New York Knicks: Iman Shumpert

Opening Tip: Shump in Phil's future plans?

April, 8, 2014
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For most of the season, it seemed as if Iman Shumpert's days as a Knick were numbered.

Shumpert’s name was floated in several trade rumors throughout the first few months of the year. The Knicks nearly completed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to flip Shumpert for Darren Collison prior to the Feb. 20 trade deadline.

It seemed at the time that the Knicks would revisit talks to trade Shumpert at some point in the 2014 offseason.

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But the team then hired Phil Jackson to serve as president. And the thinking on Shumpert changed.

ESPN New York reported that Shumpert was one of the players that impressed Jackson when he watched the team before being hired.

The New York Post also reported, citing a league source, that Shumpert is still “part” of the Knicks’ future.

Jackson mentioned Shumpert by name when speaking with reporters last week, praising the third-year guard’s effort on the defensive end in the Knicks’ win over Brooklyn.

Why would Phil love Shumpert?

One source with knowledge of Jackson’s thinking says he likes how Shumpert could fit into his triangle offense and serve as a catalyst for the Knicks on defense.

Jackson has used big guards in the triangle in the past. The name most often mentioned when talking about the 6-foot-5 Shumpert is Ron Harper.

Jackson also stressed in his chat with reporters last week how much he values players applying pressure on defense. Shumpert’s widely regarded as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.

According to a new metric that measures a player’s defensive value, Shumpert is the third-best defender among shooting guards in the NBA.

“I think Phil sees his value on both ends of the floor,” the source said.

So it appears that Shumpert has Jackson in his corner. But can the Zen Master unlock Shumpert’s potential on offense?

[+] EnlargeKnicks
Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY SportsKnicks third-year guard Iman Shumpert could be a key piece in President Phil Jackson's grand plan.
The former first-round pick has shown in brief stretches that he can provide a scoring punch. He averaged 20.8 points on 68.8 percent shooting over a three-game stretch in early January.

But Shumpert has been wildly inconsistent on offense for much of the season.

Shumpert's per-game scoring (6.6 points) and shooting percentage (38 percent) have regressed this year.

Which leads us to the question: Do you believe Shumpert can thrive with the Knicks under Jackson’s guidance?

Up now: Ex-Knicks coach Larry Brown was critical of the organization for its handling of Mike Woodson. He also questioned GM Steve Mills’ basketball knowledge.

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will “hope and pray” that the Hawks lose enough games to give New York a chance to make the postseason.

What’s next: The Knicks will have a few days off before playing in Toronto on Friday.

Question: Do you believe Iman Shumpert can thrive with the Knicks under Phil Jackson’s guidance?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Knicks get Shump Bump

April, 3, 2014
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NEW YORK -- There were plenty of heroes for the Knicks on Wednesday night.

You had J.R. Smith, who poured in a team-high 24 points and handed out six assists. And there was Carmelo Anthony, who put up his 22nd double-double of the year. And Tim Hardaway Jr., who poured in 17 points on a gimpy ankle.

[+] EnlargeIman Shumpert
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesIman Shumpert had a big first half against Brooklyn.
The usual cast of characters.

But another, unlikely name emerged against Brooklyn: Iman Shumpert.

“I thought Iman set the tone for us tonight,” Mike Woodson said.

Shumpert had handful of steals in the first half that to transition layups and dunks that helped propel the Knicks to a pivotal win over Brooklyn.

“When he plays like that, he’s tough,” Tyson Chandler said. “... He’s just so solid. He wasn’t reaching, he wasn’t gambling. He was just forcing the offensive player into tough positions.”

Shumpert has been one of the Knicks' biggest enigmas this season. Entering the year, most expected him to take the proverbial “next step” -- to progress into a consistent scorer and top-flight defender in his third year in the league.

Instead, Shumpert has struggled to find consistency on offense.

Maybe some of it can be traced to the offseason.

He had knee surgery in the summer, came into camp at less than 100 percent health and was engulfed in trade rumors up until the Feb. 20 deadline. His play seemed to be impacted by trade talk.

Entering play Wednesday, Shumpert was averaging 6.5 points per game on 37.5 percent shooting this season. Since being replaced in the starting lineup by J.R. Smith, Shumpert averaged 5.3 points per game on 38 percent shooting.

Fans and members of the organization were baffled by the poor production.

But Shumpert’s full potential was on display in the first half against Brooklyn.

He had three steals that led directly to layups and dunks in transition. His active hands bothered the Nets' ball handlers, helping force Brooklyn into nine first-half turnovers. Shumpert finished the game with 10 points, five steals, two assists and three rebounds.

“He and Tyson are our best defenders,” Raymond Felton said. “He always accepts the challenge -- from anyone.”

On Wednesday it was Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. The Knicks, though, could use this kind of effort from Shumpert the rest of the way as they try to maintain position in the playoff race in the East.

Wednesday’s win left the Knicks percentage points ahead of Atlanta in eighth place in the conference with six games to play.

Afterward, Anthony noted that the Knicks played with an energy that hasn’t always been present this season.

“Sometimes we’ve been real inconsistent; tonight was a total opposite,” Anthony said.

And it started with Iman Shumpert.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Can Shump fill the void for Hardaway Jr.?

April, 1, 2014
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The Knicks’ playoff chances don’t hinge on the health of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s ankle.

But if Hardaway Jr. is out -- or if he is less than 100 percent healthy due to a sprained right ankle -- then it’s fair to say that they'll take a hit.

[+] EnlargeIman Shumpert
Rocky Widner/Getty ImagesIman Shumpert may be asked to fill in for Tim Hardaway Jr.
The rookie guard sprained his ankle late in the Knicks' win over the Jazz on Monday.

He underwent X-Rays after the game. The tests came back negative, according to the team.

His status for Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets is uncertain.

If he has to sit out of the showdown with Brooklyn, the complexion of the Knicks’ bench scoring changes significantly.

Hardaway Jr.'s been the focal point of the second-unit offense since Mike Woodson inserted J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire into the starting lineup in mid-March.

New York is 11-4 since the lineup change, and Hardaway Jr. has averaged 10.9 points per game on 41 percent shooting (not great) over 24.7 minutes per game in that stretch.

Shooting percentage aside, Hardaway’s play has been one of several driving forces behind the Knicks’ playoff push.

New York will take the court Wednesday one game behind Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks face tough odds the rest of the way.

Atlanta has nine games left. Four of the nine are against teams with records over .500. Three of the Hawks' opponents (Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit) are a combined 94 games under .500.

The Knicks have seven games to play. All seven are against teams over .500.

New York also trails the Hawks by two games in the loss column. Atlanta holds the tiebreaker by virtue of the team's record against Eastern Conference opponents.

So the Knicks desperately need to win Wednesday's game against Brooklyn, a task that becomes much more difficult if Hardaway Jr. is out.

If Hardaway sits, the Knicks' coaching staff will have to find a way to fill the scoring void in the second unit.

Maybe Mike Woodson can stagger the minutes of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith so that Smith plays a significant amount of time with the bench players?

The problem there is that Anthony and Smith have been playing well together of late.

The next candidate to fill the void is Iman Shumpert.

Shumpert has shown in brief stretches that he can provide a scoring punch. He averaged 20.8 points on 68.8 percent shooting over a three-game stretch in early January.

But the third-year guard has been wildly inconsistent on offense this season.

Shumpert's per-game scoring (6.5 points) and shooting percentage (37.5 percent) have regressed this year.

Since he was replaced in the starting lineup by Smith, Shumpert's averaged 5.3 points per game on 38 percent shooting.

More minutes for Shumpert may help the Knicks on defense, though.

The Knicks are outscoring teams by 2.5 points per 48 minutes when Shumpert's on the court. When he's off the floor, the Knicks are being outscored 5.3 points per 48 minutes.

For comparison's sake, the Knicks are being outscored by 4.4 points per 48 minutes when Hardaway's on the floor.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Iman Shumpert calls season 'frustrating'

February, 23, 2014
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This has been the most "frustrating" season of Iman Shumpert's young career.

The third-year forward said as much on Saturday when he tweeted that this season has been "more frustrating" than his eight-month rehabilitation from a torn ACL.



Shumpert, a former first-round pick, has dealt with plenty this season.

He's name had been mentioned in trade rumors for much of the year. The New York Knicks were close to executing a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers that would have sent Shumpert to L.A. but Doc Rivers & Co. pulled away minutes before the trade deadline.

Shumpert also suffered an MCL sprain last week that will sideline him for at least two weeks. The injury occurred on the same knee that was surgically-repaired in May 2012 due to an ACL tear.

Last, Shumpert has struggled to score with much consistency this season. He's averaging 6.9 points and shooting 37.7 percent from the field. Four times this season, he's played at least 20 minutes in a game and failed to score a point.

Woody says NYK misses vets: There are plenty of factors behind the Knicks' disaster of a season. One, according to Mike Woodson, is a lack of veteran leadership in the locker room.

Woodson said on Friday that the Knicks miss players like Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas because of what they brought to a team off the court.

"You miss the veterans, there's no doubt about that," Woodson said in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show." "When you're taking about Rasheed and Kidd and Camby and Kurt Thomas; those are four guys that have been in the league that could tell somebody to shut up if things weren't right. They were just veteran guys and you miss that in the locker room, you miss it on the floor. But again, they're not here and we've got to throw last year out the door."

The Knicks traded Camby to Toronto over the summer in the Andrea Bargnani deal after his relatively ineffective year in New York. Kidd retired and joined the Nets as head coach. Thomas was not re-signed last summer after being waived late in the regular season following a foot injury. Wallace retired and took a job as an assistant coach with the Pistons.

Sources: Knicks talking Udrih for Hamilton

February, 19, 2014
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The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets continue to discuss a deal centered on Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried, according to league sources.

But as those talks drag on, the Knicks are also talking to Denver about a deal involving Jordan Hamilton for Beno Udrih as they focus moving Shumpert to the Clippers in a deal for Darren Collison, sources told ESPNNewYork and ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Udrih has expressed frustration over the public criticism of his play earlier this season and, according to sources, he requested a trade.

Bringing Hamilton, a 6-foot-7 small forward, to New York wouldn’t impact the Knicks' cap space in 2015. Hamilton’s contract expires after this season.

Sources tell Stein that the Wizards remain interested in Udrih as well. Sources tell Stein that the Wizards still hold out hope that they can convince the Knicks to send Udrih to Washington D.C. instead of Denver.

The Knicks, sources say, are hesitant to bring in a player who is on the books beyond the 2014-15 season, because their hope is to have enough cap space available for the 2015 offseason to go after the top players on the market. Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are expected to headline a group of free agents that summer.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

W2W4: Knicks at Grizzlies

February, 18, 2014
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Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight’s Knicks-Grizzlies game:

Welcome back: The Knicks have 30 games left to get into one of the eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. They'll take the court Tuesday 2 1/2 games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

If the Knicks want to get in, they’ll have to play much better than what they showed before the break.

New York (20-32) entered the All-Star break losers of five of six, including an embarrassing home loss last Wednesday to Sacramento.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are 14-4 over the last 18 games and have won seven of nine at home. They've held opponents to 88.9 points and 42.5 percent from the field during that 18-game stretch, according to STATS, LCC.

Also, it should be noted that the Grizz are 16-6 since January 1. That’s tied for the third-best record in the NBA.

Melo man: Carmelo Anthony is coming off a record-setting performance in the All-Star game. Will his hot hand carry over to the Memphis game?

Anthony set an All-Star game record with eight made 3-pointers in the East’s win over the West.

The Knicks hope that hot shooting can carry over to fourth quarters.

Anthony has scored just five points (1-for-11 FG) in the fourth quarter and overtime of the last four games.

Trade winds: Iman Shumpert's and Raymond Felton's names have been dangled out in trade talks in recent days. It’s worth keeping an eye on how both players look tonight. Will the trade talk affect them? If they play well, will it make a competing team more apt to deal for them?

In his last ten games, Felton’s averaging nine points on 46 percent shooting and 6.8 assists. Shumpert is averaging 6.7 points on 35 percent shooting over the same span.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Opening Tip: Do the Knicks need Faried?

February, 12, 2014
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So, once again, the New York Knicks are interested in executing an Iman Shumpert-for-Kenneth Faried swap.

ESPN's Marc Stein has the details here. The immediate question that comes to mind: Does this make sense for New York?

In the short term, it doesn't seem like Faried would be the best fit for this team. But in the long term, getting an asset like Faried for Shumpert, who has struggled to score consistently this season, would be a good get for New York.

Let's take a quick look some of the pros and cons here:

Pros:

1. The Knicks could add depth at power forward immediately, which would be beneficial given that Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani are sidelined due to injury. It is unclear when Martin (ankle) or Bargnani (elbow) will return.

2. New York would get a young, cheap player in Faried, who may or may not fit their system but can be used as a future trade chip.

3. If they acquired Faried for Shumpert, the Knicks can get a player of high value in exchange for a player whose trade value is probably lower than it was coming into the season due to his inconsistent scoring.

4. The Knicks have a power forward they can pencil into their future rotation when/if Andrea Bargnani and Amar'e Stoudemire are off the roster in 2015-16.

Cons:

1. Faried's rebounding and scoring per 36 minutes are down slightly this season, which is not the way you'd like to see them trending for a player in his third season. His win shares -- an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes to per season -- has also decreased each season.

2. It seems as though the Knicks, as currently constituted, would benefit more from trading for backcourt help than frontcourt help. Their point guards and shooting guards are getting outscored by a combined 16.5 points per 48 minutes, according to 82games.com. They have plenty of bodies in the frontcourt.

Worth noting: A deal for Faried doesn't necessarily mean the Knicks can't deal for a point guard, but it takes away one of their most valuable assets.

3. Faried has played nearly all of his minutes at power forward. So how would his arrival affect playing time for Jeremy Tyler or Amar'e Stoudemire? And what about Martin and Bargnani (when both are healthy)?

4. It's hard to pinpoint just why Iman Shumpert has struggled to produce consistently on offense. But his athleticism, ability to defend on the ball and lateral quickness are rare qualities. If he realizes his full potential in another city, will the Knicks regret dealing him away?

Up Now: Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks "have to win" Wednesday's game against Sacramento.

J.R. Smith (cheek) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg) are both expected to play against the Kings.

His job status is in question, but Mike Woodson expects to play a role in the Knicks' decision-making process leading up to the trade deadline.

What's next: The Knicks take on the Sacramento Kings at home on Wednesday in the final game before the All-Star break.

Question: Do you think the Knicks need Kenneth Faried? Would you pull the trigger on a Faried-for-Shumpert swap?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Stein: Knicks pushing Shumpert-Faried deal

February, 11, 2014
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ESPN.com's Marc Stein has reported a couple of very interesting trade rumblings involving the New York Knicks over on his blog, Stein Line Live (a must-read for NBA fans).

1. The Knicks, Stein writes, have tried to re-engage the Denver Nuggets on a deal centered around Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried. Stein writes that Denver has yet to show interest.

The holdup? The Nuggets would like to unload a long-term contract and the Knicks have no interest in taking on long-term money.

2. The Washington Wizards have shown interest in Knicks point guard Beno Udrih.

Udrih has expressed frustration with the public criticisms of his play and recently communicated a desire to be traded.

Our take on the Shumpert-to-Faried talks: If the Knicks acquire Faried, it would be interesting to see how Mike Woodson -- or whoever's coaching the Knicks next week -- fits Faried into the front-court rotation.

Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Kenyon Martin (knee) are out, and it's unclear when either will be back.

In their absence, Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Tyler have seen their minutes and roles increase. It seems as though Tyler would be the odd man out if New York acquires Faried.

But what happens when Martin and Bargnani return?

Here's another aspect to think about: It seems clear to anyone who has watched the Knicks over the past few weeks that their biggest need is in the backcourt. So this trade, on its surface, doesn't seem to address that need.

Stein writes that the most likely trade scenario -- if it progresses to that stage -- would include the Knicks sending Udrih and Shumpert to Denver for Jordan Hamilton and Faried.

This proposal wouldn't address the guard issue for New York, however.

Still, getting a player like Faried -- regardless of how well or poorly he fits the roster this season -- for a player like Shumpert would be a plus for the Knicks in the future.

Faried, like Shumpert, is eligible for a contract extension this summer.

If the Knicks deal for him, you can guess they want him in their future plans. Extending Faried, it should be noted, would take away from their flexibility in the summer of 2015.

Shumpert has struggled to perform consistently on the offensive end this season. The guess here is that he works those issues out and develops into a strong contributor in a different environment.

Our take on Washington's interest in Udrih: The Knicks will likely do what they can to honor Udrih's trade request. If they flipped him to Washington, it's possible that Washington would send Al Harrington or Glen Rice Jr. back in a player-for-player swap. That's pure conjecture based on salary matches, though.

Harrington's one-year deal comes off the books after the season. He has been out since Nov. 13 with a knee injury but recently told reporters in Washington that he hopes to return after the All-Star break.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Opening Tip: What's up with Shumpert?

February, 6, 2014
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Iman Shumpert has gone scoreless in six games this season. He’s had 21 games where he’s scored five or fewer points while playing at least 15 minutes.

That’s not ideal production from your starting shooting guard.

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Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsCarmelo Anthony, middle, says the Knicks have to help Iman Shumpert, right, fight his funk.
Carmelo Anthony thinks there are a few factors at play contributing to Shumpert’s struggles.

“It’s something that he has to figure out. We’ve got to help him figure it out too,” Anthony said after Shumpert went scoreless in 25 minutes against Portland. “If we have to do a better job of getting him the ball in his spots, then we have to do that. I don’t think it’s just on him ... Does he have to be more aggressive? I think so. But for the most part, we have to help him out in that category.”

For the season, Shumpert is averaging 7.1 points on 38.5 percent shooting. Most expected the third-year guard to be a double-digit scorer this season. But that hasn’t come to fruition. Shumpert had a strong three-game stretch in Texas when he averaged 20 points per game on 68 percent shooting, but he has been invisible during other stretches.

He’s been one of the many mysteries on the Knicks this season. What can Mike Woodson or the Knicks do to solve Shumpert's shooting struggles?

Up now: Carmelo Anthony said any potential changes to this team -- whether to the coaching staff or the roster -- are out of his hands.

Raymond Felton said he couldn’t “care less” about criticism being pointed at Knicks point guards.

What’s next: The Knicks will practice on Thursday to prepare for Denver.

Question: What do the Knicks or Iman Shumpert have to do to get things turned around for the third-year guard?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Lack of urgency comes back to bite Knicks

February, 4, 2014
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MILWAUKEE -- Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks fought back against the Milwaukee Bucks to make it a game down the stretch. It just wasn’t enough to make up for their lack of urgency in the first three quarters.

Anthony scored 17 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks needed more in a 101-98 road loss on Monday night.

Brandon Knight's long 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of Raymond Felton gave Milwaukee a 101-98 lead with 1.4 seconds left to play. After a timeout by the Knicks, the Bucks put 6-foot-11 Zaza Pachulia in front of 6-1 Felton to contest the inbounds pass. Felton slipped it by Pachulia and hit Anthony, who weaved through traffic before launching a tough 3-pointer that missed as time expired.

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AP Photo/Tom LynnBrandon Knight's 3-point dagger doomed the Knicks.
"I said at the top of the game, '48 minutes you got to compete, and any team can beat you if you don’t come ready to play,'" Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I’m not taking anything away from Milwaukee. They’ve had their struggles this year, too. This was a game I thought we could’ve won, and we just let it get away."

The Knicks used a 14-4 run to erase a 10-point deficit and tie the game at 87 on J.R. Smith's two free throws with 3:44 left to play. Anthony had seven points and an assist during the surge. His final made 3 tied the game at 98 with just 20 seconds to go.

Smith scored a season-high 30 points off the bench after starting the previous two games for Iman Shumpert, who returned from a right shoulder injury.

No other Knick scored in double figures. Making only 15 of 24 free throws also didn’t help. Neither did sinking just 15 of 34 3-pointers.

Had the first three quarters been played with the type of intensity New York showed in the fourth quarter, the Knicks might have extended their winning streak over the Bucks to eight games.

"We struggled early, and then got back in the game," Woodson said. "I think we went up by as many as seven. I felt pretty good at that point. I thought our defense had picked back up. Right before the half, we let it go again."

Smith said the Bucks’ defense was up to the task.

"They did a great job making us think and react on the defensive end," he said. "The game plan was a switch, and we didn’t switch. They capitalized on that. You’ve got to be smarter coming down the stretch and getting stops. We know our scorers. We know we can get us big shots and a huge 3 in the corner. Scoring isn’t the problem. We got to get stops."

Shumpert's back: Shumpert scored five points in 25 minutes in his first game since injuring his right shoulder in a collision with Boston’s Jared Sullinger last Tuesday during the Knicks’ win.

"Iman being his first game back in a couple of games struggled a little bit. Probably think that's based on him being out and trying to get his wind back," Woodson said.

Shumpert said he felt fine after the game.

J.R. Swish: Smith connected on six 3-pointers, the fourth time this season he’s hit at least five 3s in a game.

Streak busted: Time to start another winning streak.

The Knicks’ seven-game streak over the Bucks had been the longest for either team in the head-to-head series since New York won seven straight from March 15, 1999, to Dec. 17, 2000.

Shumpert (sprained shoulder) questionable

January, 28, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Knicks guard Iman Shumpert suffered a sprained right shoulder in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Celtics and is questionable to return.

Shumpert dealt with shoulder soreness in training camp but has remained relatively healthy throughout the season, playing in every game this season.

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Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsIman Shumpert scored four points before leaving early in the first quarter.
If Shumpert were out for an extended period of time, J.R. Smith or Tim Hardaway Jr. would likely replace him in the lineup.

He suffered the injury with 7:55 to play in the first quarter and did not come out for the second quarter.

In other injury news, veteran Knicks forward Kenyon Martin returned after a five-game absence due to a left ankle injury. Martin aggravated the injury against the Pacers on Jan. 16.

“Just overuse,” the 36-year-old Martin said. “Been going every day and playing a lot of minutes. Just needed a break. Not one thing happened. Just been fighting through it, fighting through it, fighting through it, and the body lets you know. So at my age, you got to listen.”

Martin's return didn't last long. He limped off to the locker room late in the second quarter after apparently tweaking his ankle.

Martin has missed eight games this season due to left ankle issues. His minutes early in the season were limited due to soreness in his ankle. He first hurt it last April.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Iman: 'I didn't lose any confidence'

January, 18, 2014
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Iman Shumpert went scoreless in 25 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers. Afterward, Mike Woodson suggested that the third-year guard may be having a confidence issue.

“We haven’t tied his hands. I mean, he’s still playing the minutes and he’s got the freedom to play. I don’t know if he’s down on his confidence or what,” Woodson said. “But that’s something we gotta sit down and talk about here in the next couple of days, because I need Iman to not only defend, but I need him to just play all-around, like he was playing on that Texas swing.”

Shumpert was sensational during the Knicks' 2-1 road trip to Texas earlier this month. He had 53 points in the first two games and made several big plays down the stretch of New York's win over Dallas in the third and final game of the trip.

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AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIIman Shumpert didn't score in Friday night's loss to the Clippers.
In the first five games of the calendar year, Shumpert averaged 15.8 points on 58 percent shooting. He hit 60 percent of his 3-point attempts.

In his past four games, though, Shumpert has scored five points per game on 30 percent shooting. He’s averaged 30 minutes per game during that span.

He acknowledged last week that hearing his name in trade rumors earlier this season was “annoying” but insisted on Friday that he's not having any confidence issues.

“I didn’t lose any confidence,” said Shumpert, who went 0-for-4 with three rebounds and three turnovers against the Clippers. “... I think the same shots are coming, you’ve just got to knock them down. Everyone will say something about confidence or something if you miss a couple shots. You’ve just got to keep shooting.”

Carmelo Anthony hasn’t noticed Shumpert lacking confidence recently.

“The five games that we won, he was playing extremely well,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, Iman will be another big piece to our team’s success. We need him to play the way he knows how to play. That’s the way he’s been playing those five games when he was helping us win basketball games.”

Woodson said after the game that he may consider a lineup change. But he’s not thinking about sending Shumpert to the bench.

“I’m not throwing Iman to the curb,” Woodson said. “I just gotta give him some love and try to build his confidence back up, because we need him.”

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Notebook: MRI for Beno's leg injury?

January, 8, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Knicks point guard Beno Udrih was unavailable in the second half of Tuesday's win over Detroit due to a leg injury.

Udrih said he felt discomfort below his knee. The veteran point guard said he may have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.

With Udrih limited, Mike Woodson leaned on Raymond Felton in the second half. Felton played 31 minutes in his first game back following a six-game absence due to a groin injury and finished with 12 points, six assists and four turnovers against the Pistons.

[+] EnlargeRaymond Felton
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty ImagesRaymond Felton logged 31 minutes in his return.
Afterward, the 29-year-old said he felt "great."

Felton credited team trainers for helping him rebound from the groin injury. He added that he thought he lost some weight during his rehab.

Happy New Year? The Knicks are 3-1 since the calendar turned to 2014.

They are holding opponents to 92 points per game on 43 percent shooting in that span, while scoring 96.5 points on 45 percent shooting.

Iman Shumpert's shooting 60 percent from the floor in that span.

Hey 'Sheed: The Knicks got a visit from an old friend after the game. Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace came into New York's locker room and greeted several players, including Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert after Tuesday's win. Wallace played for the Knicks last season. He was limited to just 21 games due to a foot injury, but he made a strong impact in the locker room. Several players this season have noted they miss his leadership.

"I've learned a lot from Rasheed," said Anthony, who playfully gestured at Wallace after knocking down a 3-pointer in front of the Pistons bench on Tuesday.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Melo, 'Bockers beginning to believe

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
12:36
AM ET


NEW YORK -- If you've watched the Knicks enough this season, you probably weren't surprised by what happened in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

Carmelo Anthony & Co. let a double-digit lead slip away. Again. They had a few mental breakdowns in crunch time. Again.

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But instead of blowing another winnable game at home, the Knicks tried a different approach against Detroit: The defense buckled down, Anthony got a big rebound, he hit his free throws, and New York walked off the floor with a win.

"We're starting to have a little bit more fun out there, trusting each other a lot more than we have and just believing in one another," Anthony said after the Knicks had won for the third time in four games.

The Knicks also won back-to-back games for just the second time this season and snapped a four-game Garden skid.

And the mini-winning streak couldn't come at a better time: New York plays Miami for the first time this season Thursday at home.

"I think we're getting better each day," Anthony said after scoring 34 points against Detroit, including 13 in the third. "[The Heat] are playing well. We've got to lace our sneakers up like they do come Thursday."

New York has won three of four since Anthony returned from a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. Each of those wins was in doubt in the final 90 seconds.

But instead of melting down (think of the timeout fiasco against Washington or J.R. Smith's poorly-timed 3 against Houston), Mike Woodson's club has executed.

They leaned on big plays in the fourth quarter from Iman Shumpert to beat San Antonio and Dallas last week.

On Tuesday, it was Anthony's turn.

With the Knicks up two with six seconds to play, Raymond Felton missed a free throw, but Anthony came up with an offensive rebound over Detroit's sizable front line. He was fouled and knocked down the subsequent free throws to seal the victory.

"We have been on the other end of it where we didn’t do the right thing or they got the rebound and put it back in or something crazy would happen," Woodson said. "Sometimes you need a little luck."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 89, Pistons 85

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
10:21
PM ET


NEW YORK -- The Knicks look like a new team in 2014.

Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks improved to 3-1 since the calendar turned to January with a win over Detroit on Tuesday.

But it wasn't easy.

The Pistons cut a 15-point Knicks lead to two in the final 90 seconds, but Detroit couldn't hit its free throws down the stretch or take advantage of a few late Knicks turnovers.

For the first time in a month, Mike Woodson's club has won two games in a row.

New York improved to 12-22 and won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. The Knicks are 5-12 at home.

Nearly lost it: The Knicks took a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter but went cold for most of the final frame -- and Detroit took advantage.

The Pistons cut the Knicks' lead to three with 3:20 to go on a Kyle Singler 3-pointer.

They had a chance to cut it to one with 1:23 left, but Andre Drummond made just 1 of 2 free throws. Detroit then missed its final five shots as the Knicks sealed the win from the free throw line.

Melo fellow: Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 34 and did most of his damage in the third quarter.

Anthony had 13 in the third and hit three straight 3-pointers during one stretch as New York went on a 15-0 run.

Andrea Bargnani added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Kenyon Martin filled in nicely for Tyson Chandler (illness). Martin had 6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks, including a key swat late in the fourth.

Ray's back: Raymond Felton had 12 points, 6 assists and 4 turnovers -- including two late in the fourth quarter -- in his first game back following a six-game absence due to a groin injury. Iman Shumpert continued his aggressive approach. He had 5 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds.

What's next: The Knicks will practice on Wednesday to prepare for Thursday's game against the Miami Heat.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR