New York Knicks Fiz Out Late Against Defending Champs

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

The New York Knickerbockers hosted the defending champion Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden on October 26, 2018.

Coach David Fizdale summed up the fifth game of the season perfectly in his post-game press conference, the Knicks are playing college basketball (40 minutes) and they need to play professional basketball (for 48 minutes).

The Build-Up

The two franchises entered into the Friday night matchup on opposite sides of the NBA spectrum. The Warriors are fresh off a game against the Washington Wizards, where a man by the name of Wardell Stephen Curry II posted a pedestrian 51 points in 31 minutes, going 12 of 24 from the field and 11 of 16 from the three-point line. This game became so lopsided that Coach Steve Kerr opted to bench Curry in the 4th quarter and did not allow the two-time MVP to challenge (and probably eclipse) his personal career high of 54 points in one game and the NBA record for three pointers in a game [13]. The game was so out-of-hand that Kevin Durant drove in to the paint, threw down a tomahawk jam with such little resistance, and immediately asked to be subbed out of the game due to, what appeared to be, lack of competition, as KD seemingly mouthed “they weak” to his teammates and coaches on his way to the bench. Plain and simple, this game was total domination by the Warriors before they set off on their three game road trip.

On the other hand, the New York Knicks are reeling off their worst performance of the young 2018 NBA season, coming off a 110-87 rout against the Heat in Miami-[W]ade County. It was especially disappointing for Coach Fizdale in his Knicks coaching debut back in Miami, where there was pre-game praise fluttering around the locker rooms– from D-Wade to Coach Spoelstra to Coach Fiz. The trips down memory lane ranged from intense practices, to rats in the video room, to Wade plucking on the strings of emotionally vulnerable Knicks fans by claiming that Fizdale’s player-coaching style and culture will attract future free agents to New York. Everything was all lovey-dovey until the Knicks got out-coached, out-played, and out-classed against a team using the same strategy of ‘run-and-gun’ and ‘space-and-pace’ Walt Frazier voice. This game put the youngest team in the NBA on notice that the growing pains will hurt, but the Knicks had to get their act together quickly as … Drum Roll PLEASE… THE CHAMPS ARE HERE!

Pre-Game Coaching Decisions

Coach Fizdale hinted that changes were looming in regards to the Knicks starting lineup, and boy did Coach stir things up pre-game. Not only did Damyean Dotson (a.k.a D-Dot) and Mitchell Robinson (a.k.a. Lobinson) get their first NBA career starts alongside Tim Hardaway Jr. (a.k.a. THJ), Noah Vonleh also joined the five– which made for one very unhappy 6′ 11″ Turkish center. Enes Kanter, who opted into the last year of his $17 million contract with the Knicks this past summer, was left off the starting lineup against the defending champs for rookie second-round pick and a 2014 draft pick on his 4th NBA team. This justifiably made Kanter angry and in the postgame presser, the disgruntled center expressed his displeasure with an insolent tone, explaining that Coach Fizdale wanted the center to lead the second unit. It is understandable why Kanter, who averages 11 points and 7 rebounds in his career, was frustrated pre and post game with coaches decision, however Enes did himself no favors with his lethargic defense in the 4th quarter that has actually forced the finger to be pointed at Fizdale for his questionable decision making… for not taking Kanter out early enough.

Say what you will about the bold starting lineup that Fizdale put out there against the defending champs, but Coach wanted to spark the team– and spark the team he did.

Tale of Two Halves

The New York Knickerbockers came out firing on all cylinders against the big, bad Golden State Warriors– who have secured 3 out of the last 4 NBA Larry O’Brien championship trophies, and barring a wild upset, will be hoisting a 4th trophy in 5 years at the end of this season.

The emphasis with the new starting lineup for New York, which consisted of the French Prince, D-Dot, THJ, Vonleh, and Lobinson, was obviously defense. The first half had it all for the Knicks– second chance opportunities, quick transition baskets, and the home team established a fast paced offense created off long rebounds, due to intensity on the defensive side of the ball. It is exactly how the coaching staff has been drawing up the game-plan since Summer League and Preseason, but the difference in the first half was, the players were executing magnificently.

The Knicks starting guards had a great game, with the French Prince putting up a career-high 17 points in just 26 minutes, on 6 of 11 from the field and 3 of 7 from three point territory. D-Dot added 12 points and 7 rebounds on 41% shooting from the field and 33% from downtown and also showed flashes of become a future “3 and D” starter for the Knicks. More importantly, the defensive pressure by the young Knicks guards against the superstar Warrior guards will provide a glimmer of hope in the eyes of Knicks fans everywhere.

Coach Fizdale has something cooking with the defensive intensity portrayed from the new first unit, accompanied by the offense and rebounding produced from the second unit which consisted of Trey Burke, Allonzo Trier (a.k.a. Iso-Zo), Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, and (Super) Mario Hezonja. Although Kanter was clearly disgruntled before and after the game for being plucked out of the starting lineup, he provided a big spark off the bench for the team putting up 8 points and 13 rebounds, but more importantly, providing second-chance opportunities and stimulating intensity in the Garden by jawing at KD and Boogie Cousins. Kanter and Boogie’s bickering escalated to the point where Boogie, who was in sweet clothes because he is still recovering from a torn Achilles, was thrown out of the game. Gotta love Boogie starting the 2018-2019 season with technical fouls on the stat sheet before recording any minutes played.

The Knicks and the Warriors went into halftime tied at 52 with the Knicks leading in the rebounding column, 26 to 17. New York was even able to get over that dreaded 3rd quarter hump that usually leaves the team limping into the 4th quarter and again the Garden faithful were thinking… There’s hope! And then… like clockwork…

Knicks Intensity Fizzes into Thin Air

The Knicks led by as much as 5 points in the 4th quarter with just over 10 minutes remaining, and were holding onto a 1 point lead with 7:38 left in the ballgame, before that fairytale ended in a 28 point blowout. You may be looking at those numbers, just objectively baffled, thinking to yourself, how could that possibly be? Well brace yourself, because in less than 8 minutes of gameplay, the Warriors went on a 35-6 run and outscored New York 47-16 in the 4th quarter. Kevin Durant led the surge, going 3 for 5 from downtown with 15 points, Steph added a trey, Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie joined the three-point party, and even Draymond hit one! Not even 22% Shooting for the all-star center, from downtown, could stop the 4th quarter avalanche by the Warriors in the Garden.

The Warriors roster was efficient there was contribution from top to bottom starting with KD who ended the game with 41 points, 25 coming in the 4th quarter, to Curry who poured in 29 points shooting +50% in the field and from three, to Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie who had key plays in this game, especially in the fourth quarter.

Coach Giveth and Coach Giveth Away

Simply put, the New York Knicks ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! Dennis Green voice (May he R.I.P.). A young and immature team trying to figure it out on the fly. However, personally, I am taking the “innocent until proven guilty” approach with Coach Fizdale and I implore the Knicks fan base to do the same. This man has been watching NBA game tape for decades in cold dark basements (for effect) and has earned the respect of coaches, personnel, and players across the league (minus Marc Gasol). Maybe it’s taking it a little too far to get upset with the first year coach in his fifth game, with the youngest team in the league, for substitutions late in the game. Ironically, the critique is over Fizdale not going back to his bold starting lineup quick enough.

To clarify the questionable coache’s call late in the game–Trey Burke had the hot hand in the 3rd quarter and that led to Coach Fizdale taking out Burke and Kanter a little too late into the 4th quarter, instead of switching back to the defensive lineup. Having Iso-Zo and Burke on the floor at the same time can lead to that ‘stand-and-watch’ offense Knicks fans are accustomed to. Personally, I would’ve liked to have the French Prince playing floor general for this team and facilitating the offense, while continuing his defensive pressure and using his wing-span to his advantage. Of course, all of this rhetoric would’ve sounded different if Trey and THJ were more efficient from the field, a feat not so easily conquered.

Playing Monday morning [coach] is a tradition across all sports and I do not expect it to change, but moral victories aside and simply put, Coach Fizdale managed a great game and put his players in a position to succeed. The Knicks were able to complete some tasks and accomplishments along the way, but unfortunately, the team was not able to complete the mission. Coach admitted in the postgame presser that this young team is learning on the fly as the roster hasn’t been in these situations ad these growing pains hurt but are valuable. The roster mustn’t be happy to just be in the game, they must be in it to win it. Queue Coach Herman Edwards YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!

During the postgame interviews, Tim Hardaway Jr. doubled down and set the record straight on the tone of the 2018 New York Knicks. When the guard was asked if he was satisfied gaining the respect of the NBA champion Warriors, he replied, “thanks but no thanks, on [the] moral victories.”

Next up: The Knicks have the weekend off before hosting the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on Monday 10/29 at 7:30PM.  The New York Knicks dropped a preseason game at the Garden on October 12 and lost to their in-state rivals on October 19th at the Barclays Center. This upcoming matchup is a virtual must-win for the 1-5 Knicks, who are seemingly in turmoil, still seeking their first win since the opener against the lowly Atlanta Hawks.

New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. Not Ready To Quit Yet

Even if the New York Giants organization is quitting at this point in the season by trading away players such as Damon Harrison, top receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t ready to quit. Beckham talked to the New York Daily News recently and, of course, one of the things that came up was the team’s fate this season. Always the competitive player, Beckham’s mood seems different from the mood surrounding much of the team.

“You just don’t quit. I really don’t know how to quit. As long as I’m here I’m always going to care. Sometimes the process is ugly but there will be better days. Obviously this is not where we want to be but this is where we’re at. We got nine more games to do something about it,” said Beckham.

One thing that Beckham also mentioned was his contract, which because of its size, ensures that he’s one of the few players that will not be at risk of a trade during the ongoing fire sale. Beckham was asked if he regretted signing the contract now that the Giants are 1-6 to start the season, but had a reassuring answer for Giants fans.

“No. I just wish we had a better record than we have.”

It’s an interesting answer because before signing the contract, Beckham was linked to a trade with the Los Angeles Rams who are currently undefeated. Beckham would surely have bigger numbers and the Rams offense would almost certainly score even more than it already has, which is a big contrast from the current New York Giants offense that cost the team the game against the Atlanta Falcons with its poor output.

“It’s hard to think about that now and it’s really irrelevant to think about now because I’m here and I will be here,” Beckham also said. And that’s the truth. With his contract, Odell Beckham Jr. is set to outlast some of the other big name players on the team such as Eli Manning. He’s the key player on offense that the Giants will build around going forward, along with running back Saquon Barkley, so it’s good to know that even with the way the season has gone so far, his mind is still on the New York Giants and not on what could have been with the L.A. Rams.

New York Giants’ Janoris Jenkins Responds To Trade Rumors

After the departure of New York Giants’ star defensive lineman Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions, rumors began to swirl in regard to several other players on the team packing their bags. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was one of them, and he dones’t seem phased by the talks.

The Giants received a mediocre compensation package for Harrison, as the Lions only parted ways with a fifth-round pick to grab the 30 year old nose tackle. Harrison would’ve counted $7 million against the cap in 2019 but will now take up a mere $3.8 million. The dead cap space certainly hurts the Giants but an additional $3 million will be helpful.

Most would ask: Was it worth it to trade Harrison and why was he sent packing in the first place?

My answer would be this:

The installation of the 3-4 defense was never the right fit for “Snacks.” The 3-4 requires the interior lineman to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, and that simply wans’t Harrison’s strength. It was likely that the Giants were going to cut ties with him regardless of the outcome this season.

Now, with about half a week before the trade deadline, rumors of Jenkins hitting the market have been in full swirl.

Here’s what Jenkins had to say about the Giants potentially trading him:

“I want to be here.”

“It ain’t flattering,” Jenkins said when asked about his thoughts on the rumors other teams are looking to acquire him. “Business is business, baby. Whatever they decide to do, that’s what they do. I can’t be mad at them. I can’t judge nobody, I can’t say nothing. If it happens, it happens, I’m on to the next step.”

At 29 years old, Jenkins is on the back end of his career as a potential top 5 corner in the NL, but he still offers immense value. If I were the Giants, I would take nothing less than a third-round pick for his services.


Big Ten: Big Stakes In Saturday’s Penn State Versus Iowa Game

The two current favorites to win the Big Ten, Michigan and Ohio State, are both on bye weeks right now. It seems like this slate of games isn’t the best one. Nebraska will face FCS Bethune-Cookman, and while the Huskers are struggling, an upset isn’t something you should bet on. Purdue faces Michigan State after defeating the Buckeyes, but both teams are unranked and aren’t considered to be in the hunt for the conference title.

But there are important games. You just have to look past the teams that are near the top of the polls.

Wisconsin faces Northwestern for the lead in the Big Ten West, but the Badgers will enter as the favorites and only one of the teams in this game is ranked. However, there is one matchup between ranked teams, and that’s Penn State versus Iowa. Of all the games nationally this weekend, it’s the one that shouldn’t be overlooked, because it will definitely change the trajectory for both teams and maybe even a few others, regardless of who wins.

Iowa is in a four way race with Wisconsin, Purdue, and Northwestern, all three teams possessing one loss this season. Northwestern is in the lead by virtue of playing one more game than Wisconsin, but if they lose and Iowa defeats Penn State, it would put Iowa on even footing with Wisconsin and Northwestern behind both teams after gaining their second loss in the conference. If Northwestern and Iowa both win, the Wildcats stay in first place and Iowa would be right behind them.

Purdue is also in the equation but they would need a win against Michigan State to stay in the hunt for now, and despite their win over the second ranked team in the country, Michigan State shouldn’t be written off. They’re less of a mistake prone team than Ohio State is this season and they played Michigan close for much of the game last week.

Of course, Iowa jumping ahead of Purdue and Wisconsin assumes that they beat Penn State, which wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable but also isn’t a given. The Nittany Lions managed to string together two straight losses fairly recently, around the same time they pulled it off last season. They also didn’t do as much as they could have against Indiana, and Iowa was one of the teams that gave them trouble last year. Could the Hawkeyes actually get the win here? It’s pretty reasonable to predict that they will, given Penn State’s past three outings.

Penn State is already out of the chase for the conference title, but which bowl game they go to this year will depend on what they do with the rest of the season and they need to win out to salvage things and get into a good bowl. There will likely be more challenges directed at James Franklin’s job if they lose here, meaning there’s a lot on the line for both teams. Penn State wants to get to a good bowl, and Iowa can move up in a race that, right now, involves four teams.

Only one team will get what they want from this game… But either way, the result will influence an entire division.

Damyean Dotson Thriving In Knox Absence

New York Knicks, Damyean Dotson

Damyean Dotson is still trying to earn a spot in the Knicks rotation.  Ever since Kevin Knox went down with an ankle injury, Dot has has been making the most of his time.  In his first three games of the season, Dotson is averaging 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 29.3 minutes of action, while shooting .486% from the floor.

This is the beginning of the Dot that Knicks fans hoped for when drafted out of Houston.  Dotson has ‘the stuff’ to be a beast shooting guard, he just needs consistent playing time.  Dotson is 6’6” with a 6’9” wingspan and 38” vertical.  He can play both shooting guard and small forward, plus he’s still growing. Dot has the work ethic as well, as he showcase his growth on social media this past offseason.

Last season, we saw a very small sample of what Dotson could bring to the team when offered consistent minutes.  However, when he began to get those minutes, it was at the end of the season, but he did pour in 30 points against Miami at the Garden.  He is starting to become more confident in his shoot as well.  Ever since his first appearance this season against the Nets, where he put up 8 shots, Dot’s confidence has risen.  His attempts per game rose to 13 against the Celtics and then 14 vs. the Heat yesterday.

His best performance of the season, thus far, was against the Heat as well.  Dot’s stat line was beautiful, 20 points (8-14), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 hell of a block.  Fiz said before the Heat game that he was poking to switch up the starting lineup and with his play, Dotson is making a strong case to be put into the starting lineup.

Coach Fizdale even said that Dot “can really shoot it.”  Well, he needs time to do that. The one troubling part about this is that Ron Baker is still playing over Dotson, except against Miami.  Baker brings nothing offensively to the Knicks.  He is a hustler, who loves to dive on the floor, get hurt and that’s about it.  Dotson can stretch the floor and has proven he can score and rebound.  He also brings good length to the defensive side of the ball which shows with him averaging 1.7 steals a game.

His production might slow down once Knox returns, but if Dotson is able to continue gaining confidence in his shot, providing strong defense, rebounding and steals, there’s no doubt that he earns a spot in the rotation.  Fiz likes to feed the hot hand and currently Dot is hot on both sides of the court.

Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. Answers Questions About His Loyalty To New York

The New York Giants currently stare at a 1-6 record on the season as they prepare to face off against the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon, and one player that will remain focused and poised is Odell Beckham Jr.

The star receiver recently signed a massive contract with the very team that drafted him just four years ago, yet his destiny has been stained by a massive amount of losses due to a revolving roster and inadequate decision makers. Former general manager Jerry Reese is to blame for most of the problems on the team, while new-comber Dave Gettleman has had his fair share of issues as well.

Reese was deadly poor at hitting during the NFL Draft, but had good luck in free agency. Gettleman is the opposite, which is good for the Giants, being that draft picks are the foundation of any team and not veteran free agents.

Beckham has proved his worth on the field for the Giants, but has caused commotion along the way in the media. His words have been heard this season more than ever, especially his interview with ESPN that told the truth in regard to his feeling towards New York and his team. Now, after two players have been traded this week, the narrative has changed to focus on the rebuild of the organization, and Beckham seems to be caught in the middle of it.

Gettleman traded cornerback Eli Apple and star defensive nose tackle Damon Harrison to clear cap-space for the near future. The rebuild surely isn’t accepted by most players, especially for determined ones like Beckham.

Here’s what Odell Beckham Jr. had to say on if he has any regrets or feelings about the franchise:

“I got New York tatted all on my back,” Beckham told The New York Post. “My whole back is covered by New York.”

In regard to his record breaking deal :

“I can’t take anything back, I don’t have any regrets.”

“I don’t really know. It’s not really re-sign, I kinda signed something, I could have been here for another three years, so. … It’s hard to think about that now and it’s really irrelevant to think about now, ’cause I’m here, and I will be here.”

Everything the star receiver said was good in terms of media usage. We can assume his feelings have changed internally, but on the outside he has said the right things to ensure he doesn’t stir up any more drama going into week 8. Moving forward, we should expect to see the younger players on the roster receive more game experience, but it will be pushed by a progressive mentality that only wants to improve the team in the long-run.


Line-up Changes In Order: Heat Take Down Knicks

The New York Knicks have been in every game this season.  They’ve had to fight their way back into games and once they have, they’ve kept it close and competitive.  Last night in Miami, that was not the case.  The Knicks tossed up their first stinker of the season and got their doors blown off by the Miami Heat, 110-87.

Before the beginning of the game, Knicks Twitter were optimistic that the team would get a win on the road.  The Knicks usually come to play against the Heat, as some may still consider this a rivalry from the 90s, but they simply did not show up for a rivalry game last night.

Coach Fizdale said before the game that the Knicks, “have to get off to a good start”, as they like to come out flat, which we all know.  The Knicks did get off to a hot start in the first.  The three ball was dropping for the Knicks as they jumped out to a early 11-point lead, thanks to the second unit, at the end of the 1st quarter and then the wheels fell off.

From the beginning of the 2nd quarter and until the end of the game, the Knicks seemed to forget everything Fiz has taught them.  There was no energy, fire or  competitiveness that Fiz as preached.  The interior D, and D overall, was lacking as Whiteside, McGruder and any other Heat player were able to get to the bucket with ease.  The Heat also shot the lights out, especially in the 3rd quarter, as they dropped 45 points on our Knicks.  This should go as no surprise as every single team has shot the lights out against the Knicks this season.

There were few bright spots for the Knicks last night.  The main one was Damyean Dotson.  Dotson logged the most minutes for any Knick with 34 and also was the teams leading scorer and rebounder with 20-10.  Before the game, Fiz thought about possible changes to the starting lineup and Dot is making a case strong.  He was great on both sides of the court and is showing what he will bring to the team when offered consistent minutes.

Next was the Knicks three point shooting.  For the time being, three pointers were the only thing that kept the Knicks in the game, as they were 9-15 from beyond the arc.  Like who are these guys?  But, that was short lived as nothing fell after the 1st quarter.  Super Mario Hezonja had another decent showing with 13 points and showed confidence in his shot as he chucked up 15 attempts.  Timmy had an off night 4-10 from the floor with 14 points and Kanter couldn’t do much of anything as Whiteside had his number all game.

Again, Fiz tossed around the idea of a new starting lineup and many players are making their case to be plugged into the first unit.  Dotson, Hezonja and Vonleh make reasonable cases to start over players like Lance Thomas and Trey Burke.  Since the Knicks have trouble starting the games out hot and struggle with interior D a switch is necessary.  A staring lineup that can help in both areas could be Frank, Timmy, Dot, Vonleh and Kanter.  Or you can have Super Mario over Vonleh, either or.  We hope to see a new starting lineup Friday as the Knicks take on the defending Champion Warriors at the Garden at 7:30.

New York Giants: Eli Manning Not Yet Thinking About A Trade

Which New York Giants player is going to be the next one to get shipped off to another city? Nobody knows. While trading away Eli Apple didn’t seem like too bad of a move considering the team’s current situation, the trade of Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions for a draft pick that doesn’t match his value is proof that right now, anybody on the Giants can be moved. Even the players who have large contracts aren’t safe, and of course, quarterback Eli Manning has been drawn into the rumors.

It’s after Manning threw for almost 400 yards against the Falcons, but despite the performance, the Giants lost anyway and secured a 1-6 start to the season. Not the way that many predicted things would be going into the season, but the Giants are stuck with their poor start anyway and now that things are beyond the point of no return, the fire sale has started.

However, Manning hasn’t thought about becoming the next player to be moved in these trades. “I haven’t thought about the trade scenario and hey, this organization is the only team I’ve ever played for and only thing I know. I love the Giants. It’s hard to imagine being with another organization,” Manning recently told Mike Francesa.

It’s hard not to wonder about the trade possibilities, however. The Harrison trade means that the Giants aren’t withholding their big name players from the fire sale, and Manning is still a very big name compared to some of the quarterbacks in the league that are starting right now. He still has some time left in his career if put behind a good offensive line, which the Giants don’t have.

The Giants would also certainly get more value than they did from the other trades, after receiving a fourth round pick for Eli Apple and a fifth round one for Damon Harrison. On the other hand, this trade would appear to be throwing in the towel, which isn’t what any team wants to appear to be doing at this point in the season. It’s pretty early to embrace the tank, and that’s what the Giants would be doing by going to Kyle Lauletta or any of the free agent quarterbacks currently available.

Furthermore, it’s almost a given that the Giants are going to draft a quarterback. If they do that, it would be smart to have Manning on the roster to pass down some veteran experience. That, aside from the fact that the team likely wants to avoid the perception of throwing in the towel and tanking, is one good reason why Manning’s dismissal of a trade might not be unreasonable.

Still, there’s a chance that a trade will come out of nowhere and surprise all of us… Few would have seen Harrison being traded for a fifth round pick, if you asked them even a few weeks ago, after all.

How Much Longer Will Eli Manning Be The Quarterback For The Giants?

The New York Giants are going to bench quarterback Eli Manning – it’s just a matter of when and how. Making the same mistake as former head coach Ben McAdoo made last year is something Pat Shurmur can not afford to do. He must go about sitting Manning respectfully and smoothly, all the while trying to extract any sense of optimism from rookie signal caller, Kyle Lauletta.

The former Richmond passer has spent about half a year learning from under Manning and being molded by Shurmur. He’s a clean, short to intermediate passer, which is exactly what Shurmur’s offense is fitted for. Allowing him to take control of the rookie and help him adapt his game to the speed and physicality of the NFL will be essential for when he takes the field.

The Giants aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but we can assume that after the BYE week (week 9) it will be Lauletta’s team the rest of the way. I would expect to see Manning play week 17, just as a final goodbye to the franchise, because he’s clearly incapable of carrying this team when all else fails at 37 years old.

What can we hope from Lauletta?

Moving forward, it will be all about evaluating the young talent on the team, one of which is Lauletta. Here’s an interesting question: What if he shows he can be our guy moving forward? Now, it’s unlikely a 4th round pick steps turns into a star, but crazier things have happened. He showed various good aspects during the preseason – vision, anticipation, accuracy, awareness, etc.

His primary weakness is his deep ball. He lacked accuracy on passes over 20 yards, which could be a result of the jitters. In practice, Lauletta apparently throws a nice deep ball, but simply needs more live action to tailor his skill-set.

Even if the rookie proves to be more than expected, it shouldn’t waiver the Giants’ priority in drafting a high-quality quarterback in the near future. It’s better to have two valuable passers with a low cap-hit than just one.

Who Else Might The New York Giants Trade Away During Their Fire Sale?

After the surprising release of star defensive tackle Damon Harrison, the New York Giants fan base nearly lost their minds. At 30 years old, Harrison would have counted $7 million against the cap in 2019, but he will only absorb a mere $3.8 million after being traded. It was likely that GM Dave Gettleman would have parted ways with the run stopping specialist after the 2018 season anyway.

Averaging just 50% of the defensive snaps, Harrison was not earning is money in regard to playing time, but he still remains one of the top run stoppers in the game. Trading him to the Detroit Lions saw a fifth-round return, and you can make the argument that the Giants lost out on the trade.

The Lions will receive a player that fits perfectly in their 4-3 base defense, while he struggled to acclimate to a pass-rush heavy 3-4 scheme with the Giants. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher favors interior lineman that pressure the quarterback, and Harrison simply isn’t that type of player. At least Gettleman was able to extract some value from a guy that was likely gone after the season.

Who else might be on the chopping block for the New York Giants?

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins might be next on the list for a trade. Jenkins is one of the league’s top corners when playing with confidence and aggressiveness. He has fallen off in recent weeks due to the state of the team, which shouldn’t take away for his current value.

Jenkins is owed $14.75 million in 2019, with $7 million in dead cap. If the Giants cut him they would save $7.75 in cap, but they’re better off trying to find a trade partner to receive more value. It’s obvious that the front-office has adopted a youth agenda and progressive approach to the future. In other words, a full rebuild is upon us.

Expect to see younger players getting playing time and gaining experience moving forward. The competitiveness of the team will surely take a hit with the thought of job insecurity dwindling in the back of every mind.

Percentages from 1-100 on who’s most likely to get traded or released:

WR Cody Latimer – 65%

SS Landon Collins – 20%

Olivier Vernon – 50% – The Giants would save $11.5 million if they found a way to get rid of Vernon.

Sterling Shepard – 10%