Shump Eyeing A Return
The absence of Iman Shumpert in the Knicks lineup on Saturday night was glaring considering Dwyane Wade’s impact in the victory for the Heat. Shumpert is a versatile two-way player and New York simply lacked one more wing defender to match-up against the defending champs.
A shoulder sprain sidelined Shumpert for most of last Tuesday’s game and he missed a Knicks win over Cleveland and Saturday’s defeat to Miami. Monday in Milwaukee, the 23-year old participated in the entire morning shootaround and will test the shoulder prior to returning to the lineup tonight.
“Just going off screens. I have to be able to get through screens, that’s how I hurt it, so that’s what I want to be comfortable with coming back,” Shumpert explained.
If Shumpert feels prepared to jump back into action, head coach Mike Woodson will move J.R. Smith back to the bench with second unit and place Shumpert in the starting lineup again.
The Frontcourt Rotation
Woodson has been forced to deal with a myriad of injuries this season, especially in the frontcourt with Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin, and Andrea Bargnani all missing significant time.
Bargnani has missed the last five games with an elbow injury, which allowed Jeremy Tyler some time on the floor. Woodson would like to increase Stoudemire’s role now that he is healthy and Tyler drops down to the fourth big in the rotation.
“Jeremy will be in and out but he probably won’t be playing the big minutes he was playing. I’m going to go back with our regular guys and work him in,” Woodson stated.
Game Time Change
Wednesday’s game against the surprise team in the league thus far moved to an 8 PM tip-off at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks return to New York following tonight’s game against the Bucks and will host the upstart Blazers on MSG Network at 8 PM on Wednesday night.