Iman Shumpert admitted yesterday that Carmelo Anthony instills confidence in him. That's the leadership necessary for young player to develop and grow into a talented and productive NBA player on both ends of the floor.
We know what Shumpert brings off the bench and on the defensive end. We know what his limitations have been offensively. The last two games have showed that Shumpert has the ability to knock down open jumpers and play a two-man game with Melo in the post, a critical element to any successful playoff offense.
Landry Fields can score on cuts moving to the rim, but he's not a knock-down jump shooter. Neither is Baron Davis. Neither is Mike Bibby. Jeremy Lin is average to below average.
Old school Knicks fans get nostalgic whenever Patrick Ewing is in the building. John Starks, who I've said Shumpert reminds me of, made a living taking passes from Ewing in the post when the big fella would draw a double team by catching the ball and making the shot. It's unguardable when it works. The Mavericks did it consistently all las spring en route to a championship. If Starks could have done it like 2 or 3 times in Game 7 of the 1994 Finals the Knicks would be champions.
Shumpert's ability to make shots, simply put, makes this a completely different team.