“We want Shum-pert.”
The chant rained down on Madison Square Garden Wednesday night as Knicks fans are frustrated with their point guard play. Toney Douglas is the starter but he is a score-first guy who does not fit with Mike D’Antoni’s system. Landry Fields is at the two but he has struggled this season and is shooting 21.1 percent from three. Baron Davis is injured and Mike Bibby is Mike Bibby.
Iman Shumpert is the hope, the fan favorite, if for no other reason than he is the only guy untarnished (and he had 18 points on Wednesday in his first game back from injury).
Knicks fans may get their wish — Shumpert may start as soon as Friday, D’Antoni told the New York media on Thursday. But Frank Isola of the New York Daily News adds this note on twitter.
D’Antoni says Shumpert could start at either guard position but added that no decision has been made yet
Whether it is Shumpert or Baron Davis or anyone else, two things need to happen for the Knicks at the guard spot. One, if they are going to play D’Antoni’s system, they need to push the pace actually run more. They have the 11th fastest pace in the league this season, they are slowing down.
Second, and more importantly, they have to play defense. It is that end of the floor where the Knicks remain a real disaster.
Right now, without a true point guard, the Knicks remain a roster that fits poorly with the style of the coach. Shumpert alone is not going to solve the Knicks problems.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.