Iman Shumpert: The Knicks rookie guard is making a strong case that he should be in the starting lineup. In his last four games, Shump is averaging 17.8 points, four rebounds and over two steals. His shooting numbers are just as impressive (47% from the floor, 47% from beyond the arc on 12-for-26). Meanwhile, starting SG Landry Fields has endured a stretch of 11 consecutive games in single figure scoring and is shooting just 35% from the floor since Mike Woodson took over as interim coach.
Carmelo Anthony: It seems as if the Knicks injury list keeps growing by the second and with it grows the pressure on Carmelo Anthony to perform. After seven straight games scoring under 20 points, he’s gone off for 20-plus in three of his last four games, including a 36 point outburst in last Friday’s loss to the Hawks. If the Knicks have any hopes of making the playoffs and making noise there, Melo needs to continue carrying the scoring load.
Mike Woodson: Everything starts with defense when you’re talking about Mike Woodson. During this 9-2 stretch the Knicks have gone on with Woodson at the helm, only two opponents have scored over 90 points and eight have failed to even reach 90. In six of those contests, Knicks opponents have failed to shoot at least 40% from the floor. In contrast, during the six game losing streak that preceded Mike D’Antoni’s resignation, five opponents reached 100 points and only one of those six opponents was held under 46% shooting. While the lack of healthy bodies hurts the Knicks, they should still be able to stay in games as long as they bring the same intensity on defense they’ve been showing under Woodson.