Opening Tip: Why has Shump slumped?

One, eight, three, three, zero, two, zero.

Those aren't the winning lottery numbers.

They're Iman Shumpert's point totals over the past seven games. And they're making the Knicks feel anything but lucky.

Inconsistent offensive production from Shumpert and J.R. Smith has been one of the driving issues behind the Knicks' 8-17 start.

Smith is coming off knee surgery and is known widely as an inconsistent shooter. So his struggles, to some extent, can be rationalized. But it's hard to view Shumpert through the same prism.

Here's what we know: The third-year guard had a knee procedure over the summer, but it's been characterized as minor. So it's hard to see how that can contribute to his low point totals. He's also been the subject of trade rumors for several weeks. And some believe it's affected his on-court approach. But there's no way to say that with any certainty. So Shumpert's offensive struggles are a bit of a mystery.

After his breakout postseason last spring (43 percent shooting from beyond the arc, effective field goal percentage of 50 percent), many expected Shumpert take the next step on offense this season.

But it hasn't happened.

Entering play Friday, Shumpert's averaging just 6.4 points per game on 36 percent shooting in 28 minutes. Of course, it's hard to put up points when you're sharing the floor with high-volume shooters such as Smith and Carmelo Anthony.

And the Knicks rarely run anything through Shumpert. (His usage rate -- or the percentage of plays that end with him taking a shot or turning the ball over -- is 12.9 percent, nearly 6 percentage points lower than the league average and 2.7 percent lower than Shumpert's number last season.)

To his credit, Shumpert's on-ball defense has remained strong (just look at the fourth quarter and two overtimes he played against Milwaukee's Brandon Knight on Wednesday for evidence). But his scoring, something many thought the Knicks could count on coming into the season, hasn't materialized.

That leads us to our question Friday: Why do you think Shumpert has struggled on offense so far? Do you think he can eventually be a productive scorer in the NBA?

Up now: Raymond Felton hopes to return to the court by Monday against Orlando.

Jeff Van Gundy says it's "ludicrous" that some people think coach Mike Woodson should be fired for failing to call a timeout against Washington on Monday.

Anthony is No. 5 in the NBA in jersey sales.

We wonder if Woodson was coaching for his job Wednesday after he played Anthony 55 minutes and Tyson Chandler 37.

What's next: The Knicks will practice Friday to prepare for Saturday's game against visiting Memphis.

Question: Why do you think Shumpert has struggled on offense so far? Do you think he can eventually be a productive scorer in the NBA?

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