Monday's Knicks News: Ron Baker steps up when given minutes

Ron Baker, Knicks’ Third-String Point Guard, Provides Lift: It was with some degree of desperation that the Knicks turned to Ron Baker over the weekend when all looked bleak. Faced with double-digit deficits heading into the fourth quarters of games in Milwaukee and Indiana, Coach Jeff Hornacek plugged Baker, a third-string point guard, into the lineup and watched the Knicks suddenly come alive. Over a total of 24 minutes in those games, all in the fourth quarter, Baker had a point differential of plus-30 during his time on the court. -- The New York Times

Knicks realist Porzingis says there's so much room to grow: Kristaps Porzingis called it back then, when everybody else was drinking the Kool Aid: the Knicks were winning, but they weren’t doing it as a team. “We’re playing off our talent,” was how Porzingis described the Knicks at their peak, when they were four games over .500 and woke up in mid-December as third in the Eastern Conference. Now look at them. -- New York Daily News

Knicks are sick of their own excuses: Brandon Jennings says there can be no more excuses that the Knicks are still getting to know each other. It’s 37 games in — closing in on the halfway mark — and the Knicks are worse than mediocre at 17-20. In his usual candid way, Jennings reiterated Kristaps Porzingis’ remarks that the Knicks haven’t played well all season and ripped himself for being partly to blame. -- New York Post

Struggling Knicks have been relying on talent, not team basketball: The Knicks were riding high when they were four games over .500 a little less than a month ago, but not everyone believed they would continue to climb. Within the Knicks’ locker room, some players believed they were winning on talent but weren’t playing good team basketball. Since then, the Knicks, who will host New Orleans on Monday night, have been losing because they’re not playing good team basketball. They’ve dropped 10 of 13 games and are a disappointing 17-20. -- Newsday

Knicks struggles raising concern in locker room: In Bankers Life Fieldhouse there are all sorts of links to the throwback days depicted in the film "Hoosiers," fans — and often the team — adorned in Hickory High jerseys. And in the film there is a moment when the coach announces, “My team is on the floor,” letting everyone know no other help was on the way. -- The Record