KNICKS READY TO TOWER OVER LONDON

Knicks Carmelo 568It won’t just be Carmelo Anthony hoping to shine again in London on Thursday. Iman Shumpert is set to provide a timely boost the New York Knicks line-up on against the Detroit Pistons.

The second-year guard is on track to end a seven-month spell on the sidelines since he suffered an ACL injury during last season’s play-offs.

The 2011 first-round draftee said Wednesday that he feels ready to help shore up a Knicks defense which has given up 100 points on seven occasions during their last 14 games.

Mike Woodson admits it is a possibility that Shumpert could even start on his season debut.

Even if he comes off the bench, it will mark the end of a frustrating battle back to full fitness and it can’t come soon enough.

“I’m excited about it,” he said.

“I don’t care what atmosphere there is. There doesn’t have to be anybody here. If nobody shows up, I’m going to have fun, just having my jersey on and being with the guys again.”

Like his Pistons counterpart Lawrence Frank, Woodson has been quick to emphasis the real purpose of this trip despite the slate of promotional activities and an invite to the Knicks squad to attend Wednesday’s Premier League game between Chelsea and Southampton.

The two teams have met once already this term, with New York coming out on top at Madison Square Garden.

But Woodson is convinced Detroit will be a tougher foe this time.

“Everybody goes through phases during the course of the season,” he said. “And they are playing better and it should be a good ball game. We just came off a good game I thought against New Orleans.

“We’re here in London to win a game. We’re not here just on vacation. This is a big part of our schedule still. It’s a team in the East that we’ve got to deal with so it should be a good game.”

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