Mar 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) brings the ball up court during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert is the spark the New York Knicks need

The New York Knicks need a lift. They are still on top of the Atlantic Division and second to the Heat in the Eastern Conference, but have been reeling as of late. They are 5-6 in their last 11 games and defiantly lost the early season buzz that they created.

Dec. 17, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With injuries to fan favorite Rasheed Wallace and starting point guard Raymond Felton, the Knicks needs a spark. Iman Shumpert is the spark the Knicks need.

Shumpert was Donnie Walsh’s goodbye present. When he was drafted 16th overall in last year’s draft, many Knicks fans scratched their heads. “Who is this guy?” and “The Knicks mess up another pick!” were being mumbled by the Knicks faithful.

If you remember correctly, most Knicks’ fans wanted their team to draft Chris Singleton or Kenneth Faried. Singleton hasn’t made much of an impact on the Wizards yet while “The Manimal” is one of the best young big men and energetic players in the league. I wanted the Knicks to draft Faried but in hindsight who knows how he would fit in with Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, so I can see why the Knicks passed.

If the 2011 draft had a redo, there’s no doubt Shumpert would be a Top 10 pick. Shump was named to the 2012 NBA All Rookie First team and is in my opinion, the best Knicks draft pick since Patrick Ewing. I know that’s a bold statement and I’m not saying Shumpert will be nearly the player and have an impact on the Knicks like Ewing did because quite frankly that’s impossible.

Ewing is a Hall of Famer but Shumpert has all the talent in the world to be a key component to the Knicks success. By the way, the Knicks haven’t had much production and longevity with their first round picks in a long time.

I think he is the most athletic player on the Knicks right now. He is considered one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball at only 22 years old. Shumpert is fearless and attacks the basket and showed signs of developing a consistent jump shot. He can play both point guard and shooting guard and I’m sure he could matchup with some small forwards in the league.

Shump came in as a point guard and I think the Knicks should groom him into that but it looks like they see him at the franchise’s shooting guard for the future. Some of the league’s most athletic and most impactful players play point guard but if Shump plays shooting guard on the offensive side and defends the point guards, I’m fine with that.

The Knicks need something to get them out of this funk. They need someone who can cause havoc at the defensive end of the floor and slam it home the other way. Shumpert is an old-school player and loves his teammates. He is a tough defender and not to mention has that 90s high top fade going on. Knicks fans will love to see him on the court and his teammates will feed off his energy.

Shumpert is exactly the spark the Knicks need.

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