Apr 7, 2010, 12:16 PM EDT
In the future, everybody will be the savior of the Knicks franchise for 15 minutes.
Earl Baron, come on down, your 15 minutes have begun.
Mike D’Antoni tried his most radical lineup yet against the Boston Celtics Tuesday night — a traditional one. Baron, a 7-footer called up from the D-League started at center, allowing David Lee to move to his proper four spot. Not that D’Antoni had a ton of options, Al Harrington is out with a sore left ankle and they faced a Celtics team with as big a front line as there is in the League.
But it worked, Baron put up 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting and grabbed 18 boards. D’Antoni didn’t know anything about Baron when the Knicks gave him a contract, but he told the NY Post he likes what he sees.
“I didn’t expect anything at all,” D’Antoni said. “Two games in a row, he’s played real well, real smart, good shape. A lot of good things. The biggest thing he gives us [is] the athleticism inside that David doesn’t have to be the lone shot-blocker. He can’t be. We have someone alongside of him that could help him out.”
You know, defense. The Knicks held the Celtics to 47.7 percent eFG% (which is a shooting percentage that takes into account three pointers), which is five points below their season average. Baron was a key part of that, he was badass for a night.
One good game means about as much as one more Knicks win. Which is to say nothing. Baron is not the answer to all the Knicks problems. But he is going to get more minutes, more of a look, and the chance next season he is not a call up to the NBA.
He’s not the savior in New York, but he gets to play the role. At least until the next one comes along.