We've all read, heard and or debated this so called "issue" of Shumpert or JR. We're all Knicks fans and that means about three things:
2.) We loathe and fear James Dolan for we know not what he do.
3.) We love the Knicks and all things Knickdom more than many of our flesh and blood and therefore are prone to overraction. (Understandable given our history with this franchise)
I've seen Woodson's comments on the starting SG spot and I think that all this apprehension is unneeded. We are very clear that this is one of the deeper rosters that we've had here in Gotham. The 'Bockers are basically 2-3 deep at every position except Center. Competition, even if its not real, is the law of the land. Glenny G left us with a glut of versatile swingmen and Woodson is going to have go make some tough decisions but they will undoubtedly change throughout this seasons campaign. What we see at the beginning of the season will undoubtedly be different from the middle and the end.
I don't believe that just because Woodson says that JR will compete with Shump for the starting spot that automatically Shumpert is a goner. I realize that Dolan is a total crazy person and anything is possible but I just don't see it based solely on this discussion or the rumors of last summer. I am confident that this is coach-speak and a motivational tactic, I mean why wouldn't he want Smith and Shumpert to push each other via competition. As far as I can tell Woodson is trying to motivate both Shumpert and Smith to reach their full potential, I think we can all agree that it is Shumpert who has more room to grow at this point.
Is it so outlandish that the guy who plays a "father" role to mercurial JR Smith would want to give him incentive to stay hungry now that JR has some, well earned, security and could get lazy? Conversely hasn't Woodson been hard on Shumpert since Day 1 calling him "Rook" for like 2 calendar years, making the precocious neophyte earn his own name which is some old school mentality coaching stuff if I've ever seen it. With Woodson's leadership and handling both of these players have put on for the city every step of the way and I expect that to continue.
My believe is that Woodson knows that for these New York Knickerbockers to reach the ECF and the Finals he'll need to push and prod these players in creative ways. I know that Shumpert is ours and we want to protect him but I think we should have a little faith that Woodson knows what he is doing. Iman was quoted saying that he's got a chip on his shoulder this season, maybe Woodson knows that chip could bring us closer to the 'chip.
I know that its tough but I think that we should try and calm down a bit and see what happens. For Woodson being a starter doesn't even mean much in relation to minutes. If Iman plays the way he did in this first preseason game he will force Woodson's hand which I believe is Woodson's plan all along. The writers, bloggers have incentive to rile up us fans, instill new fears in us and I believe that is what they are doing, we will see.