Iman Shumpert is quickly becoming known for his grit and determination as he fills in as the team’s starting two guard. The high level of intensity he plays with each night is similar to that of Starks. The rookie excels and paces the Knicks by playing hard-nosed defense, coming up with steals and diving for loose balls. Even more important, he is a lockdown man-to-man defender.
Shumpert never shies away from a big moment. Whether it is being posted up by the seven-foot Dirk Nowitzki, or trying to contain the league’s reigning M.V.P., Derrick Rose, he seems to welcome challenges. Able to come through in the clutch, Shumpert distracted Rose into an 8-of-26 shooting performance in the Knicks’ thrilling 100-99 Easter Sunday victory over the Bulls.
The 6-foot-5 guard’s skill set will remind New Yorkers of Starks as well. Shumpert can will his way to scoring when his team needs it most, but his real value comes from all of the other things he does well too. Besides providing the Knicks with a strong defensive presence, he rebounds the ball well for a guard and pushes the break.