85-83 on Friday night.
With Smith and Anthony on the court together, the ball often stops, which would hurt the ultra-effective Felton/Chandler pick-and-roll. Smith also doesn’t apply the smart, heady defense that’s needed with the rest of the starting five.
For the Knicks to make a serious run to the NBA Finals, they have to improve their defense. There’s a few ways that a team’s defense can be improved.
Smith wants the starting nod from coach Mike Woodson. That said, if the Knicks reprise his role as the go-to guy off the bench, he’d be OK with that, too.
Woodson will have a lot of flexibility when it comes to finding the proper offense/defense balance. He can go with a dual point-guard lineup with Prigioni or start a bigger two-guard like Shumpert or Smith.
This is the way the Knicks’ season has to start. It’s so disappointing, but also so typical at the same time. Dolan would have it no other way.
Melo has refused to discuss the possibility of leaving the Knicks via free agency.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is still tampering around with his lineup, only guaranteeing starting spots to three players: Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton.