Remembering Carmelo Anthony’s Two Biggest Shots As A New York Knick

Reminiscing on the former New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony era is bittersweet. There were plenty of highs but also plenty, plenty of lows. The Knicks only made one playoff appearance during the Melo Era, but he did bring great joy and excitement to the Garden that went missing after the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Anthony brought excitement with his two biggest shots in the same game 6 years ago.

Easter. 2012. Knicks vs. Bulls at the sold-out Garden.  Not so much a rivalry like it was during the Ewing, Jordan era, but the players, and especially the fans, still got up for these games. The Bulls were atop of the Eastern Conference being led by reigning MVP Derrick Rose.  The Knicks were fighting for the 8th spot in the playoffs and slipping.  Not ideal.  Since the Knicks were unsure of their playoffs hopes, unlike the Bulls, this game was treated as if it was Game 7 of the Eastern Finals.

The Knicks playing for a playoff spot, played the Bulls tight the entire game.  Anthony and Rose would be exchange baskets pretty much all game until the 4th quarter came.  It was Melo’s time to takeover.  The crowd was locked into this game along with the nationally televised audience.

The Bulls had a 3 point lead, 91-88, with Derrick Rose at the free throw line.  Rose misses the backend of his 2 free throws and J.R. Smith pulls down the board, quickly looking for, who else, Melo.  Melo gets the ball with 17.5 seconds left in the 4th quarter and begins up the floor.  The Garden is already on their feet.  Everyone in the county knows the ball is going up.  However, we didn’t think it be that quick.  With Taj Gibson trying to check Melo, he takes two dribbles past mid court and launches a 3 from the right side of the court, a little farther from the foul line extended.

First, when Melo chucks 3’s like he did in this situation, it just looks awkward and doesn’t look like it should drop.  However, this had a differrent feel to it.   With the ball being launched into the air every fan who wasn’t already on their feet stood up. With Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen calling the game brought extra excitement to the shot as Melo crossed halfcourt…

Mike Breen – “Should the Bulls foul?”

Jeff Van Gundy – “No.”

Mike Breen – “Anthony for three…BANG!”

What a call!  Hilarious commentary and fantastic shot, right in the grill of Gibson.  Melo and Garden went wild. It truly felt like a playoff game.  Melo forces overtime, capping off a 10-0 Knicks run to end the game. Fast forward.  The Bulls control the overtime, again take the lead and the Knicks are again playing from behind.  Seventeen seconds left, Knicks with the ball and Coach Mike Woodson lets them play.  Thank god, because we can’t stand timeouts in big situations, ruins the flow of the game.

Melo with the ball at the top of the key.  Now, Luol Deng is trying to check Melo.  Melo has his players clear out and takes a slow dribble to basically the same exact spot from where he tied the game in the 4th quarter.  Everyone knows it’s going up.  This time, with Melo staring down Deng, puts up a much nicer looking shot, as compared to his game-tying 3, and the basket couldn’t have been bigger for Melo that day.   Van Gundy and Breen on the call.

Breen – “Mike Woodson not calling timeout.”

Van Gundy – “I like that move.”

Breen – “In the hands of Anthony. Anthony for 3…PUTS IT IN! KNICKS BY 1 WITH 8.2 REMAINING!”

Again the Garden, Melo, literally everyone went nuts.  What a time to be alive.  I can still remember how exciting that game was.  This was during the time when people thought Melo wasn’t clutch.  This performance shut up all the haters.

It was Melo’s best performance as a Knick since coming over from Denver.  His 43-point outburst helped the Knicks get the W and ultimately make the playoffs as the 7th seed, before getting bounced by the Heat in the first round.  However, those two shots from Melo were the biggest and most exciting shots of his Knicks career.  Seeing the Garden erupt like they did for those two shots is something that we all wish to see again soon.

 

 

Yankees Acquire Veteran Outfielder Andrew McCutchen

Get excited, Yankees fans. Brian Cashman has finally made a move in adding some production back into the outfield and into the lineup. Not just anyone, though – according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees have agreed to a trade with the San Francisco Giants for the 2013 National League MVP, 5x All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger, 1x Gold Glove veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen in exchange for INF Abiatal Avelino and one other minor league player.

How influential is the signing of Andrew McCutchen for the Yankees?

This is huge for the Yankees. Yes, the 31-year-old may be past his prime years, but he is essentially replacing the 33-year-old Shane Robinson who doesn’t even contribute half as much as McCutchen could both offensively and defensively.

Since Aaron Judge was put on the disabled list on July 27, Robinson is posting an abysmal .143/.182/.238 slash line with a .420 OPS. Not to mention that he has not been a protector of the short porch to say the least.

McCutchen is not necessarily playing up to his career numbers of .288/.377/.481 with a .858 OPS – but rather he’s put up a .255/.357/.415 slash line this season with a .772 OPS and 15 HR, 55 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

As you can see from the numbers, he is a significant improvement from Shane Robinson. As it stands today, the Yankees are 7.5 games behind Boston and are seemingly not going to surpass them. With Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, AND Aaron Judge on the disabled list, the Yankees have been struggling offensively.

With an influx of bat efficiency from McCutchen, the Bombers will have enough fire power until their star players return to the lineup. Additionally, they will need all the help they can find to fend off the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card.

Northwestern Defeats Purdue After Sindelar Throws Three Interceptions

The first Big Ten game of the season happened on Thursday night, when Northwestern traveled about two and a half hours south to face Big Ten West foes Purdue. The game was close fought, but the Wildcats would be the one to come out with the victory. That doesn’t mean that the result was clear-cut, though. Between both teams, four quarterbacks received playing time, and Purdue had both some highs and some lows over the course of the game.

How did Northwestern steal the road win?

Clayton Thorson is the man at Northwestern. That wasn’t clear heading into the game, but Thorson started and had the most passing attempts, with 26. He also managed to complete 58% of his passes, and threw for 172 yards. Despite Thorson starting, however, T.J. Green entered the game off the bench at one point and had the only touchdown.

That touchdown didn’t come via Green’s arm, however. A one yard run gave him the score, and Green’s yard total came to 63. Not quite the numbers that Thorson, who was the undisputed number one before his injury at the end of last year, was able to put up. Then again, Green had less attempts to work with. He only threw 11 passes compared to Thorson’s 26.

The position players were the stars of the game, though. Three of Northwestern’s touchdowns came from the running backs, and on the Purdue side, Rondale Moore was a standout. Moore is a true freshman, and despite having a slow start where he had a couple of drops, he had his first big reception in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Moore wasn’t just a threat in the passing game, either.

He only had two rushes, but one of them was a 76 yard touchdown that brought the crowd to their feet near the end of the first quarter. That’s not to say that Moore wasn’t one of the top players in the receiving game, though. His eleven catches led the game, as did his 109 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Purdue was within grasp of the win, but in the end, it was their quarterback performance that gave Northwestern the win. Elijah Sindelar played more of the snaps rather than David Blough, but had three first half interceptions compared to his one touchdown. His QBR was only 28.0, compared to 58.1 from Blough. That, combined with the pair of touchdowns on the ground from Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin, gave the Wildcats the win.

“We’ve got to figure out what gives us the best chance to win. I think both guys will respond and be ready to go,” said Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, on the subject of who will be the starting quarterback. He decided against making an immediate decision in reaction to the result, claiming that the call hadn’t been made yet.

Sindelar had one of the quotes that sums up the situation the best. “At the end of the day, this is Purdue football and if we win, then we both win. Regardless of if he’s in the game or I’m in the game, like if I get pulled out, that’s my chance to be a leader and a captain and show the guys that I am a teammate and I am going to be there at the end of the day to help him. It’s not about jealousy.”

New York Giants: Who Made A Case For A Roster Spot Against The Pats?

The first half of the New York Giants‘ preseason finale gave us a look into the most borderline bubble cuts going into the weekend. Players like Hunter Sharp, Kalif Raymond, Amba Etta-Tawo, Donte Deayon, Grant Haley and more, all put their cards on the table to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

The Giants will have to cut 40 players over the weekend, and while some fan-favorites may depart, some will remain with the team.

Let’s take a look at which Giants stated their case against the Patriots on Thursday:

1.) CB Donte Deayon

The third-year undersized corner has fought tooth and nail to earn a spot on the active roster, and I think he’s finally pushed the coaches into a corner. His two interception first half should spring him onto the team, and to be quite frank, it might earn him a chance at a starting spot in the future. With Eli Apple struggling in coverage, it could open the door for Deayon to step in and fill an inconsistent role. What a story that would be.

2.) WR Kalif Raymond

Kalif Raymond has performed well over the course of the preseason, but the finale really opened some eyes. His numbers don’t stand out at one reception for 20 yards, but he was missed badly on two deep passes from Kyle Lauletta. One was a deep route where Raymond had a good two steps on the corner and had day-light ahead, the other on under-thrown ball that could’ve been a “hit in stride” touchdown with a little more arm.

Overall, he presents value as a reserve WR and a kick return specialist.

3.) CB Chris Lewis-Harris

The Giants are in dire need of a true slot corner and Lewis-Harris fits the bill nicely. He’s had a strong preseason and continued it with a six tackles, two defended passes performance against the Patriots. He could start the season as ‘the’ slot-corner ahead of veteran William Gay.

4.) S Andrew Adams

For some odd reason, safety Andrew Adams has pulled the short end of the stick repeatedly since being drafted. He’s performed well at times but seems to keep falling down the depth chart. In the finale, Adams recorded four total tackles with one for a loss. He looked sharp and energized while on the field. Will it be enough to keep him on the roster? Maybe, but for now, it seems as if he could be a roster cut with new acquisition Michael Thomas displaying starting potential.

New York Giants Prediciton: Five Surprising Roster Cuts

The final preseason game for the New York Giants will likely provide the information that determines the future of about 40 players that will be cut next week prior to the start of the regular season. We won’t know who GM Dave Gettleman and HC Pat Shurmur decide to release until it happens, but based on the performances this season, we have an idea of who’s on the bubble.

Lets dive into five players that could be surprising cuts for the New York Giants:

1.) WR Hunter Sharp

While this release isn’t exactly ‘surprising’, it’s certainly interesting. Sharp has flashed potential as a special teams player, running a punt back for a touchdown in last week’s Snoopy Bowl. Despite that one positive, he also dropped two passes that were easily catchable. His value is very binary and focused – I don’t think it will be enough to keep him on the roster.

2.) RB Jonathan Stewart

Gettleman signed Stewart to a two-year, $6.8 million with the intention of extracting any gas left in the tank. Additionally, Stewart offers value as a mentor for first-round pick Saquon Barkley. So far, the former Carolina back has struggled immensely throughout preseason, amassing -5 yards on 10 carries. That’s an average of -0.5 yards per carry.

When Stewart was asked about his lack of value in the run game, he responded with a quick, “It’s preseason.” If the Giants cut him they would save 600k in cap-space to allocate towards positions of need. The question is: Is Gettleman able to admit he’s made a mistake and cut the running back?

3.) OL John Jerry

Another potential roster cut would be John Jerry, the offensive lineman that Jerry Reese saw so much value in he decided to deliver a three-year, $10 million deal to his doorstep. Jerry is a below average run blocker but has some value in pass protection. He’s owed $3.6 million with $2.55 guaranteed in 2018. If he were to be cut the Giants would save about $1.15 million in cap-space. Believe it or not, that’s enough to sign a player that offers more value at another position.

4.) OL Chad Wheeler

Despite being drafted in 2017, USC product Chad Wheeler could be a roster cut this time around. He could be resigned to the practice squad, but there doesn’t seem to be much buzz around him this offseason. He hasn’t shown much optimism for development outside of a decent showing against the Kansas City Chiefs last year.

The Giants would save about 500k by releasing the tackle.

5.) CB Grant Haley

After having a solid training camp, rookie cornerback Grant Haley has fallen off a bit in recent weeks. The hopes were that Haley could play a starting role at slot corner, or offer some value in the secondary. I think third-year man Donte Deayon has a better chance at earning the roster spot over Haley, despite injury concerns from the tiny corner. Deayon has been a menace in coverage and has earned an opportunity on the active roster, expect to see the Giants make Haley their No. 1 practice squad priority.

 

New York Giants: Beckham Deal Was “Just A Matter Of When”

In the buildup to the last New York Giants game of the preseason, Odell Beckham Jr. managed to steal the show by securing a new contract with the highest ever guarantee for an NFL receiver. It’s a historic deal that many believed wouldn’t happen, especially when trade rumors started circulating earlier in the year. But Beckham has not only stayed on the roster, but has been extended for another five years.

What was the thought process of the Giants front office, before the deal was made? Well, according to John Mara, they knew the entire time what the outcome would be. “We knew we would sign him at some point. The only question was: Was it going to be this year or were we going to give him another year to prove himself?”

It turns out Beckham didn’t need that extra year to prove that he deserves the new deal. It seems that his training camp performance, on and off the field, was enough to win over management. “His energy level has been off the roof. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We feel good about having him on our team for the next five years,” Mara continued.

It looks like the second week of the preseason is when the front office staff were finally sold on the idea of extending Beckham’s contract. “When he went out to Detroit and took part in those practices and was full speed and looked great, he was ready to go and we were satisfied that he was healthy and had the right attitude.”

In Beckham’s last full season, he registered 1,367 yards and an average of 13.5 yards per catch. He also had 10 touchdowns, and has had double-digit touchdowns in every year except for 2017, when he was injured midway through the season. Last season, he managed three touchdowns before his injury put him out for the rest of the year. It’s a decent total considering that Beckham only started two games and played in four total.

Of course, after receiving the big extension, Beckham will be expected to put up bigger stats than he has in any of his past years. His chances to prove himself again will come as soon as September 9th and week one of the regular season, when the Giants take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at home.

New York Yankees Flashback: Catfish, Again

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

When Catfish Hunter beat the Oakland A’s, 6-2, on August 27, 1978, he completed a six-win/no-loss August that helped propel the Yankees on their way in their momentous climb from 14 games back of the Red Sox.

Double/single, then a walk and back-to-back errors, then double/single again gave the Bombers a 6-1 first-inning lead over the Mariners in Yankee Stadium on August 27, 2017, in an eventual 10-1 win. A brilliant Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 over seven, and the surprising big hit on back-to-back days was delivered by Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Yankees had a doubly fine day on August 27, 1938, both in that they swept a pair from the Indians, and because they had both their offense and pitching to thank. Joe DiMaggio led the way by stroking three triples in the 8-7 win in the first game, and Monte Pearson won his 10th straight game and fashioned a no-hitter to boot in the 13-0 Yankee victory in Game Two.

The fact that it was only their second loss in 14 games made it a bit easier to swallow the Yanks’ 8-2 defeat to Texas on August 27, 1977, but the manner of their undoing was bizarre. Toby Harrah and Bump Wills belted inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches from Yankee righty Ken Clay.

Outfielder and pitcher Johnny Lindell (1985) is the most noteworthy Yankee player to have died on August 27. Lindell cleared 63 fences good for 369 runs batted in for the Yanks in his 1941-1950 debut, and he won two games, lost one, and saved one in 23 appearances on the mound (two starts).

The hitting stats grew to 72 and 404 after a year with the Cardinals, one with the Pirates, and two with the Phillies. And in 55 overall pitching appearances (28 starts), he posted an 8-18-1 record.

Big Ten: Purdue vs Northwestern Preview & Prediction

Before conference play begins for some of the bigger names in the Big Ten, Northwestern and Purdue will kick things off with an 8:00 PM night game that should be an interesting matchup. These schools are only divided by roughly two and a half hours, and their game on August 30th will take place long before any of the scheduled conference games this year.

Who has the edge in this battle of neighbors?

It’s somewhat hard to judge Northwestern without knowing who will start at quarterback. Clayton Thorson overperformed last year and threw for 2,844 yards, as well as 15 touchdowns, but was injured just as the season was coming to a close. As such, he’s not the guaranteed started on day one despite being the most talented quarterback on the roster.

Either Thorson or T.J. Green will be the starter, but unless Green has made big improvements during this offseason, Thorson is the better player by a decent margin. Green doesn’t have as much experience entering the season, and he hasn’t even received playing time as a backup. Last season, he only played in one game and had five passing yards total.

The two could end up evenly matched at the QB position regardless of who wins the Northwestern job. Purdue has their own quarterback battle, between redshirt senior David Blough and redshirt junior Elijah Sindelar. Both have had their moments, and both received enough time in the spotlight last year to throw for more than 1,000 yards. Sindelar, though, just about doubled Blough’s production.

Purdue could even use each quarterback in different situations. “We know what coach Brohm is thinking, the plays he wants to call and how he wants it to be different if I’m in, if Elijah’s in,” Blough said recently, praising head coach Jeff Brohm’s communication skills.

Brohm hasn’t just gotten the most out of the quarterbacks that he inherited upon joining Purdue. His tenure has also improved the defense, which became one of the top 25 scoring defenses in the country last year after previously ranking closer to the bottom in defensive scoring.

Junior linebacker Markus Bailey returns after some big performances last year, to man them middle of the linebacker group. They also have a clear-cut leader in their secondary, redshirt senior safety Jacob Thieneman. Just like the rest of the Purdue defense, Thieneman had a big improvement last year and finished with 73 tackles compared to 14 from 2016, in addition to two interceptions.

Northwestern’s defense, on the other hand, will have more of an advantage in the trenches and will look for sacks. They bring back reliable pass rushers Joe Gaziano and Samdup Miller, which should give them an advantage over Purdue in the pass rushing department.

Going back to the battle in the trenches, though, you have to consider that Purdue has more running back depth than a Northwestern team that lost top rusher Justin Jackson and may not have a replacement that’s as good. So who pulls out the win in the end? Both teams are around the same level, but it looks like Purdue could win the coaching battle and they also have less uncertainty about their quarterback situation.

They also play at home. It won’t be an easy game by any means, but their home crowd should give them enough energy to boost them to the victory.

Prediction: Purdue defeats Northwestern 31-24

Remembering the Best One-Two Punch in Knicks History

It was a simple basketball game on April 2, 2000 with the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. This was the time when the Knicks had a dynamite team consisting of Patrick Ewing, Marcus Camby, Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, Charlie Ward and the man of the hour, Chris Childs. On this date, Chris Childs instantly became a Knicks legend.

First off, the Knicks had those, now, fire road uniforms with the dark blue and the black siding on both the jersey and the shorts. Back then, they were not well received, but now, they’re hot. Besides their fire uniforms, that team was also fire, tough and edgy. They were not afraid to push their own weight around, still having that grit from the Pat Riley era.

Now, the Knicks were down pretty much all game. The Lakers were just a better team. Kobe was in his fourth season and still had something to prove. Kobe was young and from rewatching the game, had dirty antics. But, then again, what basketball player doesn’t at some point in their career. However, this was not the day to test those antics on Chris Childs.

In numerous articles from the New York Post, Daily News, Complex Magazine and podcasts, most recently, Childs recalls Kobe being “dirty” basically the entire game leading up to the old one-two! Child also recalls telling Kobe to quit the shenanigans or he, Chris, was going “to take off on you. I’m going to take off on you.” Childs pointed out the antics to the refs and remembers them shrugging their shoulders and not doing anything about it. Kobe then chirped back at Childs saying, according to Childs, “You ain’t gone do anything.” Wrong words buddy.

Side note, Chris Childs came off the bench and hit some timely buckets for the Knicks and his stroke was looking strong, so he was feeling good. Allan Houston missed a jumper and Kobe got the rebound and started down the court. Kobe dumps the ball into the low-post for Shaq, guarded by Ewing and Kobe runs down along the baseline, curling up into the paint. Knicks are forced to switch. Childs switches to Kobe…

Kobe runs under Ewing, Childs follows and they get jammed up. They begin to get in each other’s face, jawing at one another. Words were definitely exchanged and Childs appeared to give Kobe a little shove, harmless. They continue to chirp at each other, now they’re forehead-to-forehead. Childs shoves his head into Kobe, backing him up. Kobe then tries to take a swing at Childs with his elbow, WITH HIS ELBOW, and backs up. Wild move, first off, and then to not even put your hands up or not know that retaliation is coming next? Come on man.

Childs looked stunned with the elbow swing. With Kobe backing up and not clearly defending himself, Childs said enough was enough. He warned Kobe. Childs was not going to let this young buck show him up, even if he did go on to become one of the greatest ballers ever. Childs quickly, QUICKLY, saw that the Black Mamba was defenseless and hit him with a quick, POP, POP, one-two baby. Kobe the tries to get a punch in before the teams get involved and break it up, but not before Chris Childs had his own Mamba Mentality and hit Kobe with the old one-two.

Looking back, those Knicks game and 1990’s/2000’s NBA basketball games were awesome. All toughness and grit. Fights galore. Ah, the good ole days. Sometime there needs to be a little rough-tough games, keep players on their toes. Childs and Kobe’s fight was not the best fight ever, but at the time, it was like wow. Especially in this situation, where we can clearly see the punches from Childs being thrown. Chris Childs hitting Kobe was his most signature moment as a Knick, probably his entire career. However, he was a solid player, but Knicks fans will remember him for those quick hands.

New York Giants: Previewing The Final Preseason Opponent

New York Giants fans are no stranger to the last opponent of the preseason. The team faces the Patriots once again, to wrap up the preseason and officially send us to the part of the schedule that counts. Both teams enter the game 2-1, but the Patriots are coming off of a loss and the Giants enter with back to back wins.

What Patriots storylines will affect the game?

New England might be a dynasty that’s entering the season following a Super Bowl appearance, but that doesn’t mean everything is going great for them. That’s something that even quarterback Tom Brady recently admitted to WEEI Boston.

“And from the start of camp, the depth, and certain things haven’t worked out the way we would have hoped and certain players would have hoped, but that’s football. I’ve been around long enough to see that every year is different and you don’t know how things are going to work out,” Brady said, before mentioning that most wouldn’t feel sorry for the Patriots at this time.

After cutting three receivers that on paper should have made the first team, trading Brandin Cooks doesn’t look like a great move anymore for the Patriots. That showed in their low point total in the 14-25 loss to Carolina, their only touchdown coming from a Mike Gillislee run.

It’s a good matchup for a Giants secondary that’s still finding itself. After all, some of the players that should see a lot of the playing time at the wide receiver position are Chris Hogan, Philip Dorsett, and Cordarrelle Patterson. While these players are serviceable, the Patriots don’t have deep quality behind Julian Edelman.

Their defense did a decent enough job against the run, holding explosive back Christian McCaffrey to 48 yards on 12 carries and Cameron Artis-Payne to 15 yards on 6 rushes. For the latter player, that comes to an average of 2.5 yards per carry. But the Patriots haven’t gotten great production out of their own running game.

New England’s top running back, Mike Gillislee, had 10 carries but a 3.5 yards per carry average. Jeremy Hill had the second most rushes, with nine, but only managed an average of 2.8. To his credit, though, Gillislee had the only touchdown of the game for New England.

Overall, the Patriots aren’t a team that should be underestimated. They’ve been counted out a lot during the Belichick era, but they usually find ways to overcome their problems. Still, the lack of receiver depth can’t be ignored, and that’s an area where the Giants should have an advantage going into tomorrow’s game.

Winning isn’t the most important thing in the preseason, but it’s also never a bad thing when a New York team pulls out a win over a Boston team. And with the Patriots not heading into the regular season with as much confidence behind them as there’s been in most recent years, the Giants might have a good chance at doing just that.