Knicks rookie combo guard Iman Shumpert finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting, released on Tuesday by the NBA. Shumpert received 33 total votes and one first-place vote from a ballot that was filled out by 120 writers and broadcasters from across the country.
In a predicted win, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, who went to high school in New Jersey (St. Patrick's), was named Rookie of the Year. Rounding out the top five were Minnesota's Ricky Rubio, Denver's Kenneth Faried, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and Shumpert.
While Shumpert's offense was inconsistent -- and sometimes took a backseat with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin on the court -- he was arguably the NBA's best rookie one-on-one defender. He was routinely assigned to the opponent's best perimeter player -- a matchup he also wanted -- and finished the regular season averaging 1.7 steals per game (tied for sixth-best in the league).
"I don't play with fear," he said before the Knicks' Game 4 against the Heat. "I don't feel like I can't match up with anybody. I don't feel like I have a deficiency that's bad. Anything I do, I just do it with confidence. In the offseason, I'm going to go back and look at tape, look at numbers and try to improve on where I can improve."
Shumpert is currently in the initial stages of his recovery process, after undergoing surgery two weeks ago to repair a torn left ACL and lateral meniscus suffered in Game 1 against the Heat. He tweeted on Monday: "Now that I have more rehab exercises things are a little more interesting ... even tho they're still boring lol. Can't wait to walk."
The last Knick to be named ROY was Mark Jackson in the 1987-88 season. Before him, it was Patrick Ewing (1985-86) and Willis Reed (1964-65).
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