I sure don’t envy the decision-makers for the New York Knicks.
1. If Iman Shumpert can get healthy enough to help with their primary defensive deficiency, slowing down quick, penetrating guards.
2. If Jason Kidd, shooting 30 percent overall and 22 percent from three over his past 15 games, can rediscover the stroke that made him a vital pressure release cog in the starting lineup.
Incidentally, how the Knicks feel both of these questions can be answered may be contained in the trade rumor that would send Shumpert to the Orlando Magic for J.J. Redick. Such a trade wouldn’t solve problem one, but it sure would solve problem two.
And remember, exactly how the team improves, offensively or defensively, doesn’t much matter, as long as they are improving one area without losing in the other. Redick is no great defender, but the idea that he’d be better than Kidd of late isn’t an absurd one.
There’s a third thing the Knicks needed to figure out, too: who is going to spell Tyson Chandler without the team’s interior defense falling apart. And thankfully, both Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby returned to practice Tuesday.
Look, if healthy, both Wallace and Camby are miles ahead of whoever the Knicks could add at the trade deadline to back up Chandler. And since they are already on the roster, they’ll cost the Knicks nothing to add, whereas a trade for a viable backup center would probably mean giving up something of value, rather than another team just giving the Knicks a center for free.
Still, the Knicks have a pair of older centers, both with significant injury problems this season. And they have 48 hours to figure out if either one will be the backup center they need.
Like I said: I do not envy the Knicks’ decision-makers. Not one bit.