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Tom Thibodeau Is Replacing Kemba Walker With Alec Burks As The Knicks' Starting Point Guard: "It’s A Tough Decision To Make. But You Always Have To Do What You Think Is Best For The Team.”

Tom Thibodeau Is Replacing Kemba Walker With Alec Burks As The Knicks' Starting Point Guard: "It’s A Tough Decision To Make. But You Always Have To Do What You Think Is Best For The Team.”

Amid a complex 2021/22 NBA season for the New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau is making drastic changes to improve the team's level. The 11-9 Knicks aren't the same team they were last season as they struggle to find their momentum in a conference that got a lot stronger this year. 

Kemba Walker landed in New York after spending two seasons with the Boston Celtics and began showing his excitement to join the Knicks and play in his city. However, the first month of competition has been challenging for the player and the team, prompting Thibodeau to take him out of the rotation. 

Talking with reporters, the head coach explained that he still admires Kemba and has nothing but respect for him, but this is about making the best choice for the team. 

“It’s a tough decision to make. But you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” Thibodeau said, via The New York Post. “I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person, number one, and all that he’s accomplished in this league… But I do what I think is best for the team.”

He's trying to make changes that will benefit the squad and even though this can be awkward for the player, Thibs is just trying to get the best starting five to enter a good streak. 

“I just don’t like the way we’ve been trending, the inconsistency of our team and we’re gonna try to make a change,” Thibodeau said. “I want to get bigger…I want our defense to be more intact. So basically that was it I got to do something different.”

Walker started in 18 of the first 19 games of the season before he sat out against the Atlanta Hawks last Saturday. His numbers are very low for a player of his quality, as he's recording a career-low in both points and minutes per game. Kemba currently averages 11.7 points while playing 24.5 minutes per game so far this season. 

His numbers are not much different from Alec Burks, who is recording 10.5 points per game in 22.3 minutes. Those numbers will improve once he becomes the team's starting point guard. Forbes' Tommy Beer revealed the Knicks' numbers with and without Kemba on the court and the difference is huge. 

The first challenge of Burks will be tough, as the Knicks visit the Brooklyn Nets in a new edition of the battle of New York this Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Derrick Rose didn't play on Saturday, either, and is questionable for tomorrow's game. It's unclear if he'll take over Burks when he returns, which is something fans have been wishing for a while now. 

The Knicks were one of the biggest surprises last year and they want to emulate or improve their performances this campaign. Hard choices need to be made to take this team to the next level, and Thibodeau is ready to do so.