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Iman Shumpert Attributes Hand Dexterity To Fistfights And High School Pedigree

The Cleveland Cavaliers are blessed with having three guys capable of knocking down big shots late in the game, but the team also boasts of another player who has the capacity to win games at the other end of the floor.

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During crucial stretches in the Cavaliers’ recent road win over the Dallas Mavericks, Iman Shumpert, once again, showed to everyone why his teammates hold him in extremely high regard and put utmost trust in his defensive acumen.

In an article by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Shumpert gave a bit of a background on how his hands became as good as they are in what they do right now. From being involved in fistfights as a child into his high school basketball pedigree, those hands were truly meant to devastate opponents.

“Slap boxing? I boxed for real. I lost a lot.”

“Sometimes you’re going to get knocked out. That’s how it goes. Sometimes you get jumped because you’re winning, straight up. But the hands keep going. The hands keep going.”

“We were a defensive team in high school and I always headed the press. We used to chart deflections, so even if I didn’t get the steal, it was all about timing. You just have to read eyes, play tendencies.

“Getting steals and deflections led to getting out on the break so we could dunk. Because when we got on the break, our coach didn’t care what we did. We could do trick dunks, we could throw it off the glass, do something crazy. We could miss it. You could come down and let a three go and he wouldn’t care as long as you got a steal.”

When Shumpert was drafted by the Knicks in 2011, he was envisioned by the team to be their “Dwyane Wade stopper”, which spoke a lot about a rookie. Almost five years after, his teammates in Cleveland are still giving high praises for who they call as the team’s best defender.

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Watching Shumpert defend the opponent’s transition attack, it is very rare to see him elevate for a block or even attempt to simply distract the shot by going straight up. He almost always does his work down low and the success rate is very high.

In fact, his hands are so good that they even deliver, literally, when needed in the most unlikely situation outside the basketball court.

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