Kemba Walker Returning, Will Start

Knicks point guard Kemba Walker will return tonight against the Timberwolves after missing the team’s previous nine games due to a sore left knee, the Knicks’ PR team has announced (Twitter link).

Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets that Walker will start at the point for New York. He’ll displace combo guard Alec Burks in the starting lineup and probably siphon off some minutes from fellow guards Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. Key reserve point guard Derrick Rose is out for an extended period of time as he recovers from an ankle surgery.

Walker, a Bronx native, has had an up-and-down first year with his hometown club. After opening the season as the team’s starting point guard, his defensive deficiencies led to his benching. COVID-19 issues compelled head coach Tom Thibodeau to re-insert Walker into the starting lineup, and he promptly enjoyed some of his best games of the season.

In his 24 games with the Knicks, all starts, Walker is averaging 13.6 PPG, 3.6 APG, 3.5 RPG and 0.8 SPG this season. The four-time All-Star, 31, will be counted upon to help stabilize the team’s point guard position. At 22-22, the Knicks currently occupy the No. 11 seed in a hyper-competitive Eastern Conference this season.

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