Knicks’ Kemba Walker could not play back-to-backs when he returns


Kemba Walker nonetheless hasn’t performed in 2022.

Despite coach Tom Thibodeau speaking for days about how shut he’s, Walker missed his seventh straight sport Wednesday. Walker was shut down on New Year’s Eve after a back-to-back set in Minnesota and Detroit.

Thibodeau didn’t rule out the likelihood that even upon the Bronx native’s return, he gained’t play back-to-backs once more this season.

“He’s shut,’’ Thibodeau stated earlier than the Knicks rolled previous the Mavericks 108-85. “We’ll see the place it’s [Thursday]. He’s not fairly there. I feel the soreness is fairly good. It’s simply ramping every little thing up once more. He’ll know. We’ll see the way it goes [Thursday] after we get him in and get some work in, see the way it responds. It’s actually the way it responds the subsequent day after he hundreds it up.’’

Walker’s return, satirically, may be for his or her subsequent contest, Saturday in Atlanta, the place his season hit its first pace bump.

On that late November evening, Walker elected to take a seat out the second leg of a back-to-back, and Thibodeau began Alec Burks at level guard.

Kemba WalkerKemba WalkerNBAE through Getty Images

It labored effectively in a straightforward Knicks win. Speculation is Thibodeau was sad Walker didn’t play, understanding Derrick Rose was additionally lacking, that it moved the coach to make his large starting-lineup change. Walker was then exiled for 9 straight video games.

In desperation due to COVID-19 infections and the lack of Rose to ankle surgical procedure, Walker was relaunched in Boston. But after six video games of heavy minutes — and electrical play — he was shelved as a result of soreness.

Now the brand new technique may be one the Celtics used final season: no back-to-back units.

Thibodeau stated he’s heard no concrete orders from the medical workers, however the writing is on the wall after the Minnesota-Detroit back-to-back fiasco wherein Walker logged 52 minutes.

“Whatever he can deal with when he comes again,’’ Thibodeau stated. “That’s your first order of enterprise, you all the time see what they advocate and also you’re going to comply with their pointers. We wished to ensure it utterly calmed down and cargo him up once more.

“I feel they’ll method it the identical approach. They’ll speak to him and see the place he’s. If he can go, he’ll go. If he can’t go, if it’s smarter to present him that sport off, give him that sport off. Right now we’ve acquired guys again so we’ve acquired good depth.’’

After the Knicks’ beginning unit had its finest sport of the season Wednesday, it’s honest to invest if Thibodeau would ease Walker again off the bench and maintain Alec Burks as place to begin guard. 

Julius Randle, who had 17 factors and 12 rebounds, wished nothing to do with speaking concerning the followers turning on him, however he was effusive concerning the current standout play of heart Mitchell Robinson, who is popping right into a deadly pressure on the offensive glass and as a rim protector.

“[He’s] more confident,’’ Randle said before Robinson had 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against the Mavericks. “Getting in better shape. Obviously being out for such a long time it takes a while. And just being aggressive. As he’s getting in better shape he’s able to make reads out on the court he’s able to think the game better.”

Nerlens Noel made his return from COVID-19 after needing a number of days of conditioning. The former Maverick performed in simply his 18th sport this season, logging 21 minutes and registering 4 factors, six rebounds and two blocks.

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