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NBA New York Knicks

Iman Shumpert Cleared to Return to Knicks

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert has been cleared by doctors to return to action with the New York Knicks. This is great news for New York, as the team has hit its first rough patch of a 2012-13 season in which they have surprised many people.

The Knicks are currently 23-13, but have lost five of their last eight. Amar’e Stoudemire just returned from his own injury earlier this month, and once Shumpert suits up, the Knicks will finally have the team that was envisioned going into this season.

“Physically I feel great. I don’t think I’ll have any setbacks in that department. Right now I’m just looking forward to making sure I know all the coverages and the system to the best of my ability before I come back,” Shumpert said after practice on Saturday. “I know the guys have been waiting (for me). I think I can relieve a little bit of the pressure as far as defensively being a presence, offensively just being that energy guy. I’m the youngest guy on the team, and I’m the one that’s full of life all the time. That’s what they expect. They expect more my spirit, and me coming out here and providing that energy.”

Shumpert is arguably one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, and can handle and distribute the ball, as well. If nothing else, Shumpert’s defense is what New York needs the most, asJason Kidd (39 years old) and Pablo Prigioni (35 years old) are simply not quick enough to stay in front of many of the point guards that they are matched up with. Raymond Felton, the usual starter, is out with a hand injury, and is due back sometime within the next 2-3 weeks.

Shumpert’s presence on the court will help the Knicks get back on track defensively, and the presence of his famous flat-top haircut will excite Knicks fans everywhere.

Follow Thomas Duffy on Twitter @TD_Knicks for articles, news, and all things NBA.