We have been waiting all season long for Iman Shumpert to take the next step. He has been involved in numerous trade rumors and has played awful at certain times, but in the New York Knicks‘ victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, Shumpert showed a glimpse of how good he can be.
This game had a different feel for it. For the first time this season, the Knicks played like a desperate team. There was a playoff-like atmosphere in the arena, and the Knicks responded well. Shumpert had two clutch buckets toward the end of the game that gave the Knicks the lead. The first shot was a three off a great pass from JR Smith and the second was an amazing tip in off a Carmelo Anthony miss. The tip in was one of the best plays Shumpert has made in a long time. His head was almost above the basket as the banked in the tip.
The problem with the Knicks all season was that no one was helping Anthony, especially Smith and Shumpert. But in this game, both of those players played great games, which resulted in a win. Shumpert had a career high 27 points and went 6-of-8 from three point range. He also added six rebounds and three steals.
The Knicks needed to start the new year off right and a win against a very good Spurs team is a great way to do that. What makes the win even sweeter is that Shumpert finally showed signs of him breaking out of this brutal slump he has been in. He has to continue that type of play if the Knicks want to dig themselves out of the hole they have dug.