GREENBURGH, N.Y. — On a day when the media circus surrounded Carmelo Anthony and his altercation with Kevin Garnett, the Knicks got some good news regarding second-year guard Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert played three-on-three and endured contact for the first time since undergoing offseason ACL surgery and is optimistic about coming back soon, although no precise timetable is set.
“He looked good,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “Great first day for him in terms of a little contact and moving around. He said he felt pretty good but we just gotta take it a day at a time.”
Shumpert is expected to practice again Wednesday, when the Knicks will learn more about how his left ACL and meniscus feel.
“Tomorrow will be important to see how the knee feels after being out here playing a little bit,” Woodson said. “But I like what I saw and he’s pretty positive, so that’s a good sign.”
It remains unclear when exactly Shumpert will see game action.
“That I don’t know,” he said. “I gotta get enough five-on-fives in, I gotta get some three-on threes in. I’m not setting a date on it. Myself and the training staff are just looking to try and get a little bit more every day. And when I’m ready we’ll know.”
Shumpert looked pretty agile playing three-on-three with Chris Copeland, Kurt Thomas and others.
“I actually felt really good, I didn’t think about it at all so that was a big plus for me.,” he said. “I just tried to put myself in as many situations as I could, tried to absorb some contact, get up, jump, got me a couple blocks, a couple steals, so as long as I did everything I was pretty happy.”
The Knicks already have Amar’e Stoudemire back from a knee injury and now await Shumpert’s return from the ACL tear he suffered in Game 1 of the Miami Heat playoff series a year ago.
New York has been exploited at times this year but quick point guards such as Kyrie Irving, Ty Lawson and Kirk Hinrich, and Shumpert will be counted on to defend such players — along with stronger wings like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — when he does return.
“Definitely, that’s what I’m looking to do,” he said. “Just come back and add another piece, add another guard, another guy that can guard multiple positions, another guy that can put pressure on guards on the offensive end.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.