With the image of Iman Shumpert’s painful ACL tear in Game 1 of the Knicks first round series against Miami last year still fresh in my head, and no real updates on Ronnie Brewer’s absence following his arthroscopic knee surgery, New York finds themselves shallow in the shooting guard slot. Mike Woodson has repeatedly said J.R. Smith will be most useful coming off the bench for the Knicks, and his brother Chris along with Mychel Thompson both don’t have the caliber to be starters on what should be a contending team in the NBA. One could argue either of the two could be decent at just filling the starter slot temporarily until Ronnie Brewer returns, but there could be a much better option on the roster: Jason Kidd.
Mychel Thompson is no stranger to the NBA. He’s played in it, his brother has played in it and his father has, too. I guess you could say he has the NBA in his blood. After a four-year stint at Pepperdine University, Thompson went undrafted, but signed with the Erie Bayhawks right as the lockout rolled around. An impressive five games with Erie orchestrated a call from the Cavaliers, but after failing to latch on with the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, Thompson found himself looking for work. Thompson had a boring summer league with the Knicks, nothing great, nothing horrible, but team executives thought he earned an invitation to training camp. His play thus far has warranted him time with the starters in practice, making us ask the question: Can Mychel Thompson be the Knicks’ starting shooting guard on opening day?
Natural battle tactics dictate that when an army has found itself completely overmatched in a battle, it should retreat, effectively forfeiting the battle, but retaining its resources and important figures for further battles to come. The New York Knicks faced a near impossible challenge in the first round of the NBA playoffs, matching up with the Miami Heat, and in game one the team found themselves outclassed by the eventual NBA champions. The 100-67 trouncing by the Heat certainly gave a huge blow to the ego and confidence of the Knicks, but it did not end the series; the Knicks still had the opportunity to ultimately call it a day, look at the film, and prepare for the next game. That was until the Knicks lost their knight in shining armor. Iman Shumpert may not be the Knicks’ best player, but he is nonetheless a player the Knicks could not live without. If we consider Tyson Chandler the anchor of the Knicks defense, the fortress that defended the rest of the army, then Shumpert was the outer defense of that fortress. The devastating tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) effectively ended the Knicks’ season and put the Knicks in a tough spot for the upcoming season at the shooting guard position.