Notebook: Shumpert frustrated with play
February, 10, 2013
By Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports Iman Shumpert guards Clippers star Chris Paul during Sunday's Knicks loss at the Garden.Iman Shumpert drew a tough assignment on Sunday afternoon when Mike Woodson asked him to cover Chris Paul.
Paul, in his second game back from a bruised knee, had 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals in the Clippers' 102-88 win.
Of course, not all of Paul's numbers were compiled with Shumpert guarding him.
Still, Shumpert admitted after the game that he's been frustrated with his play recently.
Sunday was 12th game was Shumpert's 12th since coming back from ACL surgery on Jan. 17.
"It's definitely frustrating to have to jump back in the middle of the season," said Shumpert, who rehabbed his knee for eight months after surgery. "In your mind, you don't think it's going to be that hard at all. But when your mind and your body's in two different places, it's a little hard. But I'm just going to keep working, getting adjusted to it. Playing a little more (small forward) this year. So I'm just getting adjusted to it, I'll figure it out."
Shumpert added that he was unaffected by recent reports that the Phoenix Suns have inquired about trading for him.
"I don't really care. I've just got to play ball. I can't control it anyway," Shumpert said.
FELTON SORE: The Knicks survived a scare when Raymond Felton went down after hitting his head late in the third quarter.
Felton was on the floor for two tense minutes after he hit the front of his head on Amar'e Stoudemire and then hit the back of his head on Lamar Odom.
"I felt like I got hit like a ping pong. I got hit from different sides," Felton said. "I was looking at the replay, got hit from the front, got hit from the back, got hit from the side. But whatever, I’m alright.
"It’s probably going to be hurting in the morning when I get up. It’s a little sore right now. Best thing I can do is try to put some heat on it, see what happens in the morning."
BENCH WOES: The Clippers bench outscored the Knicks bench 48-15, led by Jamal Crawford's 27 points. The 33-point bench differential was the largest margin for the Clippers this season. Knicks' sixth man J.R. Smith had just six points in 35 minutes. He made just one of nine shots.
BILLUPS BACK: On Sunday, former Knick Chauncey Billups only played in his fifth game all season -- and it just so happened to be at the Garden, where the point guard suited up in the second half of 2010-11.
After scoring eight points in the Clippers' 102-88 win, Billups said it was "great" to be back.
"I was really looking forward to just seeing some of the guys I played with, some of the staff," said Billups, who played 22 total games with the Knicks. "I didn't come to the Garden last year because of my injury, so it was cool, it was fun."
Before today, Billups, who returned from a torn Achilles last fall, had been dealing with an inflamed foot tendon recently. The injury bug also struck him on April 17, 2011, when he suffered a strained left knee in the fourth quarter of the Knicks' Game 1 loss to the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
That still haunts him today.
"I enjoyed my time here. It was fun," he said. "The experience was great. There was a lot of excitement. Melo obviously came. I enjoyed that time. I hated that I got hurt in the playoffs. It felt like it could've ended a little different, but everything happens for a reason."
When Billups was traded from the Nuggets to the Knicks on Feb. 21, 2011, along with Carmelo Anthony and others, he got a chance to see Melo and Stoudemire play together. The partnership has been developing well this season, and it's something Billups believes in.
"It was just too early when I was here," he said. "Both those guys are great players and I still think they haven't really figured it out together yet. But I think they can play together, man."