Tommy DeeWith the impending return of Amar’e Stoudemire on everyone’s mind, let’s not forget that Iman Shumpert will be back in uniform over the next few weeks. Of all the decisions that Coach Mike Woodson has to face up front, what I’m curious to see is how he gets his second year player minutes.
The easy answer may be to remove Ronnie Brewer from the starting line up, but let’s face it Brewer has been outstanding thus far this year. In the 12 Knicks wins Brewer has averaged 24 MPG, 8.0 PPG and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 46% from the field. He’s been a pretty solid defender as well. Essentially, he’s fit perfectly in the Landry Fields role, except he’s been a much better finisher and jump shooter. Brewer’s ability to knock down those open shots have been critical part of the Knicks offense. In the 4 Knicks losses Brewer’s minutes have gone down as has his production.
The next answer for Shumpert may be to take minutes away from Jason Kidd. That makes sense, but you can’t expect Kidd’s minutes to plummet.
Steve Novak? Sure, but they need his ability to stretch the defense with the three ball.
The fact is Woodson needs to find minutes to get Shumpert reps, but his rotation is pretty set. Plus, and judging from Marcus Camby sitting, minutes are hard to come by on a night in and night out basis. When you factor in Stoudemire’S return it’s really hard to find extra backcourt minutes as well on a team that is on a great role right now.
It’s hard to imagine Shump NOT getting consistent rotation minutes, it’s just really hard to see where they are going to come from. What’s more, it’s hard to imagine Shump coming in and being more productive than Brewer has been thus far, something we didn’t expect coming into the season.