Throughout the year I’ve been asked a very straightforward and legitimate question;
‘Who’s your favorite Knick?’.
I mean to most people that’s a very easy answer, be it Melo, JR, Cope whoever but to me it’s an awkward one to answer. It’s like asking a parent which of it’s kids they love the most. Especially at the start of the year when there was so many new faces and injuries. I’d love to be able to lie like all those parents out there and say I love them all equally but I don’t. So to give you my answer I’d have to go with Iman Shumpert AKA Tape 21.
When I heard trade rumors surrounding him and Jared Dudley I laughed. The NYK organization would be crazy to trade such a young talent. Sure he tore his ACL last year and has been a little off throughout the year but his three-point stroke has come on so much in such a short period of time it’d be ridiculous to trade him when he can develop that quickly. I suppose though, there were trade rumors surrounding Melo last year…
Iman Shumpert is a great defender. Especially at such a young age and for a perimeter player. It’s refreshing to see such a young guard especially one that isn’t a member of the Grizzlies or Clippers so able to shut down opposing scorers or rotate on screens or shooters and he has an advantage on the likes of Paul or Conley in the size and strength department which gives him the ability to guard taller opponents such as LeBron James or Paul George. Shump can also rebound well, especially this season he has worked on his box outs or can use his athleticism to beat opponents to long rebounds or out jump others for the ball. At times though during the season, Shump has overhelped, notably against the Hawks when he was tasked with guarding Kyle Korver.
Since coming back from injury he has improved a lot in off ball departments, like his movement and communication. Especially on offence he spaces the floor very well and cuts hard. His vision has improved a lot, maybe because he has lost some explosiveness, he doesn’t drive as much when the ball falls to him and someone is open. Also, in an interview he done with KnicksNow after his return he said that during the offseason because of his knee he could only practice his shooting and his form and he said that he’s much more comfortable letting it fly from the perimeter than he was in his rookie season, making him a threat outside also.
I still don’t think he’s 100 percent yet and the knee is still a bit shaky, he’s yet to produce a rim-rattler this year, but he’s showing spurts of excellent productivity. For example he recorded a double-double against the Celtics in an overtime game 4 loss, but his three crucial crunch time steals produced 6 points for the Knickstape and forced OT, but he got benched in the extra period.
A lot of the Knicks’ postseason success hinges on their defense and a lot of responsibility on that end falls on his Flattop. And if you get a chance, hit up his mixtape; Th3 #Post90s, quality stuff, best HipHop I’ve heard in a longtime, think a positive minded Kendrick Lamar and based in Chi-town instead of Compton.