Iman Shumpert won't be traded
Woodson made the statement while appearing on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio on Tuesday. During the show, co-host Stephen A. Smith asked the coach if Shumpert would be in a Knicks uniform after the Feb. 21 trade deadline, and Woodson said, "You got it. I don't need to say any more."
Mike Woodson: 2/12
Coach Mike Woodson says Melo is right: The Knicks are comfortable with their roster.
Earlier in the week, Carmelo Anthony responded to the Shumpert trade rumors, saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." On Tuesday, Woodson agreed.
"Absolutely," he said. "We've had our ups and downs in terms of injuries, but we remain very strong as a team and guys that were in uniform have helped us hold the fort down in terms of staying afloat until key guys got back."
Woodson said he likes "everything" about Shumpert, and downplayed any notion the 22-year-old guard has attitude problems.
"He's not a problem at all," the coach said. "Iman is a big part of what we do. I like everything about this young man in terms of how he plays, how he competes. He had an awesome rookie season. Unfortunately, he had the bad injury. He's making his way back, and it's going to be my job to continue to show him love and instill confidence in him as a player that he can get back to the level where he was playing. He's not there yet, but in time, he will get there."
Speaking to where the Knicks need to improve, Woodson pointed to two things: "healthy bodies" and defense. The latter was the focus of Tuesday's long film session.
"The thing that's more glaring to me is how we started the season and how we defended based on where we are today," he said. "We're making more mental and physical mistakes defensively that's really costing us games."
"I know he's floating out there and a lot of teams are looking at him, but we've just got to assess what we have in front of us right now," Woodson said.
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