Warriors: Klay Thompson, Kent Bazemore
Knicks: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Klay Thompson and Iman Shumpert, both going into their third seasons, are known for their defense. Although Shumpert, who was injured for part of last season, saw his numbers dip from his rookie season, he is still a promising talent.
He is a pretty good three-point shooter, but he needs to work on raising his overall fieldgoal percentage. His career fieldgoal percentage is just below 40 percent. Shumpert is an athletic player, but he needs to work on using that to his advantage. If he can work on getting to the rim, his shooting percentage will see a sharp increase.
Klay Thompson has shown more promise on the offensive side of the ball. Although he also needs to show improvement in his shot selection, the shooting he already does is quite impressive. He shoots over 40 percent from the three-point line and made over 200 three-pointers last season. Surprisingly, his problem is shooting when he is close to the rim. He needs to work on his finishing ability.
Shumpert and Thompson are two up and coming players in the league, but neither is going to be a superstar. At this point, Thompson is the more complete player, but both have plenty of things to work on.
J.R. Smith gives the Knicks a huge spark off of the bench. It’s not often you see a player average over 18 points per game as a sixth man. He is definitely a volume shooter and he can take some bone-headed shots at times, but he is a valuable asset to the Knicks. J.R. and Shumpert combined could give the Knicks the edge over the Warriors at the shooting guard position.