FanPost

Shumpert Bust or Baller

As with any draft pick there are risks when you take them and Iman Shumpert is no exception. Now since we have not had a chance to see him spin with the Knicks I will take a stab at predicting his future based on my experience of seeing him play at Georgia Tech.




Bust reason number one, bad coaching: Iman Shumpert played for a coach at Georgia Tech, who while a decent recriter was a terrible basketball coach. As a result Shumpert developed a lot of bad habits that he probably wouldn't have if he played for a better coach in college. Now the good thing about bad habits is that a good NBA coach can correct them, but that coach will have to do so gradually so as not to have Shumpert focusing on his habits instead of just going out and playing ball.

Bust reason number two, his jumpshot: Iman Shumpert is not a great jumpshooter, a fact the he himself knows very well and has been apparently spending his time trying to address.  However, a poor 3 point field goal percentage will not be his problem, rather there is a risk of Shumpert focusing too much on his shooting from long range, especially in D'Antoni's offense, rather than playing his game which is best when he is getting into the paint. For the record Shumpert's biggest problem concerning his perimeter shooting is his shot selection not his ability to shoot. Shumpert shot a poor percentage from long range because he took a ton of bad shots from long range.  When he took good shots he generally hit them at an effective clip.

 

Bust reason number three, his position: Shumpert calls himself a combo guard, the folks over at the World Wide Leader call him a combo guard.  However, Shumpert is not a combo guard. Any team hoping to get effective play from Shumpert at the NBA level will need to play him at the point. Georgia Tech played him a lot at the 2 guard spot his last season there, and frankly he was a below average player at the 2. Shumpert is much more effective playing with the ball in his hands than playing off the ball. Part of the reason he took so many bad shots is when he played off the ball he tended to stand around on the perimeter and wait for the ball to get to him, with the exception of some predetermined lob plays you saw virtually no off the ball movement from Shumpert when he played the two guard. Play him at point guard and you may have a good player on your hands, play him at the 2 and you will have a more athletic Thabo Sefolosha on your hands.

 

Baller reason number one: This kid has off the chart athleticism combined with a considerable skillset.  Read any scouting report on this kid and apart from his need to improve his perimeter shooting you will not find any other flaws in his skills. Shumpert is also a highly intelligent player who is willing to work hard on his game. He just needs some decent coaching.

 

Baller reason number two: This kid will benefit from physical mismatches. If Shumpert is played at the point and combined with another big guard, he will have a physical mismatch 9 games out of 10. There are few guards in the NBA who have this kids combination of size, athleticism, quickness and strength. He will be able to get into the lane virtually at will at the NBA level and once there his combination of explosiveness and midrange arsenal will make him virtually unstoppable.

 

Baller reason number three: Shumpert does too many things well to fail. As long as he is used correctly and addresses his problems with shot selection, this kid will be a more effective scorer at the NBA level than he was in college. He also has excellent defensive instincts and skills The last guard who came out of college with the ability to make playing lock down defense look so effortless was Gary Payton and if he turns out to be half as good as the glove at the NBA level he will be one hell of a defender. Shumpert also has excellent court vision and the ability to make all of the passes. Lastly but not least this kid is a great rebounder for a guard. Not only can he get a large number of long rebounds but this guy can go down inside and snatch boards away from bigger players. Put in the right situation with the right coaching and Shumpert will be a legitimate threat to put up a triple double every time he steps on the floor.

 

Prediction: Shumpert will struggle his rookie season with inconsistent play mostly due to the Lockout hurting his chances to work with the coaching staff  and will break out his second season.  He is a better athlete than Russell Westbrook and has more legitimate point guard instincts. Verdict :Bigger, Stronger, Russell Westbrook with a greater feel for running an offense.

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