Reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week Kemba Walker‘s banishment from the Knicks‘ rotation may have been a blessing in disguise, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. Walker admits he wasn’t aggressive enough at times to start the season.
“I just have a tendency of kind of not wanting to step on toes,” Walker said. “I think that’s what I did early on. I was here and I wasn’t being as aggressive, I think, as I could have been. But I think being out and seeing how the game has been flowing and going put me in a different mindset.”
Walker and the rest of the team’s starters struggled mightily in Wednesday’s 94-85 victory over the depleted Pistons, as the Knicks were carried once again by the bench group, all of whom finished with a plus/minus of at least plus-27. Walker had two points, two rebounds, two assists and three turnovers in 20 minutes.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- Prior to Wednesday’s game, Marc Berman of The New York Post suggested that rookie Miles McBride may face a diminished role, given Walker’s strong recent play. However, that wasn’t the case against Detroit — in his first game back from the COVID-19 protocols, McBride logged 25 minutes in the team’s victory, leading the team in plus/minus at plus-39 while Walker struggled.
- Head coach Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose is recovering well from ankle surgery and that he’s confident in the Knicks’ guard play, Berman writes in another article for The New York Post.
- RJ Barrett is trying to regain his shooting stroke after a bout with COVID-19, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Barrett is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason, and how he finishes the rest of the season could have a major impact on the size of his contract, Bondy opines.
- It’s clear the Knicks need to give Obi Toppin a lot more minutes than he has received so far this season, even if those minutes eat into Julius Randle‘s playing time, Ian O’Connor of The New York Post contends. In Wednesday’s win over Detroit, Toppin was an incredible plus-36 in 22 minutes, while Randle was a minus-27 in 26 minutes.