As they looked to avoid their sixth straight loss against Milwaukee, the Knicks looked to an unlikely source to be the hero.Sometimes when you are desperate for a win like the New York Knicks are, you go deep into your bench to find an unlikely hero to give a spark.
That’s exactly what the New York Knicks did when they put in Ron Baker into the game on Friday Night. Derrick Rose was having an off night and Brandon Jennings has been ineffective the past few games.
With the Knicks trailing by 13 to start the fourth quarter Jeff Hornacek made the move to put Baker in. He immediately made his presence known on the defensive end.
Baker put an end to the dribble penetration that the rest of the Knicks guards struggled to stop. He did it by playing good physical defense.
That kind of defense can irritate the opponent, which was seen when he was covering Jason Terry. Baker physical play frustrated Terry so he threw an elbow hitting Baker in the throat.
Terry received a flagrant one foul, which Baker hit both free throws and the Knicks received the ball. During his 12 minutes of play, Baker added six points with two rebounds and four assists.
Those number may not seem outstanding, but his impact value on this game is something that won’t show up on the stat sheet. Baker may not be the most talented guy on the floor, but he makes up for that by how hard he plays.
No question that this game turned around when he touched the floor. Baker’s high energy was contagious as the rest of the Knicks began to play with a sense of urgency.
After the Knicks took the lead on the big three-point shot by Carmelo Anthony with 51 seconds left. Baker made two big plays to help secure the victory.
The first came after Lance Thomas stripped the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Thomas flipped the ball to Baker who passed it ahead to Courtney Lee for the dunk, which pushed the lead to three.
The second key play was the defensive rebound he got after Mirza Teletovic missed the game-tying three attempt. He topped off his strong outing by knocking down the final two free throws to ice the game.
Baker is a fan favorite and with this strong performance, the fans will love him even more. The New York Knicks got a huge spark from this unlikely hero to help them snap their seven-game losing streak.