Over at Capital New York, Howard Megdal runs through the recent struggles of Jason Kidd and Iman Shumpert, both of whom have struggled for the past few weeks. Megdal’s main takeaway is that regardless of what’s causing the problem for each, the Knicks are going to need them both to get on track if they are to make an impact in the postseason:
What the Knicks really need to hope is that Kidd can find whatever combination of health and rest that allowed him to be an effective weapon early this season, and that Shumpert can rehabilitate his knee sufficiently to become somewhat the player he was last year.
Until then, the Knicks can beat some teams with Anthony, Chandler, Stoudemire and Smith. But they can’t expect to contend without a starting lineup that is playing, offensively, 3-on-5.
It’s sort of interesting how the two players are on pretty much the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Shumpert is a young player, trying to recover from a serious injury and the Knicks need to figure out how to find him enough minutes get his confidence back, while not hurting the team in the short term. With Kidd, New York is trying to manage his play to maximize what he can still do on the court, but are worried that the veteran player won’t have enough in the tank for the game’s where they’ll most need his veteran savvy.
But on the larger point, I think Megdal is right, the Knicks can look for alternatives in the starting lineup as these two try to re-find their games, but at the end of the day, they’re going to need both of these players playing at a high level if they are going to achieve the type of success they’re hoping for this season.