Amid the chaos of an injury-plagued, lockout-shortened season that included a coaching change, Chandler’s defensive intensity transformed an apathetic defense into one of the top units in the league. New York climbed from 21st in defensive efficiency in 2010-11 (107.0) to fifth (98.4) in 2011-12, (per ESPN.com).
Despite an impressive campaign in which he averaged a double-double (10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds) and was selected to his first All-Star team, there was a noticeable drop-off in his defense. He looked a step slower on his rotations and failed to cover for his teammates at times. We all know what he can do on the defensive end of the court, but on the offensive end there is improvement to be made. His league-high 67.9 field-goal percentage during the 2011-12 season plummeted to 44.0 in five playoff games against the Miami Heat. His point and rebound averages fell from 11.3 and 9.9 to 6.2 and 9.0. If Chandler can keep up his play in the postseason as he does in the regular season, the Knicks will be that harder to beat.
Shumpert has yet to participate in a full NBA training camp—due to the lockout in 2011 and knee surgery in 2012—and only played 104 games over his first two seasons. At least 20 of those were spent regaining his form after recovering from major knee surgery. Coming off the injury he sustained last season, he hopes to bounce back and finally have a full season to produce the way he is more than capable of doing,
Shumpert’s athleticism and strength will take him a long way in this league. If he can co-exist with all of the other talent on the roster, the sky is the limit. His focus should be on increasing his efficiency, especially at the rim, where he converted on just 40.9 percent of his attempts last season, per NBA.com
The point is, the Knicks are built to win now, and management’s patience for young players is limited.