Melo: NYK 'feeding off of' Iman Shumpert

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
12:51
AM ET
Iman Shumpert's making Mike D'Antoni look like a very smart man.

Monday night's win over the Bobcats provided even more evidence that D'Antoni and his staff made the right call when they inserted Shumpert at point guard.

The 21-year-old was electric against Charlotte, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists.

But Shumpert's most important contribution was something that's tough to quantify, but impossible to ignore -- his energy is becoming contagious.

"We've been feeding off of him, feeding off of his energy," Carmelo Anthony said. "We want to continute to do that."

That shouldn't be a problem.

If what he's shown over the past two games is any indication, Shumpert will be the Knicks' starting point guard for the foreseeable future -- or at least until Baron Davis returns from injury.

"He's playing with a lot of confidence and obviously when he's rolling we're a lot better," Mike D'Antoni said.

Obviously.

Shumpert is a combined +28 in the last three games, most of which he played in place of Douglas.

The rookie seems at ease running an offense; he has impeccable court vision and plays with an overall aggressiveness that was lacking from Douglas.

"He's not afraid, that's for sure," D'Antoni said after the Knicks improved to 4-1 with Shumpert in the lineup. "He's just a big guard with a lot of confidence."

On Monday night, he made a tangible impact on both ends of the floor.

In the first quarter, Shumpert fed Landry Fields for an alley-oop dunk as the Knicks climbed out of a 10-0 hole.

Minutes later, he put an electrifying exclamation point on an alley-oop from Tyson Chandler. Midway through the second, he stole the ball from Boris Diaw and finished with a driving dunk as Diaw approached from behind.

"We need that," Tyson Chandler said of Shumpert's aggressive play.

It wasn't all good for Shumpert on Monday though.

His first pass ended up in the third row; he left D.J. Augustin wide open on a 3-pointer that tied the game at 82-82 with three minutes to go.

Also, for the second time in four games, Shumpert left the game early due to cramps.

Afterward, he said they were the byproduct of missing nine days with a sprained right MCL.

"I've been logging a lot of minutes," Shumpert said.

That's something that he should get used to. Because it's been working awfully well for the Knicks.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.3 3.1 0.9 36.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.5
StealsL. Galloway 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 2.0