Is Kemba Walker's replacement Alec Burks the key to turning around the Knicks season?


It has been a rocky few weeks for the New York Knicks, with head coach Tom Thibodeau shaking up the beginning rotation after a string of poor performances.

NBA League Go: Signal as much as unlock reside out-of-market video games (7-day free trial)

Forward of their thrilling 112-110 street loss in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets, Thibodeau revealed that he is not solely eradicating Kemba Walker from the beginning lineup, however the rotation altogether “as of proper now.” The speedy outcomes have paid dividends. 

Walker has appeared in 18 video games this season however has been a shadow of himself. In 24.5 minutes an evening, he is averaging career-lows of 11.7 factors, 3.1 assists and a pair of.6 rebounds per contest on .429/.413/.800 capturing splits.

To place it merely, the Knicks beginning group of Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson simply hasn’t labored by way of the early a part of the season. In keeping with, the group has logged a league-leading 287 minutes collectively, however because it stands, they’ve posted an offensive ranking of 103.3 and a defensive ranking of 118.9, leading to them being outscored by 15.6 factors per 100 possessions.

The beginning group has registered the Twenty seventh-ranked offence and the worst defence within the league by a good distance.

Whereas Evan Fournier has stored his place among the many starters, Alec Burks began his second sport in a row rather than Walker on Tuesday, with the four-time All-Star behind Derrick Rose (34 minutes) and Emmanuel Quickley (37 minutes), who each performed large minutes behind and alongside Burks.

Fournier is averaging 16.5 factors within the two video games since Walker went to the bench and got here up clutch for the Knicks, burying a 3-pointer with 17.7 seconds to go to tie issues up at 110-110. A pair of free throws from James Johnson iced the win for the Nets, earlier than Fournier’s heave on the buzzer for the win rattled out.

Burks received the beginning within the Knicks’ 99-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday evening, registering 23 factors, seven rebounds and three assists, then adopted it up with one other sturdy outing in Brooklyn.

He led the staff in scoring with 25 factors, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals in 39 minutes, pushing the Nets all the way in which to the ultimate buzzer.

Previous to the Hawks sport, the Knicks have been 5-8 in November. They now sit at 11-10 on the season, good for seventh within the Jap Convention.

Burks, Rose and Quickley impressed down the stretch in opposition to the Nets in a three-guard lineup and carried their offence, combining for 13 of the staff’s 26 fourth-quarter factors.

Rose completed with 16 factors, a game-high 9 assists and 5 rebounds, whereas Quickley added 12 factors, seven boards and two assists.

(NBA Getty Pictures)

Burks gives an fascinating play for the Knicks along with his environment friendly capturing and ground spacing capacity, serving to create room within the paint to maximize the remainder of the staff, most notably All-Star ahead Julius Randle. 

Within the month of November, Burks is capturing 47 % from the 3-point line and 43.9 % from the sector, posting double-digit factors in six of his final seven video games. 

Walker’s playmaking is an enormous miss for the Knicks, however with out him within the lineup, Rose and Randle have assumed extra playmaking duties. Tonight Randle was excellent, facilitating the offence from the elbow, discovering cutters and kicking it out to the 3-point line. 

He completed with eight assists, in addition to some big-time buckets down the stretch.


It is unclear what the plan is for Walker at this stage, along with his title showing in commerce rumours over the current days, but when Burks, Rose and Quickley proceed to fireside for the Knicks, Thibodeau will definitely have one thing to consider.

The views on this web page don’t essentially characterize the views of the NBA or its golf equipment.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here