“I’m starting to do conditioning and non-contact stuff with the team,’’ Shumpert said. “I’m going to start a little bit more with them when we get back. Then it’s up to the trainers.’’
Shumpert practiced on a limited basis with the Knicks’ D-League team, Erie, when it was in town last week. The key, once Shumpert is cleared for contact, is to watch for swelling around the knee. Shumpert is the lone young Knick building block after a First Team All-Rookie campaign. Mike Woodson said on Christmas he is “desperately’’ awaiting Shumpert’s return.
Tommy DeeThe fascinating thing for me is to see where Woody plays Shumpert and with whom. The Knicks have been winning games mainly because of great possessions and limited turnovers. Both Stoudemire and Shumpert turn the ball over and want to play up tempo. The Knicks want to slow it down. Woodson is going to have to, not only protect Shumpert with his knee, but also pull the reigns in on the young athletic guard. The Knicks need his scoring and perimeter game, in addition to attacking the rim, which has been a weakness for them. If he and J.R. Smith can pair up at the 2/3, limit turnovers and attack the basket then the Knicks become that much more dynamic offensively.
Defensively, everyone hopes to see him do what he did last year where he showed the league just how much of an impact he can have on a game when guarding the ball.