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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Shump's 'frustrating' slump continues

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- Iman Shumpert is in the depths of what he labeled a "frustrating" shooting slump.

On Saturday, Shumpert went 1-for-7 in 17 minutes, 39 seconds of playing time and scored just two points in the New York Knicks' 95-87 loss to Memphis. The guard missed all three of his 3-point attempts. In a sign that head coach Mike Woodson may be losing faith in him, Shumpert played just seven minutes in the second half and two in the fourth quarter.

Iman Shumpert
Iman Shumpert's face says it all.
“I ain't never been in a slump before, I don't really know how to handle it,” Shumpert said. “I've got to just try and do a better job of not letting it affect the rest of my game.

"When I'm open I'm supposed to knock shots down. And lately I haven't been doing so. It's just frustrating for an individual to go through that and for [Woodson to substitute him for offensive possessions late in games] just in case he's not knowing when I'm going to snap out of it."

Shumpert has scored 19 points in his last eight games. He is shooting just 14 percent (6-for-42) over the eight-game stretch. On the season, Shumpert is hitting just 35 percent, nearly 5 percent lower than last season. He's shooting 31 percent from 3-point land, down from 40 percent last year.

When asked about Shumpert's struggles before Saturday's game, Woodson had a simple explanation.

"You got to be able to make shots," the coach said. "He’s had some looks. He just hasn’t put the ball in the bucket. I’m not telling him not to shoot. He’s just got to keep playing his way through it."

Tellingly, Woodson also mentioned that Shumpert "lost a lot of his summer" because of injuries and didn't get a chance to develop.

Shumpert had a procedure on his surgically repaired knee over the summer that affected his offseason training. As has been reported, the timing of the injury angered some in the Knicks' organization.

Shumpert has been named in trade rumors for several weeks. The Knicks were close to completing a deal with Denver to send Shumpert there in exchange for forward Kenneth Faried, but the Nuggets reportedly wanted a first-round pick.

The Knicks were not willing to include the first-rounder.

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