NY Knicks: 3 ‘Secret Weapon’ players in the playoffs

NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Tom Thibodeau, NY Knicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Thanks to a Boston Celtics loss on Wednesday night (man, I love saying that!), the NY Knicks have clinched a playoff berth.

The NY Knicks are officially fighting for seeds 4-6 and have avoided the play-in tournament. It is the team’s first time back in the playoffs in 8 years since the 2012-13 postseason.

Speaking of those playoffs and that New York team, one of the reasons many fans look back at that squad fondly was because of how great they played team basketball, much like this year’s Knicks. The 12-13 team wasn’t entirely reliant on star Carmelo Anthony because of the depth of shooting and playmaking that surrounded him. This allowed Anthony to thrive, as he went on to win the scoring title and lead the Knicks to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

That depth, unfortunately, became thin come April and May, as the veterans ran out of gas and Tyson Chandler dealt with the flu and a neck injury. Despite this, New York didn’t go down without a fight against the Indiana Pacers in the second round, thanks in large part to Iman Shumpert.

Shump stepped up in that series, taking on a larger load on offense while still having to guard Paul George. His offensive surge was desperately needed with JR Smith’s and Jason Kidd’s shooting slumps. While his scoring came up short in some games, he still displayed valor in his efforts.

Shumpert had 15 points (7-11 shooting), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal in a Game 2 win to tie the series. In Game 6, he was one of the only reasons the NY Knicks hung around down the stretch, as they went on to lose that game to end the series. He finished with 19 points (6-10 shooting), hitting 5 of his 6 three-point attempts.

Shumpert also played very well in the first-round matchup with the Celtics that year. He had 12 points and 12 rebounds in Game 4. He followed that up with 12 and 6 in Game 5 and 17 and 6 in Game 6. He even snagged 11 steals across those 6 games.

On both sides of the ball, The Flat-Top came up big in many games for the NY Knicks in those playoffs. For that reason, he was very much an unlocked ‘secret weapon’ for New York in 2013.

With the franchise returning to playoff basketball next week, some of the Knicks role players will have the opportunity to do what Shumpert did; step up for the team on the biggest stage. So, who can become a secret weapon for New York?