May 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Iman Shumpert (21) puts up a layup against the Boston Celtics during the first half in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Is Iman Shumpert Ready To Break Out?

Iman Shumpert is one of the best defenders in the game and after coming back from a horrendous ACL injury and at the end of the season when the New York Knicks went on a 13-game win streak, it seems that his offensive game may be a bit more polished.

Shumpert is a knockdown shooter from the corners and is more than capable of replacing J.R. Smith as the second scoring option of the Knicks if he goes on a cold streak (which is expected) for the orange and blue.

He could not get  good lift off of his left leg last season until the playoffs (Iman Shumpert Putback Slam vs Indiana) because of his early return from his torn ACL. But since the rehabilitation for that injury ended right before the Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers but with him being allowed more of a jump on his left leg. Not only will his vertical improve but his athleticism and his ability to drive to the rim will open up whole new opportunities on the offensive end of the floor for the young shooting guard.

The Knicks have a great core at the 2 of Shumpert, Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr. so each of them will be fighting for every minute they play and with that motivation for Shumpert I see him excelling.

But is he ready to take that next step and break out for the Knicks?

The answer is yes.

Shumpert has a future of all-star appearances and all-defensive first team appearances. He is a lockdown defender and when he gets more of a reliable mid-range shot he can elevate his game to the next level and in the process help take the Knicks to the next level.

It seems as though Mike Woodson will opt to put Shumpert at the 2 to start to the season instead of running a dual point guard lineup so it will be interesting to see how he handles starting for the Knicks with more minutes than he’s used to.

This will be his first full NBA season as he played in the lockout season in his rookie year and had a shortened, but still successful, sophomore season due to a torn ACL, which he suffered in the 2012 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat.

If Shumpert does find a reliable mid-range shot, and not rely on using the corner three point as his main scoring option, while continuing to develop his fantastic perimeter defense, I see him being a huge contributor to whatever success the Knicks manage to accomplish next season as he is the cornerstone of their future team as he is their only player (besides rookies) under the age of 24.

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