Throughout the struggles during his comeback from his torn ACL, Iman Shumpert said his teammates would constantly tell him: “As long as you’re ready for playoffs.” Shumpert was ready, delivering a superb performance in the Knicks’ series-clinching triumph over the Celtics, enjoying a fantastic Game 6 and most importantly, providing one of last night’s most pivotal plays in the Knicks’ heart-racing 88-80 triumph. The Knicks were on the verge of a historic meltdown, having seen their 26-point, fourth-quarter lead be cut to six after a 20-0 Celtic surge in just 3:35. Boston was within 75-69, and the Knicks were reeling. But at that point, Shumpert stole a pass from Paul Pierce and sailed in for a transition layup, ending the run and restoring the lead to eight with 5:06 left. It was far from over, but at least the Boston run had been curbed. “It was a 2-on-1 on the weak side,” Shumpert said. “I was just thinking that I was going to try and get that steal because I knew he was going to try and throw it. Luckily I was able to deflect it and end that run, give us a little breathing room.” Shumpert finished with 17 points, six rebounds and two steals, hitting 6-of-9 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range. He also helped hold Pierce to 4-for-18 shooting from the floor. Overall, it makes for a stellar comeback one year after tearing his ACL in Game 1 of the playoffs against LeBron James and the Heat.
Shumpert’s steal ends run, saves day
New York Post | May 4