DimeMag

Tom Thibodeau Says Kemba Walker Is Out Of The Knicks’ Rotation ‘As Of Right Now’

After starting his first 18 games of the season for the New York Knicks, Kemba Walker is out of the rotation “as of right now,” according to head coach Tom Thibodeau. Alec Burks will replace Walker as the team’s starting point guard, Thibodeau told reporters on Monday.

Thibodeau said he’s going to shrink the rotation and that “it would be tough to play three small guards together.”

New York is flush with ball-handling options in the backcourt beyond Walker, including Burks, Immanuel Quickley and Derrick Rose (who is injured currently). Not to mention, Evan Fournier has started all 20 games this year.

Hitting 41.3 percent of his threes, Walker remains a dynamite shooter, but knee issues have sapped a good bit of his explosiveness and ability to create inside the arc. He’s making just 44.7 percent of his two-pointers — his lowest mark since 2014-15 — and his 11.7 points per game are the lowest of his career. Even on a per 100 possessions basis, his 23.5 points ties his career-low. Similarly, his 21.1 percent usage rate is more than four points south of his previous career-low.

The Knicks will kick off the Burks-at-point-guard experiment on Tuesday night when they face the Brooklyn Nets inside Barclays Center. A win would move them to 12-9 and mark a second straight victory over a playoff contender after defeating the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

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