The Knicks couldn’t ask for more from Kimba Walker Derek Rose Tandem

Scoring 26.8 points per game. Seven assists. Nearly six rebounds and more than two steals. Only three transformations.

Few teams can boast of this type of production from a point guard position. It just so happens that the Knicks didn’t ask one person to play the bulk of the minutes.

Together, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose give them great numbers.

“D-Rose is a guy I actually played against in high school in the park, so having us on the same team now is pretty psychedelic,” Walker said.

The Knicks, initially 3-1, had no complaints so far from the 30 guards with seven All-Star picks between them.

Upon entering the training camp, it was thought that there would be a fight at the guard post between Walker and Rose. But Rose immediately ended any rivalry between the two, saying Walker was the start. It made sense, given how well Rose played with Unit Two last season. However, he did not solve the most important question: who will finish?

Derek Rose No. 4 and Kimba Walker No. 8 of the New York Knicks in the top five
Derek Rose and Kimba Walker play the Knicks premium point guards.
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In the opening game for a double win against Boston, Walker closed the regulations and first overtime, but Rose went into the second overtime clip and helped the Knicks win. The second game was a huge victory, but in the third game against the Magic, Rose finished as one of the few Knicks who were playing well. Walker, after his offensive blast in the second quarter from 39 to 16, was the guard at the end of Tuesday’s win over the Sixers.

“There will be games where I score like this, maybe more. There will be games where I don’t do it,” Walker said. “There will be games where Derek plays great, and he’s staying in the game. It’s just what he is. … There will be games where I won’t go back on the field just because the guys are playing great. And I don’t have a problem with that, especially D-Rose, who’s smaller player in its history.

Having two capable point guards should help both, considering that Rose (33) and Walker (31) are both North 30 and have suffered injuries for extended periods of their careers. The hope is that it will allow coach Tom Tebodeau not to play in a single key minute and keep her fresh throughout the season. To date, Walker’s average lifespan is 26.3 minutes, which is just over 23.5 minutes in Rose.

They have both been productive, although Rose has been more consistent. All of them shoot better than 50 percent from a 3-point range. Walker scores 12.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds and Rose has 14.3 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.9 rebounds. It helps that the two are best friends – Walker said he’s always been a big fan of Rose – as they got back to face each other as high school stars at Garden 14 years ago.

“He’s playing very well, and I want him to keep playing well,” Walker said. “We’re just going to feed each other, you know?”

Obviously, Walker would rather be on the ground and shut down every game. But the Knicks’ new point guard understands the situation, too.

Thibodeau will go with the hot hand. If this were Walker, he’d end up, as he did in Tuesday’s win over the 76ers. But if Rose has a better performance, as he did in Sunday’s loss to the Magic, Walker may find himself on the bench.

“I am a team player, man. I am a team player,” said Walker, a Bronx native. “If the coach makes that decision, I have to live with it. What can I say? As long as he’s firm in his decision, I wouldn’t care too much. He’s trying to win.”

It’s normal for Walker to take time to find his groove. He’s playing for a new team in a new city (even if he’s at home) with his new teammates. Adjustments must be made. Tuesday night, however, showed his potential.

“I wouldn’t say it’s uplifting,” he said, “but it definitely feels good.”


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