Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Iman Shumpert is still playing his way into basketball shape.
Player Grade: B
The sophomore is only five games into his 2012-13 campaign, but Iman Shumpert is showing signs of a full recovery from ACL surgery.
On the defensive end, he's picked up right where he left off. In his rookie go-around, Shumpert established himself as one of the league's best defenders in the backcourt. This season, he's taken on defensive challenges, such as guarding the likes of Joe Johnson and other top threats.
He's still on a bit of a minutes restriction at this stage of recovery, so his stats can be a bit misleading. Per 36 minutes, the swingman is scoring 10 points and pulling down a swollen eight boards.
His three-point percentage is something to look out for since his outside game has been widely regarded as his weakness. Through his first four games, though, he's nailed treys at an improved .364 clip. His mark was a mere .306 in 59 games last year.
One strand of his defensive game that needs to improve is the ability to work around screens. He's struggled at defending the picks in limited action thus far, so improvement will be needed before we can call Shumpert a truly elite defender.
He could just as easily receive an "incomplete" so early on, but Shumpert has impressed enough to earn a solid grade at the season's halfway mark.