CHICAGO — It was a good sign Sunday night, Kemba Walker wanted to play his first back-to-back set since the 2019-20 season.
It’s a bad sign Walker posted another single-digit outing — seven points, four assists on 3-for-9 shooting in 17:58. Walker watched the fourth quarter as the Knicks disintegrated in a 109-103 loss to the Bulls at United Center.
After playing against the Rockets on Saturday, Walker decided to give it a go again versus the Bulls on Sunday. He made the decision Saturday night.
“I just wanted to play,’’ Walker said. “I knew I was playing. I’m feeling good. I’m doing everything I can to take care of myself. Training staff, give those guys credit. I’m putting in the work.’’
Walker wouldn’t guarantee he’ll play all back-to-backs, but said he will do some.
“I felt regular,’’ Walker added. “It was cool. I’m taking it game by game. I’m not playing all 82 games. It doesn’t matter if it’s back-to-back. I’m taking it game by game. It just depends.’’
It’s the first time since early in the 2019-20 season Walker played both ends of a back-to-back set. Last season the Celtics wouldn’t let Walker play back-to-back and he stopped playing many of them midway through the 2019-20 campaign.
Earlier this month, Walker sat out one leg of the back-to-back set against Cleveland and Philadelphia.
“Nothing is set in stone for back-to-backs,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. “It’s just communication with medical people. Kemba has a lot of say in it. I trust him. He feels comfortable. And he’s done a great job taking care of his body.’’
With Rose’s effectiveness, Walker hasn’t been able to adjust to less minutes and now has posted eight single-digit outings in his past 11 games. That’s only notable because he had a streak of 40 double-digit games broken earlier this month.