Regarding our Beloved Iman Shumpert

Hiey guys! This is my first fanpost in ever and I'm super excited to speak to everyone. Unfortunately, my subject isn't likely to be too popular here and I accept that. I just think it needs to be said.

*takes deep breath*

Iman Shumpert is utterly overrated by many Knick fans. Sorry. I really wish I didn't feel the need to say this. I just finished perusing the Steve Nash to Lakers thread, and I was befuddled by the comments section. It was one of almost universal relief.

"Whew! Thank the gods we didn't surrender a fairly awful offensive 2-guard for one of the best offensive talents to ever run the PG position! It's not like the Knicks struggled on offense last season or anything!" -everyone else, apparently

The general consensus seemed to be that nobody trusted a 3 year deal for Steve Nash because he's old. Many posters were convinced he would fall victim to some knee or back injury and never produce at a high level for this team. I suppose that's a fair point, other than the fact that Nash is in excellent health every year. Steve Nash hasn't missed more than 12 games in any season since he became a consistent starter. In the year 2000. Get Rich or Die Tryin' wouldn't be released for a few years. Kanye West wasn't yet a thing in the public mind. People were feeling pretty good about this George Bush fella.

It's actually absurd how well Nash has avoided injury. Meanwhile, both the player fans were fearful of losing for him AND our incumbent PG are both coming off of pretty significant injuries for next season. Shump likely won't even be around for the first half. The idea that Nash is too great a risk because of injury concerns but Shump and Lin are necessary for this team to succeed is ironic.

Mostly, though, I'm concerned that we aren't aware just how overrated Shumpert is on both ends of the floor. He was a woefully inefficient scorer last season. That was in due in no small part to early hopes that Shump was a point guard. D'Antoni had Shump running the pick and roll, then we all realized that Shump is incapable of running the NBA PnR with any consistency. He isn't a good enough passer to complement the roller, he isn't a good enough shooter to shoot off of the space created, and he isn't a good enough driver to get all the way to the rim every time like James Harden. Even when not running the PnR, though, Shump didn't flex many strengths on offense. He was a poor perimeter shooter for much of the year, and we're really just praying his boost at the end was real improvement and not a streak run. Essentially, Shumpert was just about the polar opposite of Steve Nash on offense. Shumpert posted a .8 PPP overall on offense last year. Ick. It's pretty safe to say that Shumpert does nothing to help the woeful Knick offense, and in some ways hurts it. However, he earned our love through his defense. Shouldn't that justify keeping him over Steve Nash and his defensive weaknesses?

I doubt that Nash could seriously damage this elite Knick defense. There are glaring weaknesses, but all in all the Knicks have a defense to be proud of. Thanks be to Tyson Chandler. Unfortunately, for all Shump's reputation I and several other Knick fans have found little evidence that Shumpert is a significant reason for the Knicks defensive fortitude. The Knicks were typically a worse overall defensive team while he was on the floor, per 82games. He was an elite isolation defender, but disappointing guarding the PnR per Synergy. Like almost every other Knick, he struggled to contain spot-up shooters. Like almost every other Knick, he wasn't able to adroitly follow his man through screens consistently. He fouls more than a guard really should. I truly believe his defensive reputation is entirely composed of his excellence at containing anyone who tries to go at him solo. We remember his lockdown of Derrick Rose with glee, but did we not notice him getting torched by the Dunleavys of the league? This is worth more than Steve Nash?

To cap it off, I have to mention again that this athletic freak whose potential is rooted in his ability to run and jump really well just tore his ACL. I don't doubt his ability to come back strong from the injury, but it's possible that he doesn't. What if he's never really the same? A player who isn't quite as good as we'd like to think is at risk of drastically lowering his ceiling due to injury and we refuse to deal him for 3 years of Steve Nash??

All this is sort of a moot point now, I suppose. Nash will be an LA Laker, not a Knick. But I can't shake the concern I had last night at my Twitter timeline and this morning at the responses here. I've spent time trying to explain to Knick fans on ESPN why Iman Shumpert's ceiling is nothing close to Dwyane Wade, and that they should be embarrassed at the thought. This is getting absurd.

I should make clear that Shumpert is my favorite Knick. This isn't some type of hate post. I love the guy. I was one of the few cheering for the pick on draft night. I felt he was a much better choice than Chris Singleton, the favorite on the board. I spent days explaining why Knicks fans should be enamored with him through tweets and Facebook statuses. He was my profile picture before draft night. I'm a Shump fan. But c'mon... Steve Nash!!

Thanks for taking the time to read or skim this. I really do appreciate it. I just want to understand what you guys are thinking here. I promise my next fanpost won't be as long. <3

-PC, the Mack

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