I was a little facetious about it in last night's "recap", but Bill Walker actually looked really nice last night. Amid last night's parade of follies (incidentally, it's 2010. If you still aren't taking the Knicks' incompetence and humiliation in stride, I'm impressed that you lasted this long.), Walker really shone. Bill put up a career-high (by a longshot) 21 points on 9-14 shooting in 35 minutes. He showed a striking blend of strength and craftiness when attacking the rim, as well as remarkable accuracy (if not impeccable form) on mid- and long-range jumpers. It was hard to gauge Walker's D in the context of an extraordinarily feeble team defensive effort, but he more or less avoided humiliation, even when matched up with LeBron James. He's built like a tank, can jump through the roof, and is surprisingly polished. To summarize, he is a shiny, flying tank. The indispensable Big C posted some video, in case you managed to avoid last night's game.
If you got to watch Walker in high school or caught a glimpse of him while salivating over Mike Beasley at Kansas State, you probably knew all of this. The popular wisdom is that Walker was a lottery-type talent if he didn't have knee problems and piss on towels.
Why does any of this matter? Well, you might have heard that the Knicks plan to make it rain on some of the league's brightest stars this summer. As a result, there might not be much cash left to fill in the cracks with rotational players. That being the case, Walker's sub-million dollar option for each of the next two years could be enticing. In his short Knick career, Mr. Bill has looked to be a most promising rotation player, and if the trend holds up, he'd be something of a steal at that value. In today's opus on the Knicks' salary cap situation (which is well worth a read, especially if you intend to grace us with your insight into the Knicks' free agent plans), Larry Coon notes that Donnie Walsh must make a decision on Walker by July 7. It'll be interesting to see how Walsh plays that, particularly considering that New York certainly won't have any of the big names locked up by that date.
Either way, Walker's a guy to keep an eye on for the rest of this season. Sit back, watch the shiny flying tank go to work, and forget your worries. You'll be much happier that way.