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New York Knicks Should Start Rookie Iman Shumpert at Point Guard: Fan’s View
Last night, January 6, 2012, the New York Knicks defeated the Washington Wizards, 99-96, when Carmelo Anthony drained a three with 15.9 seconds left in the game. The Knicks three best players, Melo, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler combined to score 72 of the Knicks 99 points.
Toney Douglas Had Another Horrendous Shooting Performance
Continuing what has been a trend so far this season, the player the Knicks are starting at point guard, Toney Douglas, had another horrendous shooting night. Douglas missed all five shots he took in the game, including missing the two threes he tried.
So far this season, Toney Douglas has made just 33 of the 97 shots he has attempted from the field, including making just 11 of 40 three-point shots. Douglas is shooting just .340 from the field, and .275 from three-point land. He was so bad in last night's game that coach Mike D'Antoni benched him to start the second half.
Iman Shumpert Started Second Half of Wizards Game Over Toney Douglas
D'Antoni replaced Toney Douglas in the second half with rookie Iman Shumpert. The rookie responded by scoring 10 points, dishing out seven assists and making five steals in the game.
I've been a Carmelo Anthony fan ever since he led my favorite college basketball team, the Syracuse Orange, to the NCAA Championship in 2003. Since the Knicks acquired Melo, I've been watching all their games. Rookie Iman Shumpert has been impressive so far to say the least. He's averaging 13.0 points per game, as well as 3.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game.
Sumpert is also shooting .382 from the field, and .417 from thee-point range. That is significantly better than what Toney Douglas is shooting, especially from three-point land.
Toney Douglas is Not a Point Guard
Over the first seven games of the season the Knicks have been asking Toney Douglas to do something he has never shown he can do, play point guard. Douglas averaged just 2.6 assists per game at Florida State in college, and the same 2.6 assists per game over his first two NBA seasons. He's not a point guard.
Over his first two seasons in the NBA, Douglas made .430 percent of his shots from the field, and .378 from three-point range. I think by asking him to play point guard, something he has never shown the ability to do, the Knicks have messed up his shooting. That can happen when you ask a player to do something he can't do, or has never really done.
Iman Shumpert Can Play Point Guard
Rookie Iman Shumpert averaged 4.2 assists per game in college at Georgia Tech. He also averaged 2.3 steals per game in college. Toney Douglas is averaging 1.0 steals per game in the NBA. Shumpert clearly has the ability to play point guard. Given his assists and steals averages in college, and so far in the NBA, he's just much better suited to playing point guard than Toney Douglas is.
That's why the New York Knicks should start rookie Iman Shumpert at point guard. At least until Baron Davis can get healthy enough to play. And let Toney Douglas go back to being a shooting guard, and see if he gain regain his shooting touch.
Rookie Iman Shumpert has shown nothing but talent every time he's stepped onto the floor for the New York Knicks. It's time for him to start at point.
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