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Knicks confirm Kemba Walker-Derrick Rose point guard plan

The point guard battle was over before it started when Derrick Rose all but ceded the starting job to Kemba Walker on media day.

Tom Thibodeau confirmed the plan on Wednesday, citing Rose’s value and experience playing coming off the bench last year.

“The one thing I feel very strongly about is our second unit played very well together last year,” the Knicks’ coach said following the second practice of training camp. “Want them to stay intact.”

Thibodeau did say it is not set in stone that Walker, a four-time All-Star from The Bronx, will start throughout the season. He also pointed out that it’s more important who finishes games.

Rose averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists in 35 games last year for the Knicks, and became a pivotal part of the team after coming over in a February trade from the Pistons. He frequently closed out games and could do so again.

“So the guys that give us the best chance to win are going to finish,” Thibodeau said.

Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes singled out two experienced Knicks who have helped him and the other rookies so far.

“The two guys have really been Kemba and D-Rose,” Grimes said. “They both helped me for sure just going in drills telling me what to expect, competing every day in training camp, how it’s going to be during the season, just little things to do recovery-wise.

“Just having two big-time veterans like that, it’s going to be really good for my development for sure.”

Thibodeau isn’t concerned with the nature of the beefed-up Eastern Conference and what that could mean for the Knicks. Several teams in the league have improved, which experts believe may lower his team’s ceiling. But entering his second year, Thibodeau isn’t thinking about anyone else but his team.

“I think you go into every season and we feel if we’re doing the right things, the results will take care of themselves,” he said. “So understand what goes into winning, do everything you can to help the team win and if we get the whole group doing that, we like our chances.”

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