Saturday, May 4, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers Matchup Preview

ESPN MediaZone

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

After exorcising some demons with their first round victory over the Boston Celtics, their first playoff series in 13 years, the Knicks will be taking on the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.  This will be a tough, grind it out series just like the first one against Boston as the Pacers are not afraid to slow the game down and ugly it up by throwing it inside and letting their big men do their thing.  Both teams finished off their first round series in six games but took different paths getting there.  Here is a rundown of the matchups in the series and which team holds the edge.

Yankees Bounce Back After Being Shutout by A's

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

May 4th, 2013

Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees

Final Score: Athletics 2 Yankees 4

The New York Yankees were able to bounce back nicely after being shutout on Friday night by the Athletics, as the Yankees picked up a win on Saturday afternoon, and moved themselves to (18-11) on the season. The Bronx has been good to the Yankees thus far this season, as they have a (12-6) record at home.

Phil Hughes got the start on Saturday, and had his best outing of the season, while earning his first win of the season. Hughes has been very good lately but factoring in decisions has not happened much until today. Hughes went eight shutout innings only allowing four hits and two walks. The velocity was great for Hughes in this one despite throwing 118 pitches; he was able to get it up to around 95 mph, which helped him strikeout nine batters.

Things got interesting after Hughes left the game however, as Joe Girardi went to Shawn Kelley with a four-run lead, but after a leadoff single, Kelley was pulled for Mariano Rivera. In the non-save situation, Rivera was not as sharp as he has been lately, as he walked a batter and allowed a hit, and the Athletics were able to get two runs in the ninth inning.

New York Jets Draft Review

By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)

2013 NFL Draft

Dee Milliner, Alabama CB (R1 P9)
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri Dline (R1 P13)
Geno Smith, West Virginia QB (R2 P39)
Brian Winters, Kent State G (R3 P72)
Oday Aboushi, Virgina OL (R5 P141)
William Campbell, Michigan OL (R6 P178)
Tommy Bohanon, Wake Forest FB (R7 P215)

Things started off smoothly in the draft for the new regime of the Jets. Grabbing Dee Milliner, cornerback out of Alabama. Widely considered a top 5 talent, Milliner dropped due to injury concerns. At 9, getting this talent was great value and it filled a need at corner after trading Revis. Make no mistakes though, he won’t be Revis, but he’ll be better than Kyle Wilson for sure.

Next up was the defensive tackle out of Missouri, Sheldon Richardson. At first, this was a head scratching pick. Richardson was undersized to play DT in a 3-4 and the this extended the Jets streak of selecting a defensive linemen in the first round to 3 years. It was suspected that the Jets would move to a 4-3 or at least use the front more often than in past years, but they decided to go into a different direction entirely. A huge need for the Jets was OLB which was not addressed in this draft, but the plan was to have Richardson play defensive end and move last year’s 1st round selection, Quinton Coples, to outside linebacker and play the pass rushing role. Coples played OLB going into his draft and teams looked at him for that position. Coples led the Jets in sacks last year at a meager 5.5 sacks but note this is from the defensive end position. Expect production to increase for Coples as a pass rusher with this move. As for Richardson, not a true nose tackle, defensive end seems like the perfect place for him, making this pick less head scratching.

Next up is the quarterback from West Virginia, Geno Smith. Projected to go in the top 10 of the draft, and even considered by some to go 9 to the Jets, getting him 30 picks later is excellent value. After round 1 ended, the Jets had looked desperate to try and trade up in the 2nd to go get Geno which would’ve been a huge mistake as he fell to them anyway. It’s good that they didn’t lose another pick just to get Geno 5 picks sooner. But it also begged the question of why the best QB in this draft fell to the 2nd round. This was answered with how he interviewed and his persona. Apparently, Geno Smith is a diva and was texting and tweeting from his phone during interviews with NFL teams. Geno’s drop also caused him to fire his agents which was another diva-ish move. It comes to question if you can lead when you blame others for your bad interviews though and should be a red flag for the Jets. Also keep in mind that if this was the 2012 draft, Geno would’ve been a 2nd-3rd round pick anyway and was only projected as a top 10 pick due to being the best of the worst of the QB crop this year.

With their 3rd round pick, the Jets selected Brian Winters from Kent State. An offensive linemen, Winters brings versatility to the position. Winters played right tackle in college but was drafted and looked at as a guard. Anytime a player can play multiple positions makes him an attractive pick, and although the Jets need a guard desperately, Winters can also fill in at tackle if needed.

The Jets traded their 4th round pick for Saints RB Chris Ivory. As many positions, RB was a need for the Jets. Ivory was the 3rd RB on the depth chart in New Orleans behind Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram. Ivory did see the field seemingly a lot despite this, and played quite well when given the ball. Ivory is a power back that likes to run over people which fits well with Rex Ryan’s ground and pound mentality. Overall, this was a very good trade for the Jets as they acquired their starting RB for only a 4th round pick.

With their 5th and 6th round picks, the Jets continued to address their offensive line depth. Oday Aboushi and William Campbell were both drafted as offensive linemen. This seems to be only for depth with only Aboushi being able to see the field if he switches from left tackle to right tackle and current Jets starter Austin Howard does not produce. Campbell was a defensive tackle in college and only played guard in 2010 briefly. With all the Jets needs, this was a bad pick as taking a project for offensive line doesn’t seem like a smart idea.

With their final pick, the Jets took fullback Tommy Bohanon. Bohanon has some nice hands for a FB and can add to the passing game but not much is expected from a 7th rounder.

Overall, the Jets had a very good draft, but with so many needs at so many positions, it was hard to have a bad draft. With solid picks in the first five rounds, and a very good trade, the Jets started their rebuilding process quite well. Geno Smith will have to change his personality under the bright lights of New York and hopefully he can be the quarterback of the future for the Jets.

Overall Grade: B+

Friday, May 3, 2013

Knicks Knock Off Celtics to Move onto 2nd Round

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Game 6 Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks: 88 Boston Celtics: 80

The Knicks have finally ended their 13 year draught and have advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a hard-fought series against the Boston Celtics.  The Knicks experienced almost everything a team can in a playoff series and will hopefully put this to use as a lesson heading deeper into the playoffs against better teams.  The Knicks almost squandered a big lead in the game tonight becoming complacent after going up 26 points in the fourth quarter.  The Knicks will take on the Indiana Pacers in the second round as they advanced past the Atlanta Hawks tonight as well and will get that series underway Sunday at Madison Square Garden.


Nets Win and Force Game 7 Against Bulls

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

May 2nd, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Game 6

Final Score: Nets 95 Bulls 92

The Brooklyn Nets were able to win their first game in Chicago this season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time than with their backs against the wall facing elimination in the playoffs. The win moves the series back to Brooklyn for a win or go home Game 7 on Saturday night, in what should be a great game at the Barclays Center.


- The Nets on offense were surprisingly well balanced, with five players including four starters scoring more than 15 points, which is something that hasn’t happened much at all this season. Deron Williams with Kirk Hinrich missing the game with a calf injury was able to notch his 22nd postseason double-double. Williams finished with 17 points on five for 12 shooting, and dished out 11 assists. The three-point shot wasn’t great for Williams in this one however, as he went just one for four from deep.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yankees Take Series Against Astros

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

May 1st, 2013

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Astros 4 Yankees 5

The New York Yankees were able to start the month of May with their second straight win over the Astros, which gives them the series win. Despite all the injuries the Yankees still find ways to win and are (17-10) on the year.

David Phelps getting the chance to be the fifth starter in the Yankees rotation didn’t do a very good job to solidify his spot in the rotation. Phelps was given a four run lead, but couldn’t hold it, which is something a pitcher trying to be in the rotation has to do. Phelps finished the game going 5.2 innings allowing four runs on eight hits, and one walk, in what was a sub-par start from him.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NHL 13: Islanders-Penguins Game One

Tonight the Islanders and the top seeded Penguins will begin their quarter-final series at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The Penguins are the heavy favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup, and to win the cup.

The Islanders have been given no chance to win this series because Pittsburgh is far and beyond the most talented offensive team in the NHL. Oh and they have been playing without their golden boy Sidney Crosby, who looks to return during this series, but is likely out tonight.

Before we all watch the real life action that begins tonight at 7:30, let's take a look at how NHL '13 thinks game one will unfold between the two teams.

*Crosby played in this game.

The Islanders held their own in the first period, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Michael Grabner off a nice feed from Casey Cizikas. After the goal, the Penguins began to put the pressure on Evgeni Nabakov and the Islanders defense, but the Pens could not capitalize on any of their chances.

The Penguins play carried over into the second period, and dominated puck possession. Five minutes into the period, the Islanders could not clear the zone and they paid for it. Brooks Orpik took a shot from the point that stopped by Nabakov, but James Neal was there to bury the rebound and tie the score at one. Five minutes later Brooks Orpik ripped a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.

The Islanders offense disappeared in the second period and were held to just two shots on goal. It got worse for the Isles when Kunitz struck from the high slot. Kunitz blasted a slapper past Nabakov to give the Pens a 3-1 , lead after two periods.

The game looked to be over halfway through the third period when Kunitz picked off a pass by Mark Streit in the high slot and ripped it high glove side by Nabakov for a 4-1 Pittsburgh lead. The Islanders cut the deficit to 4-2 with three minutes left when Matt Moulson put home a rebound off of a shot by Marty Reasoner. The Islanders pulled Nabakov with a minute and a half left desperately looking to find some magic, and with 50 seconds left in regulation John Tavares stole the puck from Paul Martin and found Brad Boyes who buried the shot and made it a 4-3 game.

The Islanders again pulled Nabakov right after the face-off and got the puck into the Penguins zone looking for a game-tying tally. After a blocked shot from the point, James Neal skated up the wing and hit the empty net to give the Penguins a 5-3 victory.

If any Islander players or coaches are reading this, take care of the puck in your own zone. Clear the puck when you get the chance, and don't let any offensive opportunities go to waste!

Hopefully NHL '13 is not correct with it's game one predictions, but it will be up to the Islanders to force a different outcome.

Three Stars:

3rd Star: Brooks Orpik 1G, 1A

2nd Star: James Neal 2G

1st Star: Chris Kunitz 2G (Game winner)

Yankees Bounce Back Against Astros

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 30th, 2013

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Astros 4 Yankees 7

The New York Yankees were able to bounce back on Tuesday night after an embarrassing loss to one of the worst teams in the majors on Monday night in the Astros. The win now puts the Yankees record at (16-10) for a very successful month of April.

Yankees Starter Hiroki Kuroda was able to finish up a very successful month of April with his fourth win of the season, despite looking very shaky in the first three innings of the game. The Astros had three hits and walked four times in the first three innings, while having a runner reach third base in each inning, but Kuroda was able to wiggle out of trouble, and once the fourth inning hit it was smooth sailing for Kuroda. He finished going seven shutout innings allowing four hits, four walks, and struck out eight batters in the win.

Nets Survive Game 5 to Extend Series

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 29th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Game 5 Recap

Final Score: Bulls 91 Nets 110

The Brooklyn Nets after a horrific triple-overtime loss in Game 4, which was by far their worst loss of the season, and probably one of the worst losses in playoff history, were somehow able to bounce back at home and avoid elimination. The Nets win in game 5 at the Barclays Center will send the series back to Chicago, and the Nets will have to win again to push a Game 7.


- Nets All-Star Center Brook Lopez has probably been the Nets most consistent and best player throughout this series, and that continued in Game 5. Lopez finished with a game-high 28 points on 11 for 20 shooting, and 10 rebounds. Lopez has really stepped up his play from a great regular season, as he’s averaging more points, rebounds, and blocks per game in the series against the Bulls. 

- With Bulls Starting Point Guard Kirk Hinrich missing Game 5 with a calf injury it allowed Deron Williams to have a nice game, as Hinrich has quietly had a great series against Williams. Deron was able to finish with 23 points on six for 14 shooting, with 10 assists. Williams has had a very up and down series so far, but when he plays well the Nets win, so the Nets will need two more good games from Williams which is something he is certainly capable of doing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yankees Get Crushed by Astros

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 29th, 2013

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Astros 9 Yankees 1

The New York Yankees coming off a four game sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays may have over looked the Astros on Monday night, and paid dearly. The Astros beat up the Yankees pretty good in the Bronx, and with the loss the Yankees four game winning streak was snapped.

Yankees Starter Andy Pettitte got roughed up in this game, as he suffered his second straight loss, and is now (3-2) on the season with a 3.86 ERA. Pettitte lasted just 4.1 innings allowing seven runs on 10 hits with one walk. Pettitte just didn’t have it in this start, as it was the most runs he’s allowed in a game since 2008.

The Yankees did get a good first appearance from Vidal Nuno making his MLB debut in mop up duty. Nuno went the final three innings for the Yankees, and didn’t allow a run, with only four hits against him. For Nuno it was a pretty impressive debut in pinstripes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jets Part Ways with Tim Tebow

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 29th, 2013

On Monday morning the move many people expected the New York Jets to make happened, as after just one season with the team Tim Tebow was cut by new General Manager John Idzik.

When the Jets drafted Geno Smith in the second round it became apparent that someone had to be let go, as the Jets didn’t want to go into camps with six quarterbacks, so unfortunately for Tebow he was the odd man out. 

For Tebow now he will have to work on his skills, as its not expected that a lot of teams will be lining up to sign the now free agent Quarterback. Tebow did have some value when the Jets traded for him after he had a nice season with the Denver Broncos, which included an overtime win in the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However Tebow never got a fair shake in New York, as he was mishandled horribly by Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano in the “Wildcat Offense”.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yankees Complete Four Game Sweep of Blue Jays

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 28th, 2013

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Blue Jays 2 Yankees 3

The New York Yankees were able to complete the four game sweep on the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, and with the win the Yankees are now (15-9) on the season, as their surprisingly good start to the year continues.

Yankees Starter Phil Hughes had his third consecutive strong start for the Yankees, but didn’t factor in the decision. Hughes went six innings allowing two runs on seven hits, and one walk. Hughes had the strikeout pitches working, as he fanned nine batters on Sunday. This was Hughes third start in a row that he allowed two runs, as his early season woes seem far behind him now.

The Yankees bullpen was great in this one, as Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera finished off the final three innings. Logan earned his first win of the season, by pitching a scoreless seventh inning. Robertson was solid in the eighth inning leading to Rivera earning his eighth save of the season, which is the most saves he’s ever had in April.

C’s Avoid Sweep as Knicks Comeback Falls Short in OT

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Game 4 Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks: 90 Boston Celtics: 97

The Knicks once again spotted the Celtics a first half to forget but unlike Game 1 and 2 they were not able to finish the comeback this time around.  The Celtics went up by as many as 20 points but once again imploded in the second half, giving the Knicks an opportunity to get back in the game and even take a lead at the end.  The Knicks struggled to put the ball in the basket throughout the game without Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith, who was suspended for the afternoon after a flagrant-2 foul when he elbowed Jason Terry in Game 3.  The Knicks will look to bounce back and close out the series Wednesday night back at Madison Square Garden with Smith back in the lineup.