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Knicks knock Kemba Walker out of rotation: A hard pill to swallow, but the right move for New York

NS New York Knicks had an elephant in the room all season: Their warm-up was worse than the backup. ‘s starting lineup Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, the unit that recorded the third-most junk non-timed properties of any five-man unit in the league, received 15.9 points out of 100 possessions, according to Cleaning the Glass, which began playing in Monday.

Meanwhile, the crowd full of benches of Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, Obi Toppin and Taj Gibson, New York’s second massive roster, is taking down opponents by more than 30 points out of 100, per CTG.

The stench is coming from here before the start of Walker and Fournier’s reverse journey. As long as those two aren’t on the field, regardless of who else is playing, the Knicks are plus-15.6 out of 100. It could be narrowed even further to Walker. As long as he’s not playing, the Knicks’ roster is 14 out of 100.

So it seems like a simple answer on paper: Don’t play Walker, who is getting dangerously close to the “he’s over” part of his career. In real life, it’s not an easy decision to make. Walker was loved by everyone. It’s hard for a coach to use a fading star, but on Monday Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters he would indeed bite the bullet and knock Walker out of rotation. transfer.

That doesn’t mean Walker won’t start again (that job now belongs to Burks). That means he won’t playing anymore.

The “hard to play three little bodyguards together” part of this quote is immediately true and is a twist on the harsh reality of Walker’s decline. If Walker is still the star scorer/maker he used to be, or even anywhere close, you’ll find a way to operate at that caliber. But unfortunately he is no longer a good player, or indeed, even one at an alternative level.

The season numbers don’t look bad. He is shooting 41 percent at five 3-pointers in a game. But you have to watch him. He cannot protect his shadow. Once it was nearly impossible to stay ahead, he was no longer the sort of downhill threat that bogged down the New York half-court offense, which happened in the mass explosion, into a traffic jam in the parking lot, and they basically never got out of the break with Walker on the floor.

In his last 11 games, Walker is averaging under 10 points on 3-point shooting 27%. During that period, he failed to score in double digits eight times, and the Knicks were trailed by a total of 101 points in his minutes. Something must give. It’s a hard pill to swallow, again, because Walker is one of the real good guys in the league. But the game is no longer there for him, and here it is NBA. It doesn’t matter what you were. Or at least it shouldn’t. For now, this is the right move for the Knicks.

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