Like the Knicks, Kemba Walker will keep us guessing from night to night

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Optimism and satisfaction are hard to find after back-to-back losses, but the Knicks are 5-3, entering Friday night’s game in Milwaukee. That is good for a .625 win percentage. That is better than all but one of the past 20 Knicks seasons have finished. Even if the foundation for success has, at least briefly, flipped from relentless defense to incredible offensive efficiency, the beginning of this season has largely been a promising continuation of last season’s surprise success.

The Tom Thibodeau era has only lasted 85 games, but we’ve spent enough time with this core to know what to roughly expect from each player, when given adequate minutes (see: Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley). Julius Randle is running the show. RJ Barrett is evolving into an increasingly reliable wingman. Evan Fournier spaces the floor. Derrick Rose provides pop off the bench.

The Knicks can beat the 76ers (6-2) and Bulls (6-2). They can also lose to the Magic (2-7) and Pacers (3-6). The Knicks have looked elite. They have looked unworthy of a playoff spot. It is difficult to know what this team will become, partly because it’s still difficult to gauge what the team’s most eye-catching acquisition (Kemba Walker) will look like this season.

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