Kemba Walker & Evan Fournier Impress in New York Knicks Debut

kemba walker new york knicks preseason

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The two free agents signed by the New York Knicks in the offseason had their first chance to show off how they’d mesh with their new team.

Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will both slot right into the starting lineup, so there are rightfully going to be a lot of eyes on them as they look to make it back to the playoffs for a second year in a row.

The Knicks were looking to add offense to help take the load off first-time All-Star Julius Randle, and through one game, it looks like they were able to do just that.

There will be a big shift this season if this one game is anything to go by. It appears that Randle will have the ball in his hands less this season and the offense will run through Walker instead.

It’s too early to tell if this is the direction the team will be moving in, and if it will even be beneficial to the Knicks. That’s what the rest of the preseason is for, so keep an eye out for that.

In terms of raw production, it looks like Walker and Fournier will fit right in with the team and they both showed big flashes of talent in their preseason debut.


Walker Shines

In his debut, Walker showed off a lot of what made him a 4-time All-Star in the past. He’s proven that, when healthy, he can still be a potent threat on offense and with teh ball in his hands.

Take this step-back three in the second quarter as an example where he was able to lose his defender and effortlessly sink the shot. If he’s able to remain injury free and hit shots like that with consistency this season, he’ll have the Knicks looking very pretty. Walker even scored the inaugural points of the Knicks, even though they technically won’t count because it’s only the preseason.

After the game, Walker talked about his experience playing with the Knicks.

“It was special, to be honest,” he said. “Just to see that New York across my chest. Being from here, it’s like a dream come true, a dream come true.”

Walker finished with 12 points on 5-10 shooting in the win over the Indiana Pacers.


Fournier Impressed Too

The other big signing of the offseason, Evan Fournier, showed some moves in the preseason opener as well as he got off to a fast start.

He, like Walker, also chipped in 12 points and finished with an impressive +/- of 19. Fournier will look to slot in as a 3-pt threat primarily, but he’s shown he can get to the bucket and even draw a foul when doing so.

With so many playmakers in the starting lineup, it’ll open up the floor for everybody, something RJ Barrett wants to take advantage of this season. Just a few months ago, we were able to see the Atlanta Hawks go all-in on defending Julius Randle, and it left the Knicks without many other offensive options. That looks like something that won’t be a big issue this season.

Obviously, it’s important to not draw too many conclusions from just one preseason game, but it is encouraging to see, especially against a Pacers team that GMs predicted to finish higher than the Knicks this season.

READ NEXT: Coach Thibodeau Praises Knicks Bench After Preseason Win


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