Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said earlier this week he didn’t want Kemba Walker to return to action until the point guard was confident he could play on a regular basis. Even though Walker returned on Tuesday and scored 19 points in 30 minutes against Minnesota, the veteran guard didn’t make any promises about his future availability, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post.
“We’ll see. We’ll see down the line,” Walker said. “It really just depends on how I feel.”
We have more on the Knicks:
- The team and star forward Julius Randle haven’t lived up to expectations and it’s unlikely that will change, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps writes. Randle hasn’t come close to reproducing the offensive efficiency he displayed last season, the defense has been subpar, and difference-maker Derrick Rose is out with an injury. As one Eastern Conference executive told Bontemps, “Everything fell into place for them last year, and they haven’t been able to repeat it.”
- Obi Toppin has seen his playing time plummet in recent games, Botte notes. Toppin, the team’s 2020 lottery pick, has averaged just 11.3 MPG over the past eight contests. He’s averaging 7.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 15.8 MPG during his second season.
- Quentin Grimes has earned more playing time even with several veterans returning to action recently, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. Grimes doesn’t put up big stats but Thibodeau has played Grimes a minimum of 17 minutes in all but one game this month. “Grimes has been playing great basketball,” Thibodeau said of the first-round rookie guard. “But it’s just step by step. You earn your minutes here. What you do in practice. You have to wait for your opportunity and when your opportunity comes, be ready to go.”
- Newly-acquired Cam Reddish is close to making his Knicks debut, Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets. Thibodeau said Reddish will be ready to return from an ankle sprain “any day now.”