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2011 NBA Draft a Change for the Better for the New York Knicks

June 26th, 2011 at 1:08 PM
By Tim Stamoutsos

The New York Knicks did something that they have not done in a very long time, draft for defense.  For the first time the Knicks took two guys that are not just scorers or shooters.  They drafted two players that really do not have many offensive moves.  Their first round pick, Iman Shumpert, is an athletic, long armed defensive minded combo Guard.  The Knicks second round pick, Josh Harrelson, is in so many words a goon.  He will be on the court to intimidate people and hustle.  Under Mike D'antoni that has been unheard of and the reason i believe the "experts" have said the Knicks had a terrible draft.  I do not see this as a terrible draft by any means.  In my opinion its the best Knicks draft(on paper) that they have had in a very long time because they finally went with two guys that will help right away.  They went away from drafting the tweener small forward/power forward.  They finally went with two guys that are going to come in play hard nosed defense and bring intensity to the this team.  As a big fan of the New York Knicks it is refreshing to see that the draft was conducted with defense in mind. 

Iman Shumpert, combo guard from Georgia Tech, was drafted because he is a defensive stopper.  He is the type of player the Knicks will need if they want to get past teams like the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.  This past season the Knicks did not have that player they could throw at the opposing teams superstar to disrupt their game. The Knicks have two superstars of their own, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, but neither are defensive minded players.  In my opinion Shumpert will come in and be the starting two guard from the get go.  I like Landry Fields for what he is but he is not a shooting guard and not a starter in this league.  Iman obviously has a lot of growing to do and will not be an immediate game changer but i think he can develop into the Knicks defensive stopper.  He does have to work on his jumper, even though he will be asked to play intense defense he will need to be able to space the floor.  From what i have seen of Shumpert he has very good form, but just needs to work on shot selection.  

Josh Harrelson came out of no where last year and really was the unsung hero of the Kentucky Wildcats.  Harrelson was never asked to score by coach John Calipari but that did not stop him from having an impact.  Harrelson does have a nice little jumpshot in his repetoire but he will not be asked to use it here with the Knicks.  What will he be asked to do? In my opinion he is a good fit next to Amar'e on the court.  He can come in rebound, defend the low post and block some shots.  He has that deceptive athleticism and is big enough to guard most centers in the league today.  The New York Knicks drafted their goon in the 2nd round of the 2011 NBA draft; every playoff team needs one and now the Knicks have theirs.

To all the "experts" who say this was a bad draft for the knicks, I say what did you want them to do?  Everyone complains the Knicks do not play any defense but when they draft for defense people complain.  I for one loved this draft and think this will be the turning point for the New York Knicks organization.  Finally the Knicks went into the draft with an eye on defense, lets hope that it finally works out for this team.

Tags: 2011 NBA Draft, Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Josh Harrelson, Knicks, NBA, NBA DRAFT, New York, New York Knicks

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