Yeah, so that 10-0 thing was pretty dumb. Silly me for predicting wins against Golden State (2-5), Toronto (3-5), and Charlotte (2-5). They lost those three game by an average of nine points– not exactly nail-biters.
The Knicks proved that it is indeed bad when you don’t have a real point guard on the active roster. The offense consisted of Toney Douglas crossing the mid-court line, promptly picking up his dribble, passing to Carmelo Anthony, followed by a shot (usually with upwards of ten ticks remaining on the shot clock). The ball movement was sickening, Douglas has averaged a gargantuan four assists in (now former) his starting role. The defense was just as bad. Although it showed spurts of improvement led by Tyson Chandler, it showed many signs of regression, led by Amar’e Stoudemire. After one quarter of basketball in D.C. on Friday, the Washington John Walls were driving into the paint and scoring at will on the Knicks and led 32-18.
Then Toney Douglas took a seat.
Rookie Iman Shumpert checked Wall on the defensive end and all of a sudden, the Wizards were scoring less points. Shumpert locked down the 2010 first overall draft pick and didn’t allow him back into the painted area. Five steals later, Shumpert can now call himself the starting point guard for the New York Knicks.
After three games, he seems to fit the part. Quick feet on defense, surprisingly crisp passes, a jumper that has fallen at a much higher percentage than it did at Georgia Tech, and a willingness to attack the rim all support Mike D’Antoni’s decision to insert him into the starting five for Saturday’s game at Detroit, lining up against fellow rookie Brandon Knight. Well that, and Douglas’ zero points last night. (Here are Douglas’ stats thus far for those interested. Note: avoid FG% if squeamish.)
Gametime! That’s all kids; maybe you’ll get a wrap-up postgame if all goes well.