Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time For Lucas Duda to Step Up and Produce

Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

On Friday afternoon, the New York Mets made a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, shipping first baseman Ike Davis out of town in exchange for relief pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Davis will have an opportunity to get his career back on track, as he has not been the same player since suffering an injury in 2011. For the Mets, he is no longer their problem, in turn placing a ton of trust in Lucas Duda.

Where the Mets will miss Davis the most is in the field with his glove. Davis is one of the better defensive first baseman in the MLB; Duda on the other hand leaves much to be desired. The decrease in defense at first base will be made up with an outstanding defensive outfield, as the albatross that is Duda's defense is more easily hidden at first base. But Duda will be able to make people forget about his lackluster fielding if he can hit like he is capable of doing.

Elsa/Getty Images
Duda will now be given every opportunity to succeed for the Mets, as he is the clear-cut starter at first base for the Amazin’s. They chose him over Davis with the expectations that he will give them more production with consistent playing time.

Nets Take Game 1 in Toronto

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 19th, 2014

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors Game 1 Recap

Final Score: Nets 94 Raptors 87

The Brooklyn Nets were able to head up north of the border to Toronto and take Game 1 against the young Raptors. The experience of the Nets was talked about a lot heading into this game, and with a loud crowd and shot clock issues, it certainly looked like that experience was the difference in the game.

Player of the Game: Joe Johnson

Throughout the game Joe Johnson was the Nets most consistent player on offense from start to finish, and nearly played the whole game, as Jason Kidd only gave him three minutes of rest. Johnson finished with 24 points on eight for 13 shooting, including going a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line. Johnson not only scored well for the Nets, he also led the team in rebounds with eight. He had four assists, and two steals as well to round up a great overall game.

Yankees Bullpen Gets Shelled by Rays
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 18th, 2014

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 5 Rays 11

Coming off a big night on offense in Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, it was the Yankees pitching staff that got shelled on Friday, as in the loss the Rays scored 11 runs. The loss moves the Yankees to (10-7) on the season, and they are still atop the AL East by one game.

The Yankees offense got off to a quick start for the second straight game, as they chased Rays Starter Erik Bedard from the game quickly. Bedard lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and one walk.

Scott Sizemore was the man to do most of the damage off of Bedard, as in the second inning with the bases loaded, Sizemore cleared them with a three-run double. Later in the inning Sizemore would score on a Brett Gardner fielder’s choice.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yankees Crush David Price in Tampa Bay
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 17th, 2014

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 10 Rays 2

The New York Yankees were able to head down to Tampa Bay and start off their four-game series with the Rays on a positive note, notching a 10-2 victory. The victory moves the Yankees to (10-6) on the season, which keeps them atop the AL East by two games.

C.C Sabathia was able to avoid his woes in Tropicana Field on Thursday night, as a place that has been a nightmare for him the past few seasons was friendly to him this time around. While earning his second win of the season, Sabathia went seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits, two walks, and was able to strikeout six batters.

For the Rays their ace and former Cy Young award winner David Price just wasn’t on against the Yankees, as a rare bad outing for Price led to his first loss of the young season. Price finished going just five innings allowing six runs on 10 hits, and one walk.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knicks Defeat Raptors to End Season on High Note

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

In the last game of the season for each team, the New York Knicks were able to end the season on a high note, defeating the Toronto Raptors 95-92. It was a strong finish to a disappointing season for the Knicks, who won four straight to end the season, even though they had been eliminated from the playoffs prior to the last three. It was nice to see the Knicks play with some heart and pride, as all four games they won to end the season came against playoff teams that were still playing for seeding. Here are some takeaways from the last game of the season for the Knicks, who will be watching the playoffs from home like the fans.

Player of the Game: J.R. Smith

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Series Recap: Mets Sweep Diamondbacks In The Desert

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Series Recap, April 14th-April 16th

April 14th Mets: 7 Diamondbacks: 3
April 15th Mets: 9 Diamondbacks: 0
April 16th Mets: 5 Diamondbacks: 2

Check out the post game recap for the Game April 15th HERE.

Christian Peterson-Getty Images
The New York Mets were able to sweep the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving them a successful ending to a productive road trip. The three victories against the Diamondbacks gave the Mets a 6-3 road trip, moving them above .500 for the first time this season at 8-7. On the contrary, the Diamondbacks now hold the worst record in MLB, at 4-12. The Amazin’s dominated the series against the D-Backs, as they got outstanding performances from multiple players throughout the series.


Series Preview: Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

Eastern Conference Playoffs

Series Preview: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

The Brooklyn Nets will be heading into the playoffs for the second consecutive season, as after a strong inaugural season in Brooklyn, the Nets loss a tough series to the Chicago Bulls. This postseason they will be looking for their first playoff series win as the Brooklyn Nets against the team they were chasing the whole season in the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Raptors.

Match-Up of the Series: Deron Williams vs. Kyle Lowry

In what has been a great season for the Toronto Raptors, one of the major contributors to that has been Kyle Lowry, who has had an All-Star worthy season. Lowry is one of the more complete all-around Point Guards in the NBA, as this season he is averaging 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. Against the Nets this season Lowry has been very efficient and effective scoring in four games this season, as he is averaging 22 points on 50% shooting from the field. Deron Williams has certainly had a disappointing season for the Nets, as he is averaging just 14.3 points and 6.1 assists per game, but if the Nets are going to do anything in the playoffs they need Williams to step it up and that has to start against Lowry.

- Debut for DeMar

Raptors Shooting Guard DeMar DeRozan is having a season of firsts, as in February he made his first All-Star team, and now after a bunch of losing season will be making his playoff debut after playing the best basketball of his career so far. Nationally, DeRozan may not be a household name like some players, but this season DeRozan is averaging 22.7 points per game, which puts him in the Top 10 in scoring for the NBA this season. DeRozan will be given the chance to shine on the National stage in the postseason, and something big to watch and that could go a long way to deciding the series is whether he rises or falls to the biggest challenge of his NBA career.

- Youth vs. Experience

The experience differential is eye-pooping in the series between these two teams, as in total the Raptors roster has 156 games of playoff experience. In comparison Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have played in a combined 267 career playoff games. A major concern for the Raptors has to be that their playoff inexperience comes mostly from their starting lineup that has three starters that have never played in a playoff game. TThe two starters that have, Lowry and Amir Johnson have combined to play in 24 playoff games, but neither has started a playoff game.

- Center Dilemma

For most of the season size has bothered the Nets in large part due to the absence of Kevin Garnett, and Jason Kidd using a small lineup with Paul Pierce at the Power Forward position, and although the Nets avoided Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls, they will have to deal with Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas is playing very well in April, as he is averaging a double-double in eight games with 16.8 points and 11 rebounds per game. Against the Nets this season he has been solid averaging 10.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. A major question going into the playoff is what is the realistic expectation of what Garnett will be able to give the Nets? The amount of minutes Garnett will be playing is unknown and even if it is more than he has been since returning from the back spasms, there hasn’t been a whole of court time to see how effective he will be. If Garnett is ineffective or can’t play much, Kidd does have the luxury of going with Mason Plumlee and Andray Blatche off the bench.

Nets Lose to Cavs, Clinch 6th Seed in East
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 16th, 2014

Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Post Game Recap

Final Score: Nets 85 Cavaliers 114

The Brooklyn Nets finished up their regular season with a blowout loss at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a tough start to the season starting (10-21) they finished (44-38), which landed them the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and a first round match-up with the Atlantic Division winning Toronto Raptors.

Player of the Game: Andray Blatche

Jason Kidd elected to rest his starting lineup leaving his bench players to play nearly the whole game with just a seven-man rotation. Andray Blatche in the extended time was able to snag a double-double in the blowout in 39 minutes of play. Blatche finished with 20 points on eight for 18 shooting to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. It will be interesting to see how much Blatche will be playing in the playoffs with the emergence of Mason Plumlee and the return of Kevin Garnett.


The biggest positive of the game for Brooklyn wasn’t anything that happened from a player on the court, but the way things worked out for them in the standings. The Nets loss and the Washington Wizards win the Nets got the sixth seed, and with the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls both losing, it sets up a first round match-up against the Raptors. The Nets didn’t seem to want any part of the Bulls, and for good reason, so now they get a much better match-up against the young inexperienced Raptors.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

W2W4: Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks; April 16th, 2014

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

Pre-Game News and Notes

The New York Knicks will play their regular season finale Wednesday night against the surprising Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors. There is a good chance this one, like last night against the Brooklyn Nets, will resemble something closer to a preseason game as the Knicks prepare for the offseason and the Raptors get ready for the playoffs. Here are some things to keep an eye on for the game tonight.

Photo Credit N/A
-How Bench Players React

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers April 16th, 2014
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 16, 2014

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets coming off a loss to the New York Knicks at home will be heading to Cleveland for the final game of the regular season against the Cavaliers. The Nets are now (44-37) on the season and will be either the fifth or sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, which will send them to either Chicago or Toronto.

- Limping In

Brooklyn has been playing great in the calender year of 2014, but heading into the playoffs the Nets don’t seem to be firing on all cylinders in the final games leading into the playoffs. In April the Nets have had four very bad losses, which could have been the difference between them starting a playoff series at home or on the road, as wins may have put pressure on the Raptors or Bulls. They lost four games to teams under .500 including the Knicks twice, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Orlando Magic. Three of those losses have come in the Nets last four games, as Rookie Head Coach Jason Kidd is trying to manage a veteran team for the first time heading into the playoffs.

- Scenarios

Wednesday is the final day of the regular season, and for the Nets it will let them know where they will be traveling to and what seed they will have. A Nets win against the Cavaliers or a Washington Wizards loss to the Boston Celtics will give the Nets the fifth seed, but a Nets loss and Wizards win will put the Nets in the sixth spot, as the Wizards own the tie-breaker. The battle for the third and fourth seed between the Raptors and Bulls can be decided rather easily if the Raptors beat the Knicks they will be the third seed, but a Raptors loss and Bulls win against the Charlotte Bobcats will give the Bulls the third seed. The Nets this season are 1-2 against the Bulls and 2-2 against the Raptors, and it seems like a popular consensus that the Nets much rather play the inexperienced Raptors in the first round than the Bulls, who knocked them out of the playoffs last season, and pose many more problems with their big lineup.

- Bothering the Waiter

If Brooklyn would like to go into the playoffs on a positive note, they would be smart to try and slow down Dion Waiters, who since moving into the starting lineup has been playing very well for the Cavaliers, and has also played very well against the Nets this season. Since moving into the starting lineup, Waiters has averaged 21.4 points per game in his last 14, and playing against the Nets this season he is averaging 19 points per game. Luol Deng will not be playing against the Nets with a sore back, so there should be some extra shots for Waiters to grab on Wednesday.

Mets Blank Diamondbacks For Second Consecutive Victory

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Post Game Recap

The New York Mets were able to continue their strong play out west, blanking the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night 9-0. That makes it two in a row in the desert for the Mets, as the victory also puts the Mets record at .500; they failed to do so the first five times they had a chance to pull even in the win-loss column.

Christian Peterson-Getty Images
Tonight the Mets wasted no time, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Mets were able to get productive outs, as the first two runs of the inning came on a fielder’s choice and sac fly. The only run to come off a hit in the inning was a single from Kirk Nieuwenhuis that scored Lucas Duda.

The Mets then scored another six runs in the fourth inning, knocking Diamondbacks’ starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo out of the game at that point. Arroyo was roughed up, surrendering nine earned runs in 3.1 innings on 10 hits and one walk, only striking out one. The Mets were shut down otherwise, managing only two base runners outside of the first and fourth innings.

The biggest blow tonight came off the bat of Nieuwenhuis, who knocked a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give him a three-RBI game. This was Nieuwenhuis’s debut of the season, and he made a good case to not get sent back down to the minors.

He was not alone though, as Eric Young Jr. continued to give the Mets solid contributions at the top of their order. Tonight, Young got on base three times with three hits in his five plate appearances and also made the most of his run producing opportunities. He knocked in Travis d’Arnaud and Omar Quintanilla with a single in the fourth inning.

Daniel Murphy and David Wright each delivered two hits of their own, each in five at-bats. Murphy was knocked in twice. Andrew Brown only went 1-4 from the plate, but made the most of his at-bats as he knocked in an RBI in two of his three outs.
Christian Peterson-Getty Images

On the mound tonight was Jenrry Mejia, and he mowed through the Diamondback lineup. In five innings of work, Mejia gave up only two hits, while walking two, and striking out three. He was forced from the game after the fifth inning with a blister on his middle finger.

The Mets bullpen made sure to hold down the victory for Mejia, and the shutout, as Gonzalez Germen and Kyle Farnsworth continued to shutdown the Diamondbacks, combining for four shutout innings. The tandem allowed only one hit while striking out three.

The only players to break through for the D-Backs tonight were Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock. Owings was also issued one of the two walks, as Gerardo Parra received the other. On the evening, the Diamondbacks had only three players get into scoring position.

Tomorrow the Mets will look for the sweep in Arizona, as Dillon Gee will take the mound looking for his first win of the season. He will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy, who will also be looking for his first win this season.

Knicks Defeat Nets, Win Season Series 3-1

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets

Post Game Recap

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets finished up their disappointing season series Tuesday night, as the Knicks defeated the Nets 109-98. It was the third win in the series for the Knicks, who defeated the Nets by 30 and 29 points earlier in the season, while the Nets lone victory came by 23. There was plenty of players not suiting up tonight, and veterans who did played very little as both teams had nothing to really play for. The play resulted in a game that looked more like a preseason game than a regular season meeting. Both teams will be playing their regular season finales Wednesday night, as the Knicks will take on the Toronto Raptors, and the Nets will be going against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Knicks Perspective:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

W2W4: New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets April 15, 2014
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 15th, 2014

W2W4: New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets

Pre-Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets will be hosting the New York Knicks in their final meeting of the season on Tuesday night in a game that looking at the schedule in the beginning of the season would have possibly been for the Atlantic Division, but with the Knicks out of the playoffs, it will be a game for in state bragging rights.

- Season Series

The Knicks have bested the Nets twice this season already including once in the Barclay's Center, as they are up 2-1 this season, and with the Nets heading into the playoffs they would like to also not lose the season series to the team that they share the city with. So far this season their hasn’t been one good game between them, as in the first meeting the Knicks won by 30, followed by a 23-point Nets win, and then most recently a 29-point Knicks win on April 2nd. The Knicks missing the playoffs and having such a disappointing season is good for the Brooklyn brand, but losing the season series would hurt that.

- Woodson's Future

Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson will most likely be coaching one of his last games with the Knicks on Tuesday, as after the extremely disappointing season and a new president in Phil Jackson, Woodson is as good as gone. With just two games left for the Knicks and being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs it will be interesting to see how Woodson decides to handle his rotation, as he may go with his normal veterans to try and get a victory or possibly give some young players more playing time against Brooklyn.

- Center Audition

With just two games to go for the Nets, Jason Kidd has some decisions to make regarding what will be a smaller rotation come playoff time, as Mason Plumlee has forced his way into the fold with his great play of late. The Center position will without a doubt have Kevin Garnett starting, but it will be interesting to see if Kidd will have faith in the rookie Plumlee or go with Andray Blatche, who has also had a very good season. The smaller lineups with Paul Pierce or Mirza Teletovic have worked so well all season, so going away from that seems silly, but if the Nets do match-up against the Bulls having some healthy size at the Center position will be very helpful if Kidd decides to go with a bigger lineup.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nets Snap Two-Game Losing Streak Against Magic
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 13th, 2014

Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets Post Game Recap

Final Score: Magic 88 Nets 97

The Brooklyn Nets were able to snap their two-game losing streak on Sunday, and also get some revenge on the Orlando Magic from a loss in Orlando recently. The win moves the Nets to (44-36) on the season, as now the Nets will just be scoreboard watching to see if they will be playing either the Toronto Raptors or Chicago Bulls in the first round.

Player of the Game: Mirza Teletovic

Coming off the bench, Teletovic scored a game-high 20 points in the win for Brooklyn, as he shot seven for 12 from the field, which included him going four for seven from beyond the arc. Teletovic also grabbed six rebounds in 29 minutes, as come playoff time Teletovic can be an X-factor for the Nets with his ability to stretch the floor from the Power Forward position.


Mason Plumlee had yet another good game for the Nets, as lately Plumlee has been looking really good whether it is coming off the bench or in the starting lineup. In 26 minutes off the bench, Plumlee notched a double-double with 17 points on six for eight shooting, as he went five for eight from the free throw line, while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.

Brooklyn's back court of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both looked sharp on Sunday against Orlando, which is a good sign seeing both of them playing well at the same time heading into what will be a difficult first round match-up. Williams finished with 16 points on five for 10 shooting, which included him going four for seven from deep, with five assists and four steals. For Williams it was his 29th straight game with at least one steal, which is the longest active streak in the NBA. Johnson finished with 17 points on six for 13 shooting, including going three for seven from beyond the arc. Johnson moved into second place on the franchise's single-season made three pointers list with 160 for the season, Williams is in first place with 169 last season.


In the third quarter the Nets and Paul Pierce suffered a bit of a scare, as it appeared he got yet another stinger after getting hit hard by Kyle O'Quinn. Pierce stayed on the bench instead of going to the locker room but he never returned. Kevin Garnett also had a bit of a scare as he was nearly flipped in the second quarter landing on his back, but he stayed in the game. Garnett however didn’t play particularly well, scoring just three points on one for three shooting from the field with five turnovers.

Next up for the Nets will be their final meeting with the rival New York Knicks on Tuesday night in the Barclay’s Center.