Kemba Walker of the Knicks dribbles the ball against the...

Kemba Walker of the Knicks dribbles the ball against the Hawks during ther Christmas Day game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Credit: Errol Anderson

DETROIT — Kemba Walker had taken the advice of the Knicks’ medical staff the last time the Knicks played back-to-back games, sitting out the second game in Atlanta. And after the Knicks won without him, he was benched for the next nine games.

So it might not be surprising that Walker was happy to take his place in the starting lineup Wednesday night on the second half of a back-to-back set after playing 33 minutes Tuesday in Minnesota. And even facing a depleted Detroit Pistons squad the Knicks were willing to put him out there.

"He’s a go," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said before Wednesday’s game. "Medical people met with him this morning. Feels good. We’ll go."

Walker, part of a listless starting unit Wednesday night, was just 1-for-5 with two points and two assists in 20 minutes against the Pistons.

Walker did not play back-to-back games at all last season with Boston, but he did play one set earlier this season for the Knicks. Given that history Thibodeau said that they would be cautious.

"As long as he’s feeling good," Thibodeau said. "He’s putting a lot of time into taking care of himself. So if he needs rest we’ll give him rest. But we knew he’d be situational in terms of the back to backs so that’s how we’re approaching it."

Waiting his turn

Obi Toppin played just 10:30 for the Knicks Tuesday, getting a quick hook after a turnover and a defensive assignment when he gave up a baseline drive and fouled Jaden McDaniel for a three-point play. But he was 3-for-3 from the floor and supplied the usual energy burst.

"Obi’s played really well for us," Thibodeau said. "He’s a big part of our second unit. It’s also what’s going on in the game, what the matchups are. And Obi is working back from COVID. Overall, I’m very pleased with Obi."