Shumpert Responds to Coaches in Knicks Preseason Opener
Added by Steven Korn on October 10, 2013.
Just hours after Knicks coach Mike Woodson told the media that the starting shooting guard position for his team was up for grabs, third-year shooting guard Iman Shumpert responded quite strongly to his coach. A 7-of-7, 3-of-3 from three-point range, 18 point performance by the Georgia Tech alumni seemed to be his way of replying to Woody’s statements.
Shumpert driving to the basket. (Courtesy of AP Photos)
Woodson told the media that he was going to let Shump and the reigning sixth man of the year, J.R. Smith, battle it out for the starting job. Woodson stated that he had told J.R. in the offseason that if he came in to the season with the mindset to be a defender on every possession and work hard on both ends that he would consider him to be a starter. While Shump gave all the right verbal responses, reminding people of his success off the bench during ‘Linsanity’ and saying it didn’t matter to him if he started, his most hard-hitting answer came on the court.
In leading the Knicks to a 103-102 win in their preseason opener Wednesday night against the Celtics, it became apparent to many that Shumpert needs to start. The energy and passion (including yelling at his bench last night after hitting a three) that he brings to the table is something that is needed in the Knicks starting lineup. Plus, if J.R. were to start, a lineup including Smith, Carmelo and Bargnani would truly be hard to watch defensively. It would be foolish of Woodson to mess with the success that starting Shump and bringing Smith off the bench has brought to this team and hopefully he realizes that soon.
Shumpert and Knicks celebrating Hardaway’s game-winner. (Courtesy AP Photos)
As the preseason got underway for the blue and orange, the much-anticipated tenures of Bargnani and World Peace began; but the most impressive debut belonged to rookie guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. The former Michigan guard came off the bench and dropped 16 points in 25 minutes of play. A 6-of-10 shooting performance in which his 6th make was easily his biggest. With 10 seconds to play and New York team down one, the Knicks ran an inbound play for their rookie who came off a screen and hit a corner jump shot to win the game. The clutch shooting of Hardaway was great to see in his first game with the team.
Some other notable performances included a 13 point, four rebound performance from Metta World Peace, 12 points and three rebounds from Andrea Bargnani and seven points, four rebounds and four assists from the reigning scoring champion, Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks are off to a good start and will take their 1-0 record into Toronto on Friday for their 2nd game. Woody says he will start the same lineup of Felton, Prigioni, Melo, Bargnani and Chandler on Friday. Tune in to MSG Friday to check out game 2 of the pre-season.