Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yankees Lose Second Straight to Tigers

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 6th, 2013

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 4 Tigers 8

The New York Yankees early season struggles continued on Saturday afternoon, as they lost their fourth game already this season, and are now in danger of being swept by the Detroit Tigers.

For the second straight day a Yankees starting pitcher was unable to make it thru five innings of work, on Saturday that was Phil Hughes. Hughes looked shaky early giving up a run in the first inning, but settled down until the fifth inning, when it all went downhill for Hughes. In the loss Hughes finished going only four innings, while allowing eight hits, and four runs, only three of which were earned due to an error by Jayson Nix in the first inning.

Brooklyn Nets Monthly Report Card: March


By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)

March Record: 8-6

In the month of March, the Brooklyn Nets improved their record to 42-31. It was a tough month schedule wise which included a 6 game west coast road trip.

The West Coast Road Trip - The Brooklyn Nets 6 game road trip had them face off against some good and desperate opponents. The Nets managed to break even on the road trip, 3-3. They faced the Mavericks, the Clippers, the Suns, the Trailblazers, the Nuggets, and the Jazz. The only team out of the playoff picture out of these teams were the Phoenix Suns, whom they beat handedly. The Nuggets and Clippers are safely in the playoffs, while the Mavericks, 

Yankees Lose Series Opener to Tigers

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 5th, 2013

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 3 Tigers 8

The New York Yankees after picking up their first win of the season on Thursday night against the Red Sox had the tough task of traveling to Detroit, and playing an extremely rare Friday afternoon game, which resulted in the Yankees third loss of the season.

Yankees Starter Ivan Nova looked like the pitcher of the second half of the 2012 season, which is something the Yankees hoped that they wouldn’t be seeing in 2013. Nova was all over the place, as the location of his pitches was a crapshoot all game, and at one point he went to a full count to six straight Tigers batters. Nova due to his ineffectiveness went only 4.2 innings, while allowing four runs on five hits, and two walks.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Huge Second Half Pushes Knicks Past Bucks

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: Milwaukee Bucks: 83 New York Knicks: 101

The Knicks were honoring the 40th anniversary of the 1972-1973 championship winning team and the current Knicks put on an amazing performance in the third quarter to push them past the Bucks tonight at Madison Square Garden.  The win pushed the Knicks NBA high winning streak to 11 games, the longest since the 1993-1994 team that made a run to the NBA finals.  The Knicks magic number to clinch the Atlantic Division is now sitting at two, as the Nets sit six games behind the Knicks with seven to play. They also currently hold a 1 ½ game lead over the Pacers for the coveted second seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Knicks will now have a day off before heading into Oklahoma City Sunday night and put their 11-game winning streak on the line. 

  • The third quarter for the Knicks tonight was utterly dominating and they put away the Bucks during this time.  After a lackluster first half in which the Knicks struggled and scored only 36 points and trailed the Bucks by nine, they came out with a different mindset and approach in the third quarter after watching the ceremony for the 1972-1973 championship team.  The Knicks got on track from deep, knocking down eight three points in the third after making only one of their 12 attempts in the first half.  This overwhelmed the Bucks, who went into halftime with a nine point lead to heading into the fourth quarter down 12, punctuated with a heave at the third quarter buzzer by Jason Kidd that found the bottom of the net.

  • Carmelo Anthony went off yet again for the Knicks, becoming the first player since his idol Bernard King in 1984-1985 to score 40+ points in three consecutive games.  Tonight he ended the night with 41, going 17 of 28 from the field, three of seven from the three point line and a perfect four of four from the charity stripe.  Anthony put on a show in the third quarter, going seven of nine from the field and two of three from deep for 18 points as the Knicks pulled away from the Bucks. Anthony has scored an unprecedented 131 points in his last three games and is doing it efficiently, shooting 64.2 percent and going 58 out of 81 from the field.  In tonight’s game another impressive stat for Anthony was the 14 rebounds, a game high.  With the Knicks lacking any big men available outside of Tyson Chandler, Anthony made sure he helped on the glass and put on a dominant performance.

  • J.R. Smith got back on his efficiency swing tonight, playing sidekick to Anthony and scoring 30 points in the game.  Smith went 11 of 22 from the field, including a very good five of 11 from the three point line and three of four from the charity stripe.  Smith also had a big third quarter to go along with Anthony, scoring 12 points of his own coming out of halftime.  Smith was monkey see, monkey do with Anthony in the scoring department but also in the rebounding one as well, as Smith grabbed 10 rebounds of his own to lend a helping hand to the shorthanded Knicks frontcourt.

  • It was an impressive night for the Knicks on the glass, who have been a lower echelon rebounding team all season.  Tonight they outrebounded the Bucks 50-40, even more impressive by the fact that the Knicks were without Kenyon Martin tonight and had Chandler as the only big man available.  The strong performances on the glass by Anthony and Smith really helped the short-handed Knicks tonight who put on a dominant performance in the second half yet again en route to another victory.

  • The effort on the boards combined with the effort on the defensive end is what kept the Knicks in the game before the offense came around in the second half.  On the night the Knicks held the Bucks to 38.2 percent shooting on 29 of 76 from the field.  The Knicks made it difficult on the Bucks all night, as they held them to 21 points or less in every quarter but the second.  The Knicks outscored the Bucks 32-26 in the paint also, another telling stat into just how difficult the Knicks made it on the Bucks to score tonight.

  • In such a dominant performance there were not many things that the Knicks did poorly tonight.  The only negatives that stick out is their offensive performance in the first half, as the Knicks struggled with their shot and could not mount any type of offensive attack.  They have to avoid that kind of start come playoff time because there are not many teams they will be able to keep up with scoring only 36 points in a half.  One reason for the halftime deficit was the inability to slow the Bucks down from the perimeter, as Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick lit the Knicks up from the perimeter, combining for nine of 17 from the three point line.  The Bucks shot an impressive 12 of 30 from the three point line on the night, the only negative defensively for the Knicks on the night.

Nets Lose to Depleted Bulls

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 4th, 2013

Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets Post Game Recap

Final Score: Bulls 92 Nets 90

The Brooklyn Nets after coming off a successful circus road trip suffered a tough loss in their first game back in the Barclays Center to a depleted Bulls team, which was missing a lot of players. The loss means that the Bulls are just 1.5 games behind the Nets for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, and home court for the first round.


- Point Guard Deron Williams led the way for Brooklyn in this one, as he continues to play at an extremely high level in the second half of the season, but despite a monster double-double for Williams it wasn’t enough to get the Nets the win. Williams finished with a game-high 30 points on nine for 16 shooting, and hit 10 free throws to go along with his 10 assists. Most of Williams’ damage came in the second half, where he scored 20 of his 30 points.

Yankees Avoid Sweep Behind Strong Start From Pettitte

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 4th, 2013

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

Final Score: Red Sox 2 Yankees 4

The New York Yankees were able to pick up their first win of the 2013 season, and avoid the sweep, by beating the Red Sox behind a great start from the 40 year old pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte at the young age of 40 was able to be the stopper for the Yankees on Thursday night, as his great start was a main reason for the Yankees win, and avoiding a sweep to the rival Red Sox. Pettitte went eight innings only allowing one run on eight hits, one walk, and had three strikeouts. Pettitte pounded the strike zone early and often, as he had a lot of first pitch strikes, and threw only 94 pitches in his eight innings of work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nets Finish Circus Road-Trip Strong

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 3rd, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Post Game Recap

Final Score: Nets 113 Cavaliers 95

The Brooklyn Nets were able to finish up their circus road-trip in strong fashion with a blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Brooklyn with the win finished their road-trip with a 5-3 record, which is the most road wins ever for the Nets on a road-trip, and our guaranteed to have a winning record on the road for the first time in franchise history.

Yankees Lose Second Straight to Red Sox

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 3rd, 2013 

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Red Sox 7 Yankees 4

The New York Yankees were unable to avenge their Opening Day loss to the Red Sox, as the Bronx Bombers lost for the second straight game on Wednesday against their arch rivals.

Hiroki Kuroda’s first start of the season went almost as bad as one could imagine, as he only pitched 1.1 innings due to try to bare hand a line drive from Shane Victorino in the second inning, which forced him to leave the game. Kuroda’s final line was 1.1 innings pitched, as he gave up four hits, one walk, and two earned runs. There is no word yet on how bad Kuroda’s pitching hand it hurt, but taking a line drive off a bare hand can’t feel very good.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Melo’s Big Scoring Night Carries Knicks

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks: 95 Atlanta Hawks: 82

The Knicks once again handled business in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter, and extended their winning streak much like they did against the Heat last night.  With the win they ran their record in the second night of back-to-backs to 11-6 on the season and also clinched a winning record on the road, winning their 21st game away from Madison Square Garden tonight.  The Knicks magic number is down to four now to win the Atlantic Division and they move a ½ game ahead of the Pacers for second place in the Eastern Conference.  They will look to make that number smaller and increase their lead over the Pacers Friday against the Bucks back at Madison Square Garden. 


W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks

Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks

The Knicks will look to continue their nine game winning streak in Atlanta tonight against the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back.  The Knicks have been very successful thus far this season in the second games of back-to-back, going 10-6 in the season so far.  The Knicks have some history in their favor going into the game tonight according to Elias Sports Bureau, as the Hawks are 2-13 over the past 18 seasons against teams playing against them with a nine-game or more winning streak.  Here are some things to look for in the game tonight as the Knicks will look to hold onto the second place in the Eastern Conference and cement their spot atop the Atlantic Division.

-Does Melo Continue His Hot Streak?

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 3rd, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Pre Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets will be looking to finish their eight game circus road-trip strong on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets are currently 4-3 on the trip, and a win in Cleveland would be a good end to the long road-trip

- Banged Up

Shooting Guard Joe Johnson will be missing his fifth straight game for the Nets on Wednesday due to his injured left heel. Small Forward Gerald Wallace also may not play, and is listed as a game-time decision because of a sore left foot. If both players sit the bench, which has been playing very good will really have to step up in case Wallace can’t go. Keith Bogans, who has been starting in place of Johnson, is also a game-time decision for Brooklyn.

Rangers Begin Home-and-Home With Pittsburgh

(@schaetz23) The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins will begin a crucial home-and-home tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers beat the Jets 4-2 Monday night at MSG, but they do not have time to enjoy the win with the number one team in the conference coming to town.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red-hot lately, and that might even be an insult to how they're playing. Last night the Penguins 15 game winning streak was ended by the Buffalo Sabres 4-1, their first loss since the month of February. Now the Penguins must try to re-group and begin a new streak, and without their captain Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins have found great success against their division rivals, taking the last seven contests and shutouts in their last two meetings. The Penguins have not lost at Madison Square Garden since November 30, 2011 when the Rangers erupted for four goals in the second period, and held on for a 4-3 victory. Since that game the Penguins are 4-0 and have outscored the Blueshirts 19-6.

Melo Explodes as Knicks Extend Win Streak to Nine

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

By Kenneth Teape (@teapster725)

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks: 102 Miami Heat: 90

The Heat sat two of their three stars in Lebron James and Dwayne Wade with minor injuries, but the Knicks had their star play and he had an outstanding game.  With the win the Knicks extended their winning streak to nine games, the longest win streak since the 1993-1994 season; coincidentally the last season that the Knicks won the division as well.  Second place again belongs to the Knicks by percentage points and they extended their lead in the Atlantic Division to five games over the Nets.  The Knicks will get right back at it as they look to extend their winning streak into double digits tomorrow against the Hawks.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yankees Lose to Red Sox on Opening Day

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 1st, 2013

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Red Sox 2 Yankees 8

The New York Yankees didn’t get off to a good start on Opening Day with their injury depleted team, as the Boston Red Sox handed the Yankees their first loss of the season in convincing fashion.

The Yankees Ace and Opening Day Starter C.C. Sabathia, who is expected to carry the Yankees rotation, did not look good at all in his first start. Sabathia really struggled with his control, and his fastball was lackluster, as he had problems getting it over 91 mph, which made his changeup ineffective with only a five to six mph difference between the two pitches. Sabathia only went five innings, while giving up eight hits, four walks, and four runs, while striking out five in the loss.

W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat April 2

Anthony Gruppuso/US PRESSWIRE

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

The Knicks and Heat will face off for the fourth and final time this season as two of the hottest teams in the NBA.  The Heat have won 29 of their last 30 games and the Knicks currently hold the longest winning streak in the NBA at eight games.  The Heat look to be content as they have a huge lead in the Eastern Conference and beat the Spurs Sunday to lengthen their lead for home court throughout the playoffs, but the Knicks still have something to play for as second place in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division are not yet wrapped up.  Here are some things to watch for tonight.

-Not the Matchups We Expected

NBA Power Rankings: Week 22

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Heat and Nuggets both had their long win streaks snapped last week, opening up the door for another team to take over the NBA lead for wins in a row.  That team is also making their reappearance in the top five this week for the first time in a while.  Things are starting to shape up in the rankings and playoff picture as there is really only one spot still up for grabs; eighth place in the Western Conference.

1.) Miami Heat (58-15) – Chicago ended their 27-game winning streak last week, but the Heat were not down long as they destroyed the Hornets and then beat the Spurs without Lebron James and Dwayne Wade thanks to a Chris Bosh game winning three-pointer.  Erik Spoelstra is sitting pretty right now knowing he can pick and choose some places to rest his players if they have enough sans-James and Wade to still beat the Spurs.

2.) San Antonio Spurs (55-18) – After being relatively scathe free of injury prior to Tony Parker going down, the injury bug has come back to the Spurs, this time on Manu Ginobili.  Gregg Popovich thinks Ginobili could be out for weeks, which would be a real damper on the Spurs playoff hopes.

3.) Oklahoma City Thunder (54-20) – The Thunder have a golden opportunity to steal the top seed and home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs from the Spurs with the Ginobili news.  It will be another thing to get them up after a loss to the Timberwolves this past week.

4.) Denver Nuggets (50-24) – The Ty Lawson injury is a big blow to the Nuggets, as like any team without their starting point guard just isn’t the same.  Denver will be dangerous in the playoffs if they are able to hold onto home court advantage and will be heavy favorites to move on as long as they do.

5.) New York Knicks (46-26) – Currently riding the longest win streak in the NBA at eight games, the Knicks are rolling again, looking like they did earlier in the season when they started 18-5.  Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith have been the catalysts in the Knicks resurgence, as the 35-year old rookie is combining to help Smith play the best basketball of his career.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nets and Williams Unable to Beat the Jazz

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 30th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz Post Game Recap

Final Score: Nets 107 Jazz 116

The Brooklyn Nets were unable to bounce back from a loss in Denver against the Nuggets on Friday, as they lost on Saturday to Deron Williams’ former team the Utah Jazz 116-107. The loss makes it seems to make it look more and more difficult that the Nets will be able to catch the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division, as the Knicks have won eight straight games.


Is A Trade Really the Answer for the New York Rangers?

With the trade deadline approaching on Wednesday, teams are scrambling to try and load up with the right players who can help them make a deep playoff run. Many teams are looking for offense, including the Rangers who are dead last in the league in goals scored with 78.

Many Ranger fans have quickly lost confidence in this group, and righfully so. Fans want results, and the Rangers are not producing right now. Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik have been major disappointments, and the role players on the third and fourth lines have contributed almost nothing on the offensive side. Derek Stepan has stepped up at times this season, and Carl Hagelin has shown he can find the back of the net, but the Ranger offense has been nothing short of embarrassing lately. Rick Nash has come as advertised this season, but one man cannot carry an entire team to the playoffs.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there are many players, if any, on the trading block who will help this Ranger team make a deep playoff run. No, the answer to the Rangers problems lies within the team itself. When Rick Nash, Carl, Hagelin, and Derek Stepan play together they find success. This line needs to stay intact, because after all, splitting these three up has not helped the Rangers offense. The more these three play together, the more comfortable they will be with each other. Who can the Rangers trade for who will really help this teams offense, Ryane Clowe? Clowe has no goals and 11 assists so far this season. Even Brian Boyle has a goal for the Blueshirts this season, so would it make sense to add a player who is yet to score this year to the team with the least amount of goals?

Brad Richards and Mrian Gaborik must have break out games this week. As all Ranger fans know, Gaborik is a streaky scorer who scores in bunches, and right now he might be in the worst slump of his career. But Gaborik's scoring struggles should lead Ranger gans to believe that it is only a matter of time before Gaborik starts hitting the back of the net instead of the goalies pads after he shuts the five-hole. So what are the Rangers going to do, trade Gaborik for a player who is yet to score so far this season? Let's not give up on Gaborik yet.

Brad Richards is a prime time player, he loves the big stage, and he performs under pressure...wait, which Brad Richards are we talking about here? Richards has been invisible at some points during this season, and I am not being dramatic. Richards and Gborik need to find a way to get back their scoring touch, and help get this abysmal Ranger offense back on track.

So what does all this add up to? Effort and will. Nothing gets the New York fans going like a hard working, grinding effort, and that is not what the Rangers have been giving their fans, especially on the road. Last season the Rangers were known as the hardest working team in the league. You may have beaten them that night on the scoreboard, but you were not going to hustle, work, and play harder than them. This season has been just the opposite. When the Rangers go down on the scoreboard, it has been hard to believe that they will find a way back into the game, and the past two games have been perfect examples. The Rangers got down by a goal both times to the Senators and Canadiens, and the Rangers could not respond with a goal of their own (the Canadiens scored just 47 seconds into the game).

The Rangers currently hold onto the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference which would set them up with a first round clash with the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins. In order for the Rangers to avoid playing Pittsburgh in the first round they need to win games, and start winning now. Time has run out on the Rangers to just sit back and play defensive hockey and look for counter opportunities, and it's time to attack. How does that famous saying go again? Oh yea..."The best defense is a good offense." The Rangers need to take this term literally and start winning the battles in the corners and along the boards.

A trade is not the answer for the Rangers. The answer lies within the players and coaches to find the motivation and will to find the success they had last year. If they cannot dig deep and play like the team everyone knows they can be now, then sorry Rangers fans your playoffs will consist of youtube highlights from the 2011-12 season.

The Rangers will be at Madison Square Garden Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets, one of the three Canadien teams they have not beaten this season.