The New York Knicks need to do whatâ€™s best for the team, coming off a disappointing defeat against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. As they prepared to take on the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, a change in point guard might be necessary given how Kemba Walker has played recently.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau indicated that the starting unit played poorly against Milwaukee, leading to them being benched in the fourth quarter in favor of the second team.
â€œYeah, just they didnâ€™t play well,â€ Thibodeau said after benching the starters. â€œThatâ€™s it. Weâ€™ve gotta figure it out. And right now weâ€™re playing well on the road and weâ€™re not playing well at home, which is unusual. So weâ€™ve gotta get that straightened out.â€
While the starters were lackluster as a unit, Walker has struggled the past four games to get anything going. Against the Bucks, he scored a measly two points in 18 minutes, missing all three of his attempts from deep and connecting on just 1-of-7 field goals. While Walker still features a 42.9% three-point percentage, he hasnâ€™t recorded over 33% over the past four games, scoring single digits in all of them.
Walker has been a primary reason the Knicks have been fighting their way out of early deficits as a result of his poor defense and inefficient scoring. When the bad streak started against the Indiana Pacers, he scored just four points in 28 minutes, an unacceptable number for a player who is known as a lethal scorer averaging double-digit points in his extended past.
Thibodeau might look to make a move in the coming days, potentially against Charlotte at point guard. Starting Derrick Rose will give New York an advantage and hopefully an early lead, something they haven’t enjoyed recently.
Rose, on the other hand, is averaging 13.3 points over 23.2 minutes off the bench. His abilities in transition and floor general approach have made him a catalyst. He contributed 22 points against Milwaukee, helping the team climb back from a 24-point deficit.
At some point, the Knicks need to show Walker that his job isnâ€™t completely stable, lighting a fire underneath to help him return to form. The switch in point guard would only be temporary until he starts hitting shots again, but this equation for the Knicks simply isn’t unsustainable.