Knicks benching Kemba Walker should be message to Evan Fournier

As a summer assignment, the Knicks were busy bringing the dog days of August to life. They threw a party on the Garden floor to celebrate the two newcomers who would change everything, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, free agents hired at a cost approaching $100 million.

They shared a stage and were given equal billing, but it was clear that Walker, the homecoming New Yorker, was the solo guest of honor. He fielded most of the questions from the reporters seated before him as Knicks president Leon Rose, GM Scott Perry and coach Tom Thibodeau looked on and smiled and nodded in agreement to his responses.

“I think we’re going to be really good,” Walker said with conviction. “My ability to get in the lane, hopefully I can draw multiple defenders and just get rid of the ball, trust in my teammates. I know this guy right here [Fournier] is going to light it up for sure. He’s going to shoot the crap out of the ball.”

It sounded like a plan, a good one. The Knicks needed to add offense for a playoff run after their first-round flameout against Atlanta and, if nothing else, the new point guard and shooting guard specialized in offense.

“Me and Evan, we are two very, very unselfish guys,” Walker added. “We’re just going to get the ball moving, find the right shot, play some defense, try to get some stops. … I think we’re going to jell super well.”

Thibodeau and everybody who cared about his team had to like what they heard. How cool would it be if the Knicks developed into a serious Eastern Conference contender with a beloved four-time All-Star and NCAA champ from the Bronx projects and a Harlem high school quarterbacking the way?

evan fournier, kemba walker, new york knicks, tom thibodeau

Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier sit on the Knicks bench during their loss to the Suns.

Jason Szenes

As it turned out, Thibodeau needed only 20 games to determine that dream scenario wasn’t plausible at all. He announced on the eve of Tuesday night’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn that Walker was no longer a first-stringer, and wouldn’t be a second-stringer, either. “We want to take a look at something different,” Thibodeau said.

Something different than Walker.

As much as the dramatic move threw light on what the 31-year-old point guard is, or isn’t, it also focused more attention on Fournier, who represents $78 million of that two-man investment. The Knicks are committed to him for four years, twice as long as they’re committed to Walker, and if they are to realize their goal of competing for a title in that time, Fournier has to be a better, more consistent player than he’s been.

Not that he didn’t have his moments entering this game with Brooklyn, the team that knocked out his Celtics in last season’s first round. Fournier opened the season by dropping 32 points on Boston in a wild double-overtime victory. In three of his previous five games, he’d scored 19 against Houston, 26 against the Lakers and 20 against the Hawks in what was a stirring road victory.

But in between the reminders of why the Knicks brought in Fournier in the first place, the 6-foot-7 Frenchman also showed why Knicks fans didn’t exactly throw themselves a parade over his signing. He has largely been a defensive liability, especially when measured against the man he replaced, Reggie Bullock, and his shooting hasn’t gone as advertised.

evan fournier, kemba walker, new york knicks, tom thibodeau

Knicks brass welcome Kemba Walker and Even Fournier to the team in August.

Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

After 15 games, Fournier conceded that fans had “seen my best and worst already.” After 20 games, he was shooting a career-worst 41.4 percent from the floor and he was averaging 13.1 points per game, a good four to six points lower than his best years in Orlando. Fournier was also averaging only 1.8 assists — his worst output since being dealt from Denver to the Magic in 2014 — and his player efficiency rating was 12.59, leaving him outside the top 200 players in the league.

That’s not good.

After he agreed to join the Knicks over the summer, Fournier said, “I enjoy pressure. I enjoy the spotlight. They had a good season and they had a really good spot open. I thought I could help. God, it’s freaking New York. You want to be part of something big, you want to have pressure, you want to be a guy that competes every night.”

Now Fournier has to walk that talk more often than he has. The Knicks signed him, Thibodeau said Tuesday night, because “the shooting is something that we desperately needed, and we wanted to add to our team just to open up the floor more.”

Fournier needs to shoot the ball more consistently, and he needs to play at a high enough level over the first three quarters to force his coach to actually play him in the fourth. Thibodeau just put everyone on notice by sending Walker to the bench, including the guy who shared that Garden stage with the point guard back in August, when optimism was a lot easier to come by.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Girlfriend is jailed for eight years for manslaughter

A killer girlfriend who was filmed breaking down in tears as she was arrested for stabbing her professional boxer boyfriend has been jailed for eight years for manslaughter. Kayley Mahood, ... Read more »

Apple made more money than ever, even with the supply chain crunch

© Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Apple has made a regular trend of announcing record-breaking quarterly earnings, especially in the company’s fiscal Q1, which includes the holiday shopping ... Read more »

Martin Lewis says people struggling with debt can slash interest down to 0%

Martin Lewis says people struggling with debt from personal loans , credit cards and overdrafts may be able to cut their interest payments to 0% – or very close. Speaking ... Read more »

BetMGM Bonus Code: Bet $1,000 on NBA action Risk-Free

Joel Embiid Getty Images New York Post readers can get a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000 to use on this week’s NBA action when they sign up to ... Read more »

‘Up In The Blue Seats' Podcast Episode 74: Henrik Lundqvist's Jersey Retirement feat. Mike Rupp

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images The time has finally come. Henrik Lundqvist’s jersey will go up into the rafters at Madison Square Garden on Friday. The legendary Rangers goaltender, who ... Read more »

Crowd in Toronto cheers on anti-vaccine trucker convoy

The Associated PressProtesters and supporters against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers cheer as a parade of trucks and vehicles pass through Kakabeka Falls outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, ... Read more »

Apple's holiday iPhone sales surge despite supply shortages

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Apple shook off supply shortages that have curtailed production of iPhones and other popular devices to deliver its most profitable holiday season yet. The results posted ... Read more »

HC puts stay on Panjab University syndicate polls

© Provided by Hindustan Times Syndicate members are elected from among the Panjab University senate. (HT Photo) The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday stayed the proposed elections of Panjab ... Read more »

Mohali: NIA grants bail to one of seven accused in extortion case

© Provided by Hindustan Times Special judge, NIA, Mohali, Karunesh Kumar allowed bail to one of the seven accused, Mohammad Asif Ali, 32, in an extortion case of Punjab businessmen, ... Read more »

SC panel chief Sampla & NCM head Lalpura in BJP's Punjab list

© Provided by The Times of India CHANDIGARH: BJP released its second list of 27 candidates for the Punjab polls on Thursday, picking the chairpersons of two national commissions and ... Read more »

California child molester sentenced to two years in juvenile facility

Hannah Tubbs was 17 at the time she was accused of molesting a 10-year-old. LAPD A 26-year old transgender woman who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl will ... Read more »

High tariffs: No coercive action against GVK Power for 2 weeks, SC tells Punjab govt

© Provided by The Financial Express While directing GVK to take an “effective remedy” available to it following the law, the CJI said that the state government should not take ... Read more »

As meme stocks fall, sports betting apps are angling for customers

Meme stock investors could move their funds to sports betting. Bloomberg via Getty Images As battered-down meme stocks fall out of fashion a year after the craze began, some gaming ... Read more »

Seven more lose battle to virus in Chandigarh tricity

Even as the tricity has been witnessing a decline in the number of Covid-19 cases, fatalities due to the virus continue to multiply. On Thursday, the tricity recorded seven more ... Read more »

'Skeleton Crew' Broadway Review: Phylicia Rashad Wears the Overalls in This Factory Family

“Skeleton Crew,” which opened Wednesday at the MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway, is a play that offers up two surprises. A gun that is introduced early in the ... Read more »

Men hunting for wild boar shoot farmer in chest in Mohali

© Provided by Hindustan Times The victim told the Mohali police that when one of the men took aim at a boar and opened fire, the bullet hit him instead. ... Read more »

Q3FY22 Earnings: Route Mobile, TCI, India Grid, Laurus Labs, BHEL announce December quarter results - details here!

© Provided by Zee Business Many listed companies today announced their Q3FY22 results on Thursday. Some of the companies which announced the December quarter results include Route Mobile Limited, Transport ... Read more »

Chandigarh: Hotel owner duped of r₹r9.9 lakh in KYC update fraud

© Provided by Hindustan Times The hotel owner said as he clicked on the KYC link, he received three OTPs and later realised that ₹9.99 lakh were withdrawn from his bank ... Read more »

Burkina Faso's junta leader promises security, order

© Provided by Associated Press Customers watch Lt. Col. Henri Sandaogo Damiba address the nation on national television in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Thursday Jan. 27, 2022. In his first address ... Read more »

Apple smashes earnings estimates with record sales

© Provided by Al Jazeera The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital tools for communication, learning and entertainment, powering Apple to blowout sales across each of the company’s ... Read more »

Joe Buck doesn't want ‘best friend' Troy Aikman to leave Fox

Joe Buck does not want to think about what the Fox NFL booth would be like without Troy Aikman. Buck appeared on the Sports Illustrated media podcast this week, and ... Read more »

Oprah's Favorite Home Cardio Machine Is Up to $450 Off Right Now

If I ‘m being honest, after nearly two years(!!) I’ve gotten a little tired of my at-home workout routine—and I have a sneaking suspicion that I ‘m not alone in ... Read more »

Headwaters denies SEIU's kitchen staffing allegations

Headwaters Health Care Centre and a union representing thousands of health care workers in the province are at odds after claims of a staffing shortage at the local hospital arose ... Read more »

Bayern Munich should sign Mavropanos if Sule leaves, says Matthaus

Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos should be on the list of defenders Bayern Munich target when Niklas Sule leaves the German giants, according to Lothar Matthaus. Bayern Munich chairman Oliver Kahn confirmed ... Read more »

Soccer-Villa sign defender Chambers from Arsenal

© Reuters/ADAM DAVY FILE PHOTO: Premier League – Chelsea v Arsenal (Reuters) – Aston Villa have signed versatile defender Calum Chambers from fellow Premier League side Arsenal on a 3-1/2 ... Read more »

Ex-player: Liverpool ‘need another £50m player' to support Salah and co

© PA Images Liverpool-duo-Salah-and-Mane Jose Enrique believes Liverpool “need another £50m player” to support Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. The Reds have been without Salah, Mane ... Read more »

New Elder Scrolls Online companions Ember and Isobel, explained

© Provided by GamePur Elder Scrolls Online is getting a new expansion called High Isle. It is a part of the year-long adventure Legacy of the Bretons and will include ... Read more »

Will Warzone 2 Be on Xbox One and PlayStation 4?

Will Warzone 2 be on Xbox One and PlayStation 4? Since Jan. 18’s ground-shaking announcement that Microsoft has a deal in place to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, the ... Read more »

Mathura wants mandir, but without violence

© Provided by The Times of India AGRA: With an almost 80% population of Hindus, the holy town of Mathura has become an often-repeated theme for BJP in the run-up ... Read more »

Angry locals thrash 2 ‘snatchers', torch bike in Ludhiana

© Provided by Hindustan Times A video grab purportedly showing the incident where angry locals torched a bike in Ludhiana following a snatching bid. (HT Photo) Enraged over repeated incidents ... Read more »

How to max friendship fast in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by GamePur The more time you spend with your Pokémon in any game, the more their friendship with you increases. In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you’ll be traveling all ... Read more »

All Poké Balls in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports Poké Ball crafting has been part of the Pokémon franchise since Gold and Silver, disappearing and reappearing over the years with Game Freak never fully ... Read more »

At 94, Badal will be oldest to contest polls in India

© Provided by The Times of India BATHINDA: Five-time Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, 94, whose candidature was announced by SAD president Aukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday, will be ... Read more »

Assam CM hails end of ‘era of tribal insurgency' as 246 cadres lay down arms

As 246 insurgents of two militant groups laid down their arms in Assam’s Guwahati on Thursday and returned to the mainstream, Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma hailed the end ... Read more »

Four more bodies found off Florida coast from capsized boat

The US coast guard said it would call off the search for survivors at sunset on Thursday if no new discoveries were made following a boat capsizing off the Florida ... Read more »

Pokimane calls for kid version of Twitch given rampant toxicity

Imane “Pokimane” Anys has a generally wholesome stream on Twitch, but she is aware of the more inappropriate that is spread content all throughout the streaming platform. Pokimane recently suggested ... Read more »

Championship clubs on alert ahead of potential Chelsea and Southampton transfer agreement

© Provided by Football League World Tino Anjorin Chelsea’s Tino Anjorin could leave for the Championship ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline. The 20-year-old is extremely highly-rated at Stamford Bridge, but ... Read more »

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End – Chapter 22 Treasure Location

© Provided by GamePur Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a thrilling ride and is about to end, but there is still one more treasure to find within its darkest ... Read more »

SMC steps up P3B program to revive Tullahan, Pasig Rivers

© The Manila Times Cleanup activities in Niugan, Malabon and in Pandacan, Manila will help reduce severe flooding in nearby areas and complement flood mitigation efforts in Metro Manila. CONTRIBUTED ... Read more »

Mo Salah makes it clear where AFCON win with Egypt would rank compared to Liverpool trophies

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is three wins away from Africa Cup of Nations glory with Egypt, and the forward has spoken openly about how a maiden international trophy would compare ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic