- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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According to one Las Vegas sports book, James White is the odds-on favorite to win the dunk contest next Saturday.
New York Knicks
Bovada also likes Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak in the 3-point contest.
SHUMP A STEP SLOW? The Knicks' perimeter defense has been an issue for the past two months. Many observers thought that the return of Iman Shumpert would help clean things up.
But that hasn't happened.
Woodson told reporters recently he felt Shumpert was a step slow since coming back from ACL surgery, which is understandable considering he missed eight months to rehab the knee injury.
"Defensively, he's not reckless abandon like I want him to be, like he was last year," Woodson said recently. "I think a lot of that is going to come once he feels the confidence in moving laterally and knowing he can bump and gamble a little bit. I think all of that will come. But I think now he's trying to find himself as well."
Shumpert apparently feels the same way.
On Friday, he tweeted: "Soon my body will catch up to my mind...taking a lil longer than I thought...but if it was easy everyone wud do it. Headed to work."
THE KIDD CAN PLAY: Jason Kidd picked up his 12,000th career assist in the third quarter on Friday. Kidd has 12,001 career assists and is second on the all-time list, 3,805 behind John Stockton. ... Mike Woodson became the fastest coach in Knicks history to win 50 games on Friday. He's reached 50 wins in just 72 games. ... Tichina Arnold, the wife of St. John's assistant coach Rico Hines and an actress on TV Land's Happily Divorced, will sing the national anthem on Sunday.
3dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann