New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker posted a triple-double in a 101-87 Christmas win over the Atlanta Hawks and later admitted he dreamed about moments like this. "It was amazing," Walker said after finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in 40 minutes in New York's matinee win, becoming the seventh player to record a triple-double on Christmas in NBA history.
"Those are moments you dream about, you know? "It's kind of hard to put it into words, to be honest. It was special, just to be home, with that New York on my chest ... a New York City kid, born and raised. It felt amazing."
Walker was removed from the Knicks rotation a couple of weeks ago but returned to the lineup this week. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was glad with the way Walker performed against the Hawks. "The game tells you what to do," Thibodeau said.
"That's what I loved about the way he played. I didn't think he forced anything. They put size on him, they were aggressive with their pick-and-roll coverage against him, and he didn't fight it. "I thought his passing was terrific.
Sometimes it's going to be his shooting. Sometimes it's going to be his penetration and getting into the paint. Sometimes, if they're being aggressive with their traps, get rid of the ball quickly and then everyone keeps moving."
Walker came out with the aggressive mindsert
"I have," he said. "That's the exact mindset I've had. Just come out and be aggressive. I just have a tendency to kind of not want to step on toes and I think that's what I did early on.
I was here and I wasn't being as aggressive. But I think being out and seeing how the game has been going and flowing put me in a different mindset." Knicks big man Julius Randle was happy for Walker. "I think we're just feeding off each other," Randle said.
"I think we were deferring a little too much, or trying to figure out how to play with each other, and those things take time. We kind of got a second shot at it. "I'm happy for him. As a teammate, as a brother, I'm happy for him that he's able to come out and be who he is.
I'm sure when he signed to come here this is kind of what he envisioned, playing the type of basketball he's playing right now. So I think we just honestly feed off each other and the team will go as we go."