Harris DeckerApparently, Iman Shumpert likes Texas. After all, it took a trip to the Lone Star State for the third year guard to get his season going. During the three game trip, he averaged 21 points, scoring more than 20 in two of the three games. Breaking 20 points is something that he had not done since last season.
For Shumpert, it’s all about confidence. When the trade rumors were swirling earlier in the season, Shumpert’s game took a step back that you could see from space. The most recent stretch was especially disturbing. From December 8 through December 28, he averaged just 6 points per game. If the Knicks are to turn this season around, Shumpert will have to continue this type of play.
There are three games in which Shumpert has taken 13+ shots. The last few games aside, Shumpert’s only other game in which he took a large quantity of attempts was on opening night against the Bucks. Since then, he’s taken less than 10 shots per game up until his career night against the Spurs. On opening night, Shumpert scored 16 points and was the impact player we all thought he could be.
Now that it appears he’s back to playing his game, it will be important for Shumpert to keep up the shooting. He needs to shoot in order to be successful and to keep his confidence up. Shumpert’s game is all about confidence. In two of the games on the Texas road trip, he registered 3 steals, the most he’s had since mid-November. As much as we’d like it not to matter, Shumpert’s entire game flows together, and when he’s not hitting shots, his defense suffers.
Shumpert will be important if the Knicks are to make a run this season and the last three games have been huge for him. The trick will be keeping up this type of play this week against a relatively week schedule (the Heat aside).