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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Knicks Release Chris Smith, Sign Jeremy Tyler

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

thatsenuff.com
In a move that should have never had to been made the New York Knicks recently released guard Chris Smith. Smith’s contract was guaranteed at $490,814 so the Knicks will not be saving any money in the transaction, just opening up a roster spot. Smith’s inclusion on the Knicks roster was not met positively by very many people. Many people believe Smith was added to the roster as a favor to JR Smith, the older brother to Chris.

Fans were not the only ones unhappy with Smith being on the Knicks roster as even an NBA player took notice and made his feelings known on twitter. Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings questioned Smith’s credentials compared to other players he felt were more deserving. The tweet drew the ire of JR, who was fined $25,000 for what many felt were threatening tweets at Jennings.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Knicks Fall in Deep Hole, Drop Home-and-Home to Raptors

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

Post Game Recap

The Knicks once again dug themselves a deep hole they were unable to climb out of, losing in Toronto to the Raptors ___. The Knicks were down by more than 20 points in the second half but were able to cut it to six in the later stages of the fourth quarter. They were unable to get all the way back after a flagrant-1 was called on Tour’e Murry. Kyle Lowry knocked down both free throws and then hit a three-pointer to put the game away for the Raptors. It was too little too late for the Knicks as it once again took them getting down by a large margin before they were able to get up and compete. With the loss the Knicks drop the home-and-home with the Raptors and fall five games behind in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks will have a long time off to stew on this loss as the Knicks do not play until Thursday night in San Antonio against the Spurs as the Knicks embark on the Texas Threesome road trip.

Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire

Without Carmelo Anthony playing the Knicks needed someone to step up offensively and Stoudemire answered the bell. Stoudemire gave the Knicks some good minutes off the bench, getting 30 of them on the second half of the back-to-back. STAT shot 9-12 from the field (5-6 FT) for 23 points. Stoudemire battled in the paint as well, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots. With consistent minutes Stoudemire has looked good because he is back in rhythm. When he sits certain games it throws him out of sync. At this point with the Knicks shorthanded they might as well run Stoudemire out there as much as he can says he can handle and hope he continues giving efforts like he did tonight.

-Positives

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

Pre-Game News and Notes

Steve Mitchell/AP Photo
The Knicks will look to salvage the home-and-home with the Toronto Raptors tonight after losing 95-83 Friday night. This game is of the utmost importance for the Knicks as they need to start mounting some division wins if they plan to take advantage of what is the worst division in sports. Here are some things to keep an eye on in the game tonight.

-Injury News and Updates

The Knicks will have to find a way to score once again without Carmelo Anthony. Anthony will miss his third straight game, as he did not even make the trip to Toronto with the team. Anthony’s ankle injury has proved too much for him to take the court for the better part of the last week. Anthony will be sorely missed as they have been outscored by an average of 20.5 points per game without their leading scorer.

Anthony is not the only player who is dealing with injuries as Iman Shumpert is battling a thigh injury. He fought through it last night but he is questionable tonight as he did not perform well Friday. Amar’e Stoudemire also is struggling with some swelling in his right wrist the past two games but is supposed to be ready to go Saturday.

For the Raptors we will see if former Knicks Steve Novak and Landry Fields will take the court against them tonight. Neither player received any minutes Friday night, and have not for the last seven games; since the trade with the Sacramento Kings that sent out Rudy Gay the Raptors have been using their new, higher ceiling players in Patrick Patterson, Greivis Vasquez and John Salmons.

-Bargnani Returns to Toronto

Knicks Fall to Raptors as Offense Falters in 4th

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 27th, 2013-12-28

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks have no one to blame but themselves after losing to the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors tonight at Madison Square Garden 95-83. The Knicks let a 12-point third quarter lead slip through their hands as the offense crumbled without Carmelo Anthony leading the way. James Dolan told the players and coaching staff that no moves were going to be made; a move that should have calmed some people with trade rumors swirling; all it did was make them as complacent as ever on the court. Mike Woodson said yesterday he still expects this team to repeat as Atlantic Division champs and did nothing to back him up. The struggles the Knicks went through in the fourth quarter is where they can point for the poor ending. With or without Anthony this was a game there for the taking and the Knicks could not take advantage, something that has become commonplace this season. The Knicks will look to bounce back tomorrow night against this same Raptors team in Toronto. They will have to do it without Anthony again, who is not making the trip to Toronto with the team.

Player of the Game – Beno Udrih

Frank Franklin II/AP Photo
With the Knicks so short-handed in the backcourt Udrih was forced to play big minutes and he responded in a positive way again. Udrih was not happy that Woodson picked him out for poor performance. After calling out Woodson for his comments made after the Christmas Day debacle against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Udrih came out and played a good game tonight. Udrih was a scoring threat, stepping up without leading scorer Anthony on the court by pouring in 15 points. He also added 10 assists, giving him his first double-double as a Knick and highest assist total of the season. He was also aggressive and a pest on the defensive end, tallying four steals. Udrih has run this team to the best of his ability and the lack of offensive fire power cannot and should not be placed on his shoulders.

-Positives

The Knicks, for all their short comings on the offensive end, were able to get it going from beyond the three-point line. The Knicks knocked down 10-19 from long range, good for 52.6 percent. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for the Knicks, knocking down 4-5 and ending the game with 15 points. JR Smith added 3 of his own and Andrea Bargnani added two as well.

Speaking of Bargnani, he looked engaged and aggressive early on, seeming to be motivated by playing against his old team. He finished with 18 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. He also added two blocks to his stat line for the night. Bargnani did not play as well as he could have though given the opportunity he had with Anthony sidelined.

For at least one half the Knicks were able to keep the Raptors under control on the offensive end. The Knicks held the Raptors to only 40 points in the first half as they went into halftime with a nine point lead.

For what seems like the first time all season the Knicks were able to hold opposing point guards to less than outstanding games. Trade target Kyle Lowry did not score much, totaling only 10 points for the game but he did hand out 11 assists. His backup fared even worse, shooting 1-7 and scoring only four points while compiling four assists.

-Negatives

Tyson Chandler, in his fourth game back from injury, was dominated by Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has been having a coming out party since Rudy Gay was traded to the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks did nothing to stop it. Valanciunas finished the game with 16 points and a career high 18 rebounds as he dominated the paint throughout the night. Valanciunas very active front court mates, Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough, gave the Knicks some problems as well as the two combined for 12 rebounds and the constant movement and activity the Knicks do not get night in and night out from their bigs.

The perimeter defense for the Knicks was improved but once again not well enough. While the point guards did not fare as well, the other wing players did just fine. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a game-high 25 points on 7-13 shooting. He was a frequent visitor to the foul line, taking 14 free throws and making nine. Terrence Ross made the Knicks pay from the perimeter as well, knocking down 3-6 from deep and finishing with 11 points. Reserve wing John Salmons hit the go ahead three-pointer with 8:07 remaining to give the Raptors the lead for good. Salmons finished the night 3-7 from three point land and 11 points as well.

Whatever Iman Shumpert is doing he needs to change because it is not working for him. The starting shooting guard is in a rut like no other as he played only 12 minutes tonight because of a combination of foul trouble and unproductive minutes. Shumpert virtually goose-egged the box score, grabbing only one rebound and getting one steal. Shumpert will continue losing minutes to Hardaway Jr. (possibly not a bad thing) and Smith (probably not a good thing) if he continues to play so poorly. It is disappointing that Shumpert is not taking advantage of all of the chances presented to him as the Knicks could really use a boost from the third year shooting guard. Being the player brought up most frequently in trade rumors, being told he would not be traded was thought of as something to calm Shumpert down. Instead he looks as if he has checked out and is ready to move on from the Knicks.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Knicks Fall To Grizzlies Courtesy of Another Slow Start

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Memphis Grizzlies vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

The poor play in weekend matinees continued for the Knicks Saturday as they fell to the Grizzlies 93-87. The Grizzlies, battling injuries and entered on a five-game losing streak, controlled the game from the start and thoroughly embarrassed the Knicks on their home court. Head coach Mike Woodson held the team to a curfew last night in a hotel room and the Knicks still came out with no effort. Too often during the game the Knicks looked listless and without any passion, not resembling a team that cares very much. It was too little too late for the Knicks as they didn’t get up until they fell down, trailing by as many as 19 points before putting together a late run. It was an embarrassing performance for a Knicks team that cannot afford any more letdowns with how poorly they started the season.

Player of the Game: JR Smith

Smith put together his best game of the season thus far. He scored 16 points on his best shooting performance of the year, going 6-12 overall (2-3 3pt, 2-2 FT). Smith was also asked to run the point guard position for the Knicks as Woodson decided against using a traditional point guard and Smith responded with delivering a team high seven assists. He also added four rebounds and an impressive four steals; he only turned the ball over twice as well. The Knicks desperately need Smith to start looking more like the reigning Sixth Man of the Year if they are to turn things around this season and today he looked more like it.

-Positives

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Knicks Pull Out Double OT Victory Over Bucks

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks made it difficult on themselves but they were able to come away from Milwaukee with a 107-101 double overtime victory over the Bucks. It was a hard fought, tough game as both teams did not put on the nicest of performances for fans to watch. Tyson Chandler made is anticipated return to the court tonight and was a big reason the Knicks were able to come away with a victory. It was a struggle but the Knicks were able to get timely baskets when they needed them and important stops when it came down to it. A lot of players played big minutes but the Knicks will get some much needed days of rest with their next game not being until noon Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Player of the Game: Tyson Chandler

Morry Gash/AP Photo
In his return to the lineup since being injured November 5th Chandler showed the impact he can have on the game. Chandler was forced into a lot more minutes than head coach Mike Woodson had hoped with the game going into overtime and not having Amar’e Stoudemire or Kenyon Martin, but he gutted it out for the team because he knew they needed him out there. Chandler’s presence on the court was noticeable right from the start as he controlled the middle as well as anyone could have expected with him not playing for six weeks. On the night Chandler finished with nine points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks. Chandler had a big impact in the overtime periods getting multiple blocks and intimidating the Bucks into tougher shots. Chandler looked to be suffering from cramps late in the overtime periods but was able to give the Knicks everything he could. His return to the lineup will give the Knicks a must needed boost.

-Positives

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Poor Execution Dooms Knicks Down Stretch Against Wizards

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

Another night, another way the Knicks lose a basketball game with the final score being 102-101. The Knicks heard boos in the third quarter falling down 15 but were able to get back on track and actually take the lead in the third quarter, reeling off a 22-5 run. But they met their demise in the fourth quarter in the form of second-year guard Bradley Beal, who was making his return from a nine-game absence. Beal killed the Knicks in the fourth quarter and was also responsible for the game-winning basket with 6.9 seconds left as he blew by Beno Udrih to the basket. Confused looking as ever the Knicks did not use a timeout as Carmelo Anthony took his time up the court and took an awful shot at the buzzer that fell short. It resulted in another tough loss as the Knicks record falls to 7-17 with their next game being Wednesday in Milwaukee to face the Bucks.

Player of the Game: Beno Udrih

Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY Sports
Udrih is getting the player of the game not because of stats that will blow you away but because of how he stepped up for the team tonight. With 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter Pablo Prigioni injured himself and was unable to return to the game. In stepped Udrih, who played the remaining 22 minutes of the game. Udrih finished the game with the highest +/- on the team at +14. His final stat line was 12 points, five assists, two rebounds, one steal and an important goose egg in the turnover column. Udrih did give up the game-winning basket, albeit the execution for the Knicks on the position was poor, and missed a free throw with 24 seconds left in the game but had a solid performance stepping up for the injured Prigioni.

-Positives

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Knicks Have Solid Bounce Back Against Hawks

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

What a difference a night makes. After losing in Boston last night the Knicks put in a great effort tonight at Madison Square Garden to defeat the Hawks 111-106. It was an outstanding team effort for a squad playing their fourth game in five nights and after looking so lackluster just 24 hours prior. The Knicks came into the game shorthanded with Kenyon Martin suffering an injury last night and Amar’e Stoudemire’s status up in the air up as a game-time decision but put together a great team performance to get the win. The Knicks moved to 7-16 on the season and will play again Monday night at the Garden again against the Washington Wizards.

Player of the Game: Pablo Prigioni

AP Photo/John Minchillo
Throughout the early part of the season head coach Mike Woodson had been hesitant to start Prigioni but it is becoming harder and harder for Woodson to keep him out of the lineup. Prigioni got the offense and defense going tonight as he had momentous play after momentous play. Prigioni righted the ship when the Hawks cut the Knicks 14-point lead to only four early on in the fourth quarter with his steady play. He nailed a three-pointer to put the Knicks up 10 and then got a steal and layup to put the Knicks up 12. To top it off he threw a beautiful behind the back pass to Andrea Bargnani, who subsequently knocked down a three-pointer to give the Knicks a 15 point lead. On the night Prigioni scored 11 points, had one rebound, six assists and four steals. He shot the ball efficiently, knocking down 3-6 from the three point line and 4-8 from the field overall. Prigioni played 30+ minutes on back-to-back nights, which could be a concern in the future with the heavy minute load but for now Prigioni looks ready and willing to play as many minutes as needed.

-Positives

Knicks Early and Late Struggles Result in Tough Loss

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 13th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Post Game Recap

The Knicks suffered a hard fought, heart breaking loss Friday night in Boston 90-86. It is the second time in a week that the Celtics defeated the Knicks, after a rout Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. This is a terrible loss for the Knicks as they have dropped the first two meetings of the season with the Celtics The Knicks had control in the game, going up by 11 in the fourth quarter after falling down by as many as 17 in the first half. Unfortunately the reoccurring story of a stalling Knicks offense played out again and they faltered down the stretch. The Knicks fall to 6-16 with the loss tonight and sit in the basement of the Atlantic Division.

Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire

For the second consecutive game Stoudemire receives the player of the game. He came up huge once again for the Knicks on the offensive end, scoring 18 points on 7-9 shooting. He showed off his increasing confidence knocking down multiple jump shots once again. He also played 30 minutes again, which could cause some concern for the Knicks; Kenyon Martin was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter with an abdominal strain. Stoudemire may not be available for the Knicks tomorrow and it would be a huge blow, I have said it once and I will say it again that he is the most efficient scorer the Knicks have. No one scores as easily on the team as he does and without him making easy baskets it will be tough sledding for the Knicks tomorrow night.

-Positive

Friday, December 13, 2013

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics



By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 13th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Knicks were able to win a tough game Wednesday night after two disappointing performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers and these Boston Celtics. The Celtics hammered the Knicks Sunday night by 41 points, so tonight the Knicks will be looking to exact some revenge. Here are some things to watch for tonight as the Knicks and Celtics will top off at 7:30 PM ET in Boston.

-Which Defense Shows Up?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Knicks Hold Off Bulls for Much Needed Win

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, December 12th, 2013

Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

It was an ugly game to watch at some points but the Knicks found a way to come away with a much needed victory. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 83-78 as they made it as difficult as ever on themselves to take home the win tonight. With the victory the Knicks move to 6-15 on the season and unbelievably within 2.5 games of first place in the Atlantic Division. The win will also give embattled head coach Mike Woodson some breathing room, at least for one night as his seat is seemingly as hot as anyone’s in the NBA.

Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Playing in his first back-to-back of the season Stoudemire looked outstanding tonight on both ends of the court. The last time Stoudemire played back-to-back games he ended up needing arthroscopic knee surgery; this time around that does not seem to be the case thankfully for the Knicks. He got the Knicks rolling in the second quarter, scoring eight points on 4-5 shots from the field, grabbing two rebounds and adding another highlight block in the process. He was as active on defense as ever this season, taking charges and registering two steals; he also made things very difficult for Joakim Noah throughout the night, getting multiple deflections. On the night securing Stoudemire scored 14 points on 7-11 shots, even knocking down some jump shots along the way, and nine rebounds. Stoudemire made the most important shot in the game with about two minutes remaining as he knocked down a jump shot to give the Knicks a two point lead and end their scoring draught. The most impressive thing for Stoudemire is that he looks to have survived the game without any setbacks. That’s huge for the Knicks that he is starting to look healthy because if he can produce like this with regularity the Knicks fortunes will begin to turn.

-Positives

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rangers Need Answers to Questions

Two months into this young NHL season, it is obvious who the weakest division is. 

The Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference has become the joke of the NHL right now. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been the only consistent team so far this season while the Washington Capitals have come on strong of late and may be finding their stride behind captain Alex Ovechkin. 

So who wants that third spot in the Metropolitan Division? The New York Rangers would seem to be the odds on favorite to secure the third spot, but have had trouble putting back to back wins together and have lost three in a row to under achieving teams. 

After starting the season with a treacherous nine game road trip where the Blueshirts went 3-6, and a home opening loss to Montreal, it seemed as if the Rangers were in for a long season with their star goaltender in the final year of his contract. The Rangers struggled to find the back of the net while opponents were peppering the back of theirs. 

Then came a favorable stretch of games where the Rangers would begin to elevate their game to the level everyone expected. A three game winning streak against mediocre to bad teams was halted by the mighty Anaheim Ducks, but the Rangers bounced back with a blowout win against Pittsburgh and two more wins against the basement of the Eastern Conference. 

Winning five out of six helped this team regain their mojo....or at least everyone thought they did. 

Nets Defeat Celtics in Return of Deron Williams

nydailynews.com
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

December 10th, 2013

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Post Game Recap

Final Score: Celtics 96 Nets 104

For the first time this season the Brooklyn Nets are now on a winning streak with their victory at home against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. The 104-96 win at the Barclays Center moves the Nets to (7-14) on the season, and puts them just two games back of lead in the Atlantic Division.

- Positives

Quite possibly the biggest positive of all season so far for the Nets was the return of Deron Williams, who played in his first game since November 20th due to an ankle injury. Despite missing a lot of time so far this season Williams did not look rusty in the win, and in fact looked like the Williams of the second half of last season. Williams finished with 25 points on 10 for 16 shooting, and also dished out seven assists.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Knicks Struggles Continue Courtesy of Kyrie Irving

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Post Game Recap

It was an improvement over Sunday afternoon’s debacle at Madison Square Garden but Tuesday night’s game was still an embarrassment for the Knicks as they fell to the Cavaliers 109-94. The Cavaliers were relentless all night as the Knicks had awful first and third quarters that essentially gave the Cavaliers the game. They trailed by 18 points in both quarters and with the loss matched the worst start in Knicks franchise history, losing 11 of the last 13 games. The seat is getting hotter for head coach Mike Woodson who may not even make it to Tyson Chandler returns to give him his full complement of players to use. Things won’t get any easier for the Knicks as they will return home to take on the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night at 8 PM ET.

Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony

Mark Duncan/AP Photo
It is tough to recognize a player for doing anything positive in such a poorly played game but once again Anthony came out and tried his best to carry his team to victory. Anthony shot the ball efficiently from the field, going 12-19 from the field (3-4 3pts and 2-2 FT) for a team high 29 points to go along with eight rebounds. Anthony also added three assists; a number that would have been higher had anyone made their shots nearly as efficiently as Anthony did. He only turned the ball over once as well, an impressive number with how often the ball was in his hands and how much of the decision making he has to do with the Knicks on offense. Anthony continues to put forth outstanding effort and why the rest of his teammates are not following suit is inexcusable.

-Positives

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers December 10th, 2013

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Knicks will look to bounce back after an embarrassing performance Sunday afternoon against the Boston Celtics tonight against the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have been playing much better basketball recently, winning three of their last four games against some talented teams in the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. The Knicks will have to come out with a lot better effort and energy than they did Sunday if they are to knock off the Cavaliers tonight. Here are some things to keep an eye on in tonight’s game.

-Player News and Notes

Friday, December 6, 2013

Knicks End 7-Game Home Losing Streak in Blowout Fashion

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks ended their seven-game home losing streak in a big way Friday night, blowing out the Magic 121-83. The victory gives the Knicks their first winning streak of the season and scored a season high amount of points for the second consecutive night. The last two victories have both been by 30+ points, the first time the Knicks have consecutive victories by that much since 1997 when they beat the Boston Celtics by 32 and the Phoenix Suns by 30 (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau). The victory tonight extended the Knicks winning streak over the Magic to seven games as the Knicks looked locked in right now. People will say the poor opponents are the reason but when you struggled as much as the Knicks were winning games against anyone is a positive.

Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
For the second consecutive night Anthony took a back seat to his teammates on the offensive end and it resulted in a huge Knicks win. Anthony took only 10 shots in the game but still was able to scored 20 points in only 30 minutes on the court. He also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, giving him 10 double-doubles on the season; the 10 double-doubles match the same amount Anthony had all of last season. Tonight he also added four more assists and three steals as Anthony has set the tone extremely well for the Knicks the past two nights. He hit the open man when the Magic would double team him on defense and he was outstanding once again on the glass with the Knicks still without Tyson Chandler. Anthony is more than capable of doing this night in and night out as he is still more than capable of scoring 30 or 40 points in a game and carrying this team offensively if needed.

-Positives

Mets Sign Granderson, Opens Up Possibilities

ESPN Inc.
Written by Joseph Thompson (@JThomp9)

Earlier today the New York Mets and Curtis Granderson agreed to a four-year $60 million contract. This is huge for the Mets, as it is their first big free agent since the Jason Bay massacre. With Chris Young signed just a few weeks ago, a logjam is beginning to form in the outfield. With Eric Young and Juan Lagares, two players who played almost everyday last season still on the roster, that leaves one spot for two players. The Mets figure Eric Young will also get some time at second base this season as they try to mold him into the super-sub player. Most importantly, this signing gives the Mets some options and more assets in moving forward in trying to field a better team. So what can the Mets do moving forward?

Midseason Bold Predictions Recap

Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Earlier in the week I looked back at an article from the midway point of the MLB season and compared the award winners chosen then to the people who actually received the awards. This time I’ll take another article from the summer, my bold predictions from the All-Star break for the second half of the season and compare it to how the season actually ended. They aren’t called bold predictions for nothing as the end results of these are a little more off than the predictions made for the MLB Regular Season Awards.

Alex Rodriguez will hit double-digit homeruns and the New York Yankees will still miss the playoffs, finishing last in the AL East.

Barton Silverman/New York Times
There are two definitive results that happened here; the Yankees did indeed miss the playoffs but they did not finish in last place. The Rodriguez double-digit homeruns is up for debate. If you include his minor league stats he hit 10 on the season but if you count only his time in the majors he knocked only seven out of the park. The Yankees turned it around a little bit once they started getting a little healthier but they just did not have the talent that teams ahead of them like the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians, the two teams who won the AL Wild Card spots. The winter will be an important one for the Yankees as they have a lot of holes to fill on the team including finding a player capable of replacing Derek Jeter and Rodriguez if they are unable to stay in the lineup because of injuries or suspension. For this bold prediction I will split it down the middle and call it half right.

Miguel Cabrera will win a second consecutive Triple Crown after MLB went the previous 45 seasons before last without one.

W2W4: Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks

Brad Penner/USA Today Sports
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Knicks were able to snap their nine-game losing streak last night against the poor Brooklyn Nets in blowout fashion. Tonight they will look to build their first winning streak of the season and carry some momentum from last night into tonight’s contest against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks had their best game of the season against the Nets and dominated in every facet of the game and will look to continue their success against the Magic, a team they swept in four games in the regular season last year. Here are some things to keep an eye on in tonight’s game against the 6-12 Magic as the Knicks will face off with talented rookie Victor Oladipo for the first time.

-Player Updates

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Knicks Steamroll Nets to Snap 9-Game Losing Streak

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

It was not the matchup people had expected coming into the season as the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets faced off for the first time this season with less than stellar records. The Knicks came in on a nine-game losing streak and a 3-13 record, while the Nets were not much better at 5-13. It had the makings of an ugly game as both teams are dealing with injuries to important players; Tyson Chandler for the Knicks, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams for the Nets. The head coaches were also coming under fire as Mike Woodson seemed to be on the hottest of seats of any NBA coach and Jason Kidd was making headlines for demoting his top assistant Lawrence Frank earlier in the week. An ugly game is exactly what it turned into, at least for one of the teams.

The Knicks came out and played by far their best game of the season, blowing the Nets out 113-83 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, which has become their home away from home. The Knicks fans far outnumbered the Nets fans as multiple Knicks chants were heard throughout the night as the Knicks led wire-to-wire.

Jim McIsaac
The Knicks came out of the gate on fire, going ahead by as many as 15 in the first quarter as they shot an otherworldly 71 percent in the quarter. The most shocking part of the building of the lead was how little of it was done by the Knicks leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. Too often this season the Knicks have relied on Anthony to carry them to victory but tonight the rest of the players stepped up as Anthony had two assists and a rebound before even attempting his first shot of the game with 4:31 remaining in the first quarter. The leading man for the Knicks in the first quarter instead was Andrea Bargnani, who scored seven of his 16 points in the opening quarter of the game. Anthony finished with a highly efficient night on the offensive end, scoring a team high 19 points on eight of 12 from the field to go along a team leading 10 rebounds and six assists. All of this game in a limited night of work for Anthony, who like many of the Knicks regulars got to sit the whole fourth quarter with the game comfortably in hand.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yankees Sign Jacoby Ellsbury to Monster Deal

nydailynews.com
By Nick Ziegler 

December 4th, 2013

The New York Yankees have made their second big splash of an off-season that originally was thought to be one of trying to cut payroll, but has been the complete opposite so far. On Tuesday night they signed now former Red Sox Center Fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. After handing a five-year 85 million dollar contract to Catcher Brian McCann, the Yankees have now added a seven-year 153 million dollar contract for Ellsbury to their payroll.

This contract for the Yankees is going to be taking a lot of heat, and deservingly so. Although Jacoby Ellsbury is a very good player he does have trouble staying on the field. Another scary part of the contract for the Yankees is the seven years for a 30 year old player that relies most of his game on his legs, as he is coming off a 52 stolen base season. In his 2012 contract season, Ellsbury batted .298 with 172 hits, 92 runs scored, 31 doubles, eight triples, nine homeruns, 53 RBIs, and the aforementioned 52 stolen bases in 134 games. Power wise Ellsbury had one monster year in 2011, hitting 32 homeruns that season, but excluding that year he only has 33 career homeruns. It will be something to watch in 2014 if Ellsbury can find the short porch a few times.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is Iman Shumpert's Time as a Knick Nearing an End?

Getty Images
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

This season has been a disastrous one for the New York Knicks through 16 games and turning it around does not look to be on the horizon. One person who has been under fire constantly is third-year guard/small forward Iman Shumpert. Shumpert has been in the middle of trade rumors for the better part of the season thus far, even having at least one trade with the Denver Nuggets for Kenneth Faried in exchange for Shumpert being turned down. This all has began to weigh on Shumpert on the court it would seem but even through all the negativity surrounding him he has found a way to bring it on the court night in and night out. But Sunday he may have finally punched his ticket out of here.

The Knicks were playing quiet well Sunday through the first half and caught quite a break with budding New Orleans Pelican superstar Anthony Davis suffering a displaced fracture in his left hand. Things looked to be adding up to a Knicks victory but Knick killer Ryan Anderson was forced into more playing time and he did what he does best; knock down three pointers and send Knicks fans home upset. Anderson went off on the Knicks, something that has become common for him, knocking down seven three pointers and grabbing six rebounds. The only person who seemed to care that the Knicks were crumbling again in the third quarter and letting an opponent go off on them was Shumpert, who during a timeout went off on Carmelo Anthony for playing lackadaisical defense on Anderson, resulting in him knocking down a three pointer and Shumpert picking up a foul attempting to cover up for him. Check out the video below of what happened during that Knicks timeout:



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Knicks will take their six game losing streak into Los Angeles to take on the Clippers Wednesday night. Things will not be easy for the Knicks as nothing is going right currently for them and some candid interviews post game are starting to raise some questions as to where this team really is. Mike Woodson says that he does not think he has lost the locker room but that is not where the problem persists for this team; it is on the court, specifically the defensive end. It will be a tall task to take down the Clippers in Los Angeles but if the Knicks are to turn around their season a win there would be an outstanding start.

-Player News

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nets Snap Losing Streak, Squeak by Raptors

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

Tuesday November 26th, 2013
Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

Post Game Recap

The Brooklyn Nets came into Toronto with a 5 game losing streak and left with a 1 game winning streak; defeating the Raptors 102-100.
The Nets had a 15 point lead with under  4 minutes to go in the  4th quarter and had to survive a late run by the Raptors to come away with the win. It certainly brought back flashes of the game vs. the Bulls in the playoffs as the Nets fumbled the ball away on 3 possessions and suffered a shot clock violation with under  1 minute to go.

Luckily for the Nets, Amir Johnson who is shooting 27% from beyond the arc shot a 3 on the final possession which ended in a miss in a head scratching play drawn up by Raptors head coach Dwayne Casey. But the Nets will take a win at this point anyway they can.

Positives –

Comparing Our Midseason Award Winners to the Actual Outcomes

Back at the All-Star break we wrote an article about the midseason award leaders, breaking down who was ahead in the MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year races; we also added some of the least valuable players through the first half the season. With the award winners being announced recently, what better time to check back and see how we did? Here we will compare the midseason award winners to the real award winners announced at the end of the season. Follow the link here to check out the full midseason awards recap.

AP Photo
AL MVP

Midseason Pick: Miguel Cabrera, Third Baseman Detroit Tigers

Actual Winner: Miguel Cabrera

Knicks Losing Streak at 6 as Portland Struggles Continue

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Post Game Recap

It did not take long for the Blazers to take control of this one as they led virtually from the get go and never really let the Knicks get back into the game. The Knicks went down by as many as 22 in the first half as they did not mount much of an attack through the opening two quarters. The second half they were able to get things going a little better but digging out of a 22 point hole is not a recipe for success, as they were only able to get it down to seven in the fourth quarter. The loss tonight ran the Knicks losing streak to six games and continue heading in the wrong direction. The Blazers in the meanwhile ran their winning streak to 11 games and have beaten the Knicks now 11 of the last 13 games in the Rose Garden. Things do not get much easier for the Knicks as they continue their west coast trip to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers Wednesday night at 10:30 PM ET.

Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony

AP Photo/Don Ryan
Anthony did everything he could tonight for the Knicks but it was not enough. He tried doing everything he could to get the Knicks a win but he is virtually the only player giving the Knicks anything positive. Tonight Anthony shot efficiently from the field, going 13 of 25 en route to 34 points. He also added a game-high 15 rebounds as he has stepped up big time in the glass with Tyson Chandler sidelined. He also added three assists, all which came on consecutive possessions in the third quarter to get the Knicks back into the game. He also turned the ball over only two times in the game, really an astounding number because of how often he has the ball in his hands. Anthony tried his best on the defensive end but when you are the one doing all of the scoring, rebounding and leading on the court it is hard to get on him for being the weak spot on defense.

-Positives

Monday, November 25, 2013

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Knicks will look to end their losing streak in one of the toughest environments against one of the top teams in the NBA currently in Portland against the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. The Blazers have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA as they currently sit second in the Western Conference with a 12-2 record, behind only the 12-1 San Antonio Spurs. This game has everything going against the Knicks, as they have notoriously struggled in Portland, losing 10 of their last 12 games there against some underwhelming Blazers teams. The current Blazers are also riding a 10 game winning streak, its longest since 2007; this is the worst time for the Knicks to be making their lone trip of the season out there. Here are some things to keep an eye on tonight as the Knicks will face their most difficult matchup of the season.

-Player Updates

Friday, November 22, 2013

T-Wolves Crash Boards, Crush Nets


By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)

Friday, November 22nd 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Post Game Recap

Once again the Brooklyn Nets were without all stars Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. Not that they would’ve made a difference tonight as the Timberwolves annihilated the Nets, 81-111. They fall to 3-9 on the young season.

The Nets scored first, Garnett hit a jump shot to take a 2-0 lead. That would be the last time the Nets would have the lead in this game. It was your typical definition of a blowout in which the Nets waived the white flag in the 3rd quarter, bringing in their bench.

Kevin Love had 11 rebounds in the 1st quarter alone. He was untouched on a few offensive put backs as well. The Nets just played without passion which is a theme dating back to last season for them. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were supposed to fix this problem with the passion and intensity they play with. They have not.

The Nets were just out played at every level and the Timberwolves were clearly the more aggressive team. For the game, the Nets had just 7 assists to 20 turnovers.

Jason Kidd’s seat continues to grow hotter despite the injuries excuse. If Kidd can’t get this team to play with maximum effort night in and night out, he might be the one who gets outted. We know Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov does have a trigger finger for firing coaches early such as last year with Avery Johnson.

However, it’s all still fixable. The NBA season is long and grueling. Deron and Brook will hopefully return soon and Kidd is still learning on the job. This team always had the makeup of a better playoff team than regular season team and in the Eastern Conference; making the playoffs isn’t tough.