Iman Shumpert's monster dunk highlight of series: 'I've seen it quite a few times'
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Iman Shumpert knows how to make a statement.
Take his hair, which he wears in an edgy, high-top fade that adds several look-at-me inches to his 6-5 frame.
Take his fashion sense -- oversized glasses, oversized bow tie, large colored shoes -- which is sort of a unique combination of geek-chic and circus clown.
Shumpert obviously isn't afraid of drawing attention to himself, so perhaps it's only appropriate that he produced the statement dunk of the Knicks-Pacers playoff series.
You've surely seen the replay by now: Shumpert flying through the lane, reaching way back with his right arm to grab a rebound off Chris Copeland's missed shot and finishing with a screaming slam.
Shumpert himself admits to viewing it repeatedly in the first 24 hours after the Knicks' 105-79 win in Game 2 Tuesday. It was the No. 1 play on "SportsCenter" that night.
"I've seen it quite a few times," Shumpert said with a shrug after Knicks practice Thursday. "I can't take it with me into the game Saturday, so I got to sort of forget about it. But you know, I'm going to continue to attack the glass."
The second-year swingman has recovered fully from the ACL surgery that sidelined him until Jan 17. When Shumpert returned, he often looked tentative, as if he didn't quite trust his knee. In the playoffs, however, he's emerged as an all- around player.
Not only has Shumpert played top-notch defense, but he has turned up the offense when the Knicks need it most. Nowhere was that more evident than in Game 6 of the first round when he ended a 20-0 Celtics' run in the fourth quarter with a steal and fast-break basket.
"Yeah, I would say so," said Mike Woodson when asked if Shumpert was playing the best basketball of his NBA career. "His confidence level is high. We just got to make sure we keep his confidence level high and that he continues to play at that type of intensity to help us win games."
Shumpert hurt his knee in the first round of the playoffs last season, on the same day that Bulls star Derrick Rose suffered the same injury. Much has been made about the fact that Shumpert seems to have fully recovered while Rose continues to sit. Shumpert, however, is not comfortable drawing parallels.
Instead, he's too busy thinking about making his next statement, both on the court and off. Said Shumpert: "I want to just keep being aggressive."