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Mike D’Antoni says Iman Shumpert can guard Rose, Wade, or LeBron… or did he?

Jun 25, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni

Here’s a nice quote from Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni about first round pick Iman Shumpert that’s going to get misconstrued all over the place. From ESPN.com via IamaGm.com:

“He has the athletic ability to guard a Derrick Rose or a Dwyane Wade or a LeBron James,” D’Antoni said Friday.

via New York Knicks’ Mike D’Antoni raves about draftee Iman Shumpert – ESPN New York.

The Knicks need defense, and they drafted Shumpert, and based off of that quote, you can take the approach that D’Antoni said Shumpert can guard Rose, Wade, or James. But that’s not actually what he said.

To defend players of that caliber, you need athleticism, instincts, skills, and savvy. All of that, plus some luck, will probably get you to hold them to 43 percent shooting or worse. Throw in some help defense from teammates (on the Knicks! Haha, what a funny joke!) and you’ve got a better chance at getting them to 30% or worse. But you do need athleticism. D’Antoni’s not saying Shumpert’s going to come in and guard those guys, that’s obviously insanity. But having that kind of athleticism means Shumpert can be a defensive weapon in time.

Now, whether he’ll actually wind up getting the defensive attention he needs to become that kind of defender under D’Antoni is a separate question.

  1. cosanostra71 - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    like D’Antoni would be able to recognize defensive ability

    • tubal22 - Jun 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM

      I’m guessing he’d be able to recognize defensive ability a little better than you.

      • philtration - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:14 PM

        Not from what I have seen.

      • philtration - Jun 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM

        Oops.
        My fault. I guess D’Antoni really does know a great deal about NBA defense.
        He just “pretends” that he is clueless so he can spring his trap.

    • downtowndanny - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      exactly….

  2. damp1015 - Jun 25, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Kurt, you can laugh about the Knicks and their defense, but lets face it, you don’t do your job as well as you think others should.

    Every team has their flaws, no matter who, even the glorified Lakers and Celtics have their flaws. Jordan had his flaws.

    • philtration - Jun 26, 2011 at 8:40 PM

      Wait a second…
      Did you just compare the Knicks and their defense to the Lakers, Celtics and Michael Jordan?

      And how do you “defend” a comment like that?

  3. dirtybird2020 - Jun 26, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Retarded, ur a idiot if u think mike can recognize defense, i agree knicks will go nowhere with this coach! Sorry newyork!

    • theghostofwillisreed - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      d’antoni has a lot to prove this year, no doubt. so when he makes a pick for a defensive player and has high expectations for his defensive acumen, he still gets chided.

      are you lacking in page view coming out of the new york market these days?

      • borderline1988 - Jun 26, 2011 at 9:12 PM

        The next NBA season will most probably set the legacy for Mike D’Antoni.
        Assuming the Knicks’ stars stay relatively healthy, there is no reason why NY can’t finish 4th in the East.
        Boston is getting older and they lack stable big men to attack NY’s front line. Orlando is a one-man show and are fading. The Knicks should be able to finish in front of at least one of those 2 teams.

        I dont think anyone expects them to contend for a championship, but they should at least make it to the 2nd round and be competitive in it. Anything less would be a failure and would probably define Dantoni’s career.

  4. dysraw1 - Jun 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    even though the knicks need bigs,this kid will turn in results.

  5. downtowndanny - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    why would a coach throw a young player under the bus like that? Has he seen what D Rose does to guards like D Will, CP3 etc. Does he really expect this kid to hold his own against Lebron or Wade? Wow, Danphony you did more harm than good with that statement.

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