In Wednesday night's win over the Grizzlies, Iman Shumpert scored 13 points in the first quarter on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field (two 3-pointers), and a steal he finished with a fast-break layup. Shump carried that momentum over to Friday night's opening period, scoring eight points (without missing a shot from either the field, 3-point range or the free throw line), while collecting three assists and two steals.
On offense, Shump attacked quickly off the dribble, finding Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony from downtown, and he also hit two 3-pointers himself. He's now shooting 24-for-51 (47.1 percent) from beyond the arc in March.
"I'm feeling a lot more aggressive, just forcing myself to make plays every time I touch the ball," Shump said afterward. "That's just offensively. I started to feel better defensively a while ago."
Mike Woodson said the second-year player is starting to turn the corner.
"I think so," he said. "I'm playing him in spotty minutes, but he's doing everything that's asked of him. He's still learning, though. He's still got a ways to go, but I think he's coming as a player."
In Felton's eyes, he sees a more confident combo guard since Shump's left ACL was repaired.
"He's just getting better confidence in his leg, getting his bounce back, just really being aggressive," the point guard said. "That's something that we've all been talking to him about -- just go out there and play, and don't think about it. ... He's really just going out there and just trusting himself, trusting in each of us and just playing basketball, and that's all we want him to do. He's a great talent and we definitely need him."
FELTON DUNKS! Felton threw down a dunk for the first time since 2011 on Friday night.
The slam led to a wild celebration on the Knicks' bench.
"I don't do those things no more, but I just let everybody know I still can dunk," Felton said with a smile. "It was mainly for some of my teammates who feel like I can't dunk no more, so I just wanted to show them."
AW, SHOOT! You wouldn't know it by his point totals, but Anthony hasn't shot with much efficiency of late.
He finished with 32 points on Friday night but went 11-for-28 from the floor. He got to the line at will, though, hitting nine of 10 free throws. He also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
In the two games prior to Friday, Anthony made just 18 of 50 shots and averaged 25.5 points. Some of that could be due to his focus on playing in the post, where a majority of his shots are contested.
Woodson certainly doesn't have a problem with it.
"I thought Melo's offense was fine. His all-around game was fine," Woodson said. "I'm pleased with the way Melo's played. He just had a few bunnies that went in and out."