Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.
The Knicks are finally showing some life, winning three of their last four games heading into a big one on Thursday against Miami. What do you credit the most for the team’s recent resurgence?
Joe Caporoso - I’ll go with Iman Shumpert. Yes, Carmelo Anthony has been terrific but Shumpert finally looking the team’s 2nd best player that many of us hoped he’d be this year has helped balance this team out both offensively and defensively. The Knicks badly need his energy and assertiveness, particularly on offense. Also Shumpert becoming a factor on offense puts less pressure on JR Smith to jack up so many horrible shots every game, which is always a good thing. If Shumpert brings his “A” game on Thursday, along with Anthony and Tyson Chandler can suit up, I expect the Knicks to be very competitive against the Miami Heat.
Chris Celletti - If I can allow myself to be overly cynical for a second, perhaps because J.R. Smith hasn’t shot that much? The Knicks are now 6-5 this season when J.R. takes less than 10 shots; the Knicks’ only loss in the past four games saw him take 13 shots, while he was in single digits in the three victories. Until he gets going (if that ever does happen this season), the Knicks are better off if he simply shoots less. On the positive side, Iman Shumpert has flipped a switch and is finally chipping in on offense. Nobody expects him to average 20 a night or continue hitting the 3 like he did in Texas, but when Shumpert makes an impact on offense the Knicks are a strikingly more dangerous team. Shumpert has scored in double digits just four times in his last 18 games, but the Knicks are 3-1 in those games. And it would be irresponsible to leave out Carmelo Anthony, who has been nothing short of brilliant over this recent stretch.
Kevin Smith - Dare I give credit to James Dolan? The Knicks didn’t respond right away to his seemingly halfhearted vote of confidence, but the team has turned a corner since. Iman Shumpert has been playing with more gusto (thank you, Clyde) in 2014 and may have unintentionally sparked sparked the Knicks as a whole. Also, if I’m going to pile on Mike Woodson when he’s losing, I have to give him credit when the team plays well. He still does a ton to grind my gears, but it looks like the team has yet to turn a deaf ear to what he’s preaching. With the Knicks just a game and a half out of a playoff spot, and five out of the division lead, things are finally trending up in New York.