I Like D'Antoni's bravery in saying this-- But, waaaaay too early to say it. He hasn't played one game at the NBA level yet, and Shumpert doesn't yet know how much of a different pace the game is played at from College to NBA Level. Maybe in a few years Iman can match up on these guys, but these are SUPERSTARS, almost impossible to guard.
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Here’s a nice quote from Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni about first round pick Iman Shumpert that’s going to get misconstrued all over the place.“He has the athletic ability to guard a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] or a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] or a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ],” D’Antoni said Friday.The Knicks need defense, and they drafted Shumpert, and based off of that quote, you can take the approach that D’Antoni said Shumpert can guard Rose, Wade, or James. But that’s not actually what he said.
To defend players of that caliber, you need athleticism, instincts, skills, and savvy. All of that, plus some luck, will probably get you to hold them to 43 percent shooting or worse. Throw in some help defense from teammates (on the Knicks! Haha, what a funny joke!) and you’ve got a better chance at getting them to 30% or worse. But you do need athleticism. D’Antoni’s not saying Shumpert’s going to come in and guard those guys, that’s obviously insanity. But having that kind of athleticism means Shumpert can be a defensive weapon in time.
Now, whether he’ll actually wind up getting the defensive attention he needs to become that kind of defender under D’Antoni is a separate question.