Kemba Walker out of Knicks’ rotation

2021-11-29T21:17:09+00:00 2021-11-30T00:08:15+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

29/Nov/21 21:17

Eurohoops.net

Tom Thibodeau won’t be using Kemba Walker at all for now.

By Eurohoops team / info@eurohoops.net

Not only has Kemba Walker lost his position as starting point guard of the New York Knicks but is now completely removed from the team’s rotation.

“As of right now, yes,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau answered when he was asked whether Walker is out of the rotation during a presser Monday (29/11). It’s a radical change that will sideline the four-time NBA All-Star guard and keep him of of the coach’s plans until further notice.

Thibs elaborated on what he called a “tough” decision, saying that it’s for the benefit of the squad.

“It’s a tough decision to make. But you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” Thibodeau said. “I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person, No. 1, and all that he’s accomplished in this league. But I do what I think is best for the team.”

With Walker out of the Knicks’ backcourt equation, Thibodeau is promoting 30-year-old Alec Burks as the permanent starting point guard. Burks had his first start of the season vs. the Atlanta Hawks Saturday (27/11) and scored 23 points in a win while Walker sat out the game.

“I want to tighten the rotation. I liked the way the team functioned, so it will be similar to what we did in the Atlanta game,” Thibodeau mentioned.

Walker has been averaging career-lows 11.7 points and 3.6 assists in 24.5 minutes this season. There have been concerns regarding his inefficiency in defense.

According to stats by NBA.com, the Knicks have a 116.3 defensive rating with Walker on the floor (third-highest among Knicks players) while their defensive rating with the star guard at the bench is 99.0. That’s second only to Julius Randle (98.0).

The Knicks are currently 11-9 and seventh in the Eastern Conference standings.