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Knicks' Iman Shumpert is happy he won't just be 'standing in the corner'

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Shumpert loves the idea of the Knicks' new offense. (USATSI)
Iman Shumpert loves the idea of the Knicks' new offense. (USATSI)

With Phil Jackson taking over the direction of the New York Knicks and Derek Fisher making sure Phil's vision makes its way to the court, the infamous triangle offense will be a big part of the conversation surrounding the Knicks. The isolation heavy, low-assist offense in Madison Square Garden will be a thing of the past, and the new Knicks' identity will be built around the team concept, moving the ball, and moving without the ball.

One player excited about the change is Iman Shumpert. ESPN New York has quotes from Shumpert in which he appears to be glowing about the new opportunities that will be there for him in an offense that is designed to get the ball to whoever has the best scoring position. Instead of "standing in the corner" like Shumpert was relegated to under Mike Woodson, he'll be cutting and using his athleticism to its fullest.

"The way it's set up, you can start three guards, it really doesn't matter. Everybody's going to get touches, everybody gets opportunities to cut," Shumpert said of the triangle offense. "It's constant action going on. So I think that I'll be able to capitalize on that and I'll be able to use my athleticism a lot more than standing in the corner.

"I know this year in the offense I will have a lot more opportunities to cut and get to the basket," he added. "I just want to work on the strength of my leg. Been working on that and being able to pull up off one or two dribbles [and working] on corner [3-pointers] and open 3s."

Shumpert also said he wants to be able to feel confident leaping off one leg -- something he couldn't do last season. He has been strengthening his left leg, which sustained a torn ACL during his rookie season and a sprained MCL last season.

Shumpert looked to be an incredibly promising rookie during the 2011-12 season when he was showing flashes as a superb defender and sporting a decent offensive display. Then he tore his ACL during the playoffs and has been working to get back ever since. He hasn't just been working through the physical and mental hurdles with repairing and rehabbing a major knee injury; he was fighting through the selfish nature of the Knicks' offense the last year under Mike Woodson. Shumpert was rarely asked to be an athlete and mostly was out there as a scarecrow in the corner to keep the defense honest.

Under Fisher (and Jackson), Shumpert will be asked to move constantly. He'll be asked to make cuts when they're there, run around in the half court, and create opportunities with his motion to manifest passing opportunities for his teammates. It's essentially being forced to eat bran cereal for an entire year and then being shown that waffles or Eggs Benedict are now on the menu. If he can do all this while getting back to the 40.2 percent he shot from 3-point range in his second season, Shumpert could be a nice weapon for them.

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