Mar 26, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT
Iman Shumpert has regressed a bit this season with the Knicks, struggling to stay healthy as a productive member of the lineup while taking plenty of criticism from head coach Mike Woodson in the early part of the season at the same time.
Shumpert returned to the New York lineup in the team’s embarrassing loss in Los Angeles on Tuesday, after missing the team’s previous crushing defeat against the Cavs due to illness.
He was scoreless in L.A in 19 minutes., but that didn’t do anything to change the opinion of the Knicks’ new president of basketball operations moving forward.
“He’s a big part of what we do,’’ Woodson said before the game. “What he brings to the table from a defensive standpoint. We could’ve used him the other night for sure.”
Though Shumpert still is not nailing his jumper consistently, he had been thriving in his new role off the bench with J.R. Smith now starting. The Post reported last month Shumpert didn’t savor his role as small forward in the smallball starting lineup.
According to a source, Knicks president Phil Jackson likes Shumpert because he’s defensive-minded and selfless.
The Knicks have some pieces, but it’s going to take a vision from the front office and a head coach who is on that same page to be able to put it all together.
Shumpert has struggled this season in part due to his lack of a defined role. Jackson obviously believes in Shumpert’s ability, so he’ll almost certainly be back next season — when Jackson has asserted his influence, almost assuredly while playing for a new head coach.
- Report: Cavaliers last team standing in Kevin Love trade talks 26
- Pat Riley says he didn’t think LeBron was leaving, Heat can turn around quickly 34
- Coach K on Rose: “Derrick’s played great, not good, and hasn’t held anything back” 20
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 43
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 56
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 17
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 7