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Shumpert makes positive first impression

New York Knicks' Iman Shumpert splits New Jersey

New York Knicks' Iman Shumpert splits New Jersey Nets defenders Johan Petro (27) and Dennis Horner, right, for a shot during the second half. (Dec. 17, 2011) Credit: AP

NEWARK -- Iman Shumpert made quite an impression in his professional debut Saturday.

The first-round pick scored 16 points and shot 6-for-11 from the field in the Knicks' 92-83 preseason win over the Nets at the Prudential Center.

On the floor for 25:32, Shumpert outplayed Knicks point guards Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby and also made coach Mike D'Antoni take note of his defense.

"I thought Shumpert played well," D'Antoni said. "He can get a shot any time he wants to. He shoots the ball pretty well. He can definitely defend. He's athletic, he's long. There's a lot of good stuff. Again, this is just one baby step and he's got to do it a lot, but you can tell that the kid can play."

With no rookie camp and a shortened preseason because of the lockout, the 6-5, 220- pound Shumpert had to work out on his own after leaving Georgia Tech. But he got to play with some NBA vets in exhibitions and said that helped him to acclimate faster once things got settled.

"Playing in a lot of those lockout games helped me," he said. "A lot were older guys that were trying to stay in shape. So I wasn't playing in lockout games with a lot of rookies, I was playing with a lot of veterans. When you play with a lot of veterans, you've got to pick things up fast. I think my transition was a little different than most rookies. It definitely helped."

The Knicks also got good minutes from second-rounder Josh Harrellson, the 6-10 forward from Kentucky the Knicks obtained from New Orleans. Harrellson had seven points (including a three-pointer) and three rebounds in 20:37.

On the down side, Landry Fields shot 2-for-12 and Amar'e Stoudemire 3-for-11.

"Guys are still a little bit rusty out there, including myself," Stoudemire said. "We should be ready by Christmas, for sure."

Shawne Williams out. Shawne Williams, the former Knick who signed with the Nets, missed the game because of flu-like symptoms. He is one of four players named Williams on the Nets' roster, joining Deron, Shelden and Jordan.

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