We all know what Iman Shumpert's been able to do defensively this season. His 1.83 steals per game ranks him fifth in the NBA (second among rookies, after Minnesota's Ricky Rubio).
Shumpert's impact on that side of the ball has helped the Knicks rank first in the league in points per game allowed (86.3) and opponents field goal percentage (41.5) since Mike Woodson replaced Mike D'Antoni on March 14.
In three out of the Knicks' last four games, all wins, Shumpert shut down the opposing shooting guard. On March 26 in a 89-80 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis had four points on 2-for-14 shooting. Two nights later, in a 100-86 shellacking of the Orlando Magic, Jason Richardson had five points on 2-for-5 shooting. Then on Saturday, in another blowout, 91-75 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anthony Parker had 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting.
In addition, Shumpert, who's averaging 9.8 points on the season, has made a big splash on the offensive end, which has been needed in Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire's absence. In the past four games, the rookie has averaged 17.8 points per game, while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 46.2 from 3-point territory. And his plus-minus has been a tremendous +59.
The best part about Shumpert's offensive explosion is that he's been effective in a variety of different ways, compared to his season numbers, especially in spot-up and pick-and-roll situations. Here's a breakdown:
Iman Shumpert Last Four Games Vs. Season In Top Four Play Types
Last Four Games | Season
Spot-up -- 1.217 points per play (33.8 percent of his total plays) | 0.771
Pick-and-roll -- 1.071 points per play (20.6 percent) | 0.519
Isolation -- 0.917 points per play (17.6 percent) | 0.842
Transition -- 1.333 points per play (13.2 percent) | 1.278
Source: ESPN Stats & Info
Here are a few other key takeaways regarding Shumpert's offense:
31.0 percent of 71 Shumpert’s points over the last four games have come in the paint. He’s averaging 5.5 paint points per game during that span. Lin, by comparison, averaged 7.4 over his 25 starts.
Over Shumpert’s last four games, Shumpert is averaging 17 plays per game, while scoring 1.044 points per play. That’s high above the Knicks' average of 0.899 points per play this season (they rank 21st in the league in this category).
14.8 of Shumpert’s 17.8 points per game have come in halfcourt sets. He’s averaging 0.983 points per play in halfcourt plays. On the season, the Knicks are averaging 0.859 points per play in the halfcourt, which ranks them 23rd in the league).
One other note is that Shumpert's playmaking in pick-and-rolls has especially been significant with Lin out and Baron Davis hobbling though a hamstring injury.
"I like everything about that kid. He's an amazing player," Davis said. "He's going to continue to grow and be a great player for this organization. He's just fearless and he just goes out and plays. He doesn't think about anything. He just goes out and competes and plays hard."
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