It's safe to say Knicks fans were excited about Iman Shumpert coming into this season. And why not? He's athletic and he can do a little bit of everything out there. But he's doing a lot of one thing: shooting. And a relative lack of success doing so is tempering a little of the enthusiasm in New York.
Shumpert is 10-35 in his last two games. Last night, he turned in a 5-20 performance in which he took more shots than Carmelo Anthony (11) and Amar'e Stoudemire (7) combined. And even though Anthony and Stoudemire spent a lot of time on the bench with foul trouble, Shumpert took more than a few questionable shots with one or both on the floor.
Three minutes into the game, Shumpert brought the ball up, used a little pick from Tyson Chandler, and fired a shot with 17 seconds on the shot clock. "7 Seconds Or Less" offense or not, that's not the shot a rookie should be taking. The offense hadn't been set yet, Tyson Chandler (the screener) hadn't had a chance to roll (and there was a lane for him), and Melo was just standing there.
Shumpert's early decision making forced Carmelo to step into the point-forward role just five minutes into the game. But that didn't stop Shumpert from making more of those bad decisions. Starting the second quarter, with Amar'e Stoudemire fresh off the bench and in no rhythm at all, Shumpert used a Stoudemire screen, failed to recognized he had Amar'e open for a mid-range jumper, and took the shot himself.
A few minutes later, off an OJ Mayo three, and with Stoudemire still in the game, Shumpert pushed the ball off the make and took a 1-on-5 three with all five Grizzlies defenders back, leaving Stoudemire to just trail the play and hope he could dive in and steal a rebound.