My man Jared Dubin (@jadubin5, to basketball Twitter) wrote this article a while back for my site on About.com.
It is still relevant today… but for different reasons.
Iman Shumpert is a shooting guard.
He may not be one right now due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding the Knicks and their lack of a true point guard, but that’s where he should spend the majority of his career. It’s better that we — and more importantly, the Knicks — recognize this now and proceed accordingly, because wasting precious minutes of his career playing out of position any more than he already has will harm and stunt his development.
I’m not a doctor or an athletic trainer or even a basketball coach. I don’t know why Shump – and by extension, the Knicks – have been struggling of late. But to make an educated guess, I don’t think the three-guard lineups Mike Woodson has been using of late are helping matters. The Felton/Kidd/Shumpert grouping means:
- Someone is guarding a much bigger player. (Felton on Rudy Gay? Really? On purpose?)
- Shumpert is playing out of position on the offensive end. (Is he really the guy we want setting up for a corner three?)
- And Jason Kidd is playing too much.
Not sure how to fix this… maybe shake the rust off of Ronnie Brewer and use him at the three more often. Or put Stoudemire back in the starting five and play Anthony at back at the three to start games. Or start Shump at the two and bring Kidd off the bench with JR Smith.