Scouting Report: Ron Baker vs. Chasson Randle

Immediately, Ron Baker has an advantage: health.

A CT scan revealed Chasson Randle suffered a left orbital fracture colliding with a teammate in practice. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, though he won’t require surgery.

Hornacek said the injury won’t hurt his chances at making the roster.

Randle separated himself from the Knicks’ Orlando Summer League team (league second-best 18.3 PPG, 5.0 APG, 4.3 RPG, 3.0 SPG through 3 games), but he and Baker have been neck-and-neck in the preseason vying for a potential roster spot.


Randle did, though, earn a glowing endorsement from the Knicks’ All-Star forward.

“I love him. I just love his poise out there, the way he controls the game, controls the basketball,” Anthony said of Randle. “He can push the pace. He can slow it down. I think you guys would love him, too, the more that you see him play.”

On the other hand, the 6-foot-4 Baker is more of a shooting guard than a point. But he has played an intelligent brand of basketball, doing the little things to help the Knicks win. And if the best ability is availability, the check goes to the guy O’Quinn calls “Ron Burgundy.”


Hornacek’s reviews

What Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has said about each of his young guards.


Hornacek may not have slighted Baker, but his comments beam high praise for Randle:

ON RANDLE: “He has a good understanding how to play [the Triangle], where the shots are, but the bigger thing is he has great hands, gets low on defense. Offensively, he understands what’s going on, but defensively is where, as a point guard, it’s tough playing some of these guys, get over screens, does a great job getting his hands on balls, he recovers, got long arms. He may not be that tall, but he’s got long arms. He’s just a smooth player, doesn’t press, lets the game come to him.”

“I think Chasson’s done great. We’ve seen great things from him in what he can do. He’s got a great knack for the game… He’s just gonna keep plugging along. I’ve been impressed with what he’s done so far.”

ON BAKER: “He’s got the strength to play in the NBA. He gets knocked around but he also knocks guys around. He’s able to fight through screens. He’s pretty calm out there, it doesn’t look like anything rattles him. He’s just a solid guy. He’s got long arms, he’s got the strength, he knows how to play.”

“He’s does a lot of things in the offense that not many of our guys do. And they’re basically reads that are setting up other guys. So Ron, again, is one of these young players who has no fear when he gets out there.”


Numbers Never Lie

A quick glance at preseason advanced statistics


The stats don’t tell the whole story, a sentiment amplified by meaningless preseason games. But with only two games left until the Knicks opener, the numbers are trending toward Baker’s positive impact on the team over Randle’s impressive shooting percentages.

Randle’s true shooting percentage of 58.2 places him as the second-best Knicks guard behind Sasha Vujacic. But New York is averaging 110.1 points per 100 possessions with Baker on the floor versus just 95.7 with Randle on the floor, per NBA.com.

Baker’s 21.7 assists per 100 possessions more than doubles Randle’s 10.8, while Randle’s Player Impact Estimate of 5.4 is the second-worst on the team behind Courtney Lee (3.8).

Again, it’s just preseason, but the numbers are always good to have. And the numbers give a slight edge to Baker as a team player over Randle as a perimeter scorer.

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I cover the New York Knicks and the NBA for SB Nation, Vox Media. Previously: Elite Sports NY, About.com Sports, NBC Sports, Bleacher Report. Some people call me "chef." Twitter|Instagram|Snapchat: @Krisplashed