May 18, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith (8) reacts to losing to the Indiana Pacers in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats New York 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith or small ball?

Oct 11, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks point guard Beno Udrih (18) celebrates a scoring run with guard Iman Shumpert (21) against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Knicks 100-91. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have very talented guards on their team, giving Mike Woodson a tough decision on who to start at the shooting guard position.

It is a good problem to have, but still the Knicks have to make a decision soon as the amount of time until the season starts is dwindling.

Raymond Felton is a definite right now for point guard, but the Knicks have decisions to make at the shooting guard spot. Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith are the front runners, with Pablo Prigioni having an outside shot. Who would be the best choice though?

Shumpert should be the guy, and here is why.

If the Knicks were to start Smith, the bench would not have a go to guy off the bench to score.

Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire can score, but both of them are injury prone and are also have not been as good of scorers as Smith has been the past few seasons, especially last season.

Smith is also suspended for the first five games of the season. Starting Shumpert for five games and then just benching him for Smith could lower his morale, as well as having to have the Knicks be able to adjust to Smith in the starting lineup instead of Shump.

Shumpert would also be a better choice over Prigioni because when the Knicks play bigger teams such as the Indiana Pacers with their small ball lineup, bad things have happened. Look at the playoffs last year for example. The Knicks went with a smaller lineup and then lost the series somewhat easily.

The big men on the Pacers destroyed the Knicks in the paint, and if they go with Prigioni as a starter the same things will occur again. They could just switch between a big and small lineup starting depending on the opponent, but constantly changing the starting lineup could have a bad effect on team chemistry.

Shumpert would also be the best choice to start at shooting guard because he is overall, the best player out of the three.

He is an elite perimeter defender, and his skills are still developing and improving. After the slow start he had after returning from his ACL injury, he showed signs of a polished offensive game and even better defense. He has also shown this during the preseason.

Shumpert is a major talent that would greatly improve the Knicks, and that is why it would be Woodson’s best choice to start him next to Felton in the backcourt.

Regardless who starts in the back court, go out and support your New York Knicks this season. Get your Knicks tickets here.

Tags: Iman Shumpert J.R. Smith Mike Woodson NBA Offseason New York Knicks Pablo Prigioni

  • blastingzone

    What about Tim hardaway jr? You don’t even mention him coming off the bench
    to give the knicks points at SG! Nobody gives him a chance to start either and
    even though he is a rookie he still has shown he can shoot the basket ball but
    yet his name is not mentioned by you or Woodson!! Smith is a very good
    player but he tends to disappear at times(see 2nd round of playoffs last year
    against the pacers) and even though he has great talent Shumpert still hasn’t
    proven himself night after night so why not give Hardaway a chance to start
    or at least be the first or 2nd option off the bench!!

    • amehra11

      Shumpert has one and a half years of experience under his belt, and could potentially become a dual threat as he is a solid shooter and could become one of the leading defenders in the NBA. The issue with starting Tim Hardaway Jr. would be that he has also shown signs of inconsistency over the course of his career in Michigan, and over the his current preseason stint with the Knicks so starting him would be a risk, which the Knicks can not afford to take with the state of the current roster.