So Long, Iman
Shumpert's troublesome knee finally gave out. Iman Shumpert will be out 6-8 months with a torn ACL, obviously meaning he won't play for the remainder of the postseason. While his numbers and offensive game may not stand out, this is serious trouble for the Knicks. The Knicks made substantial improvements on defense this year, and while much of the improvement was due to defensive POY front-runner Tyson Chandler, Shumpert was also a huge factor. Few players in the league can contain guards on the perimeter and strip players driving through the lane like Shumpert can. He struggles with his off-ball defense, but on the ball he is one of the league's best defenders.
As far as the implications for the Knicks, they have a serious deficiency to overcome. They had a hard time containing LeBron and Wade while Shumpert was on the court, and they'll have no one to lock down either of those two superstars now that Shumpert is gone. JR Smith will need to put in a ton of effort on the defensive side of the ball, and Landry Fields will likely be forced to guard LeBron or Wade once in a while, which will be a nightmare for Knicks fans.
It's a shame to see such a talented young player go down like this, and we just have to hope he can make a full recovery and return to form next season. As for the Knicks, we'll have to hope that they can keep LeBron and Wade from having career scoring nights, and there is now even more pressure on Carmelo Anthony's offensive production. Things are certainly not looking up for the Knicks, but you can never dismiss the front-line of Melo-Stat-Tyson. Can't wait for Monday night.