New York Knicks Drop 8 Of Their Last 9 Games

Yesterday I sat down at a restaurant to enjoy some dinner and New York Knicks basketball. Lets just say, thank God the food was good. In the latest episode of ‘How bad are the New York Knicks?’, the Knicks got torched by their long time Atlantic Division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, 131-109. Yikes. I would love to tell you the game wasn’t as bad as the score, but I’d be lying.

The 76ers did whatever they wanted on the court, going 15 for 30 (50%) from three point land. Ben Simmons notching in a triple double while shooting 50%, three turnovers. Joel Embiid racked in a double-double. Jimmy Butler had an efficient 20 points including 8 for 10 from the free-throw line. And J.J. Redick took his volume shots and ended up with 14 points. For the cherry-on-top for the 76ers, 21-year-old rookie from Wichita State Landry Shamet had a career-high 17 points. Sure enough, [Wichita State] Shocker Nation must be a little bit proud to stick it to the Knicks after cutting their beloved Ron Baker earlier this month, who has now signed with another I-95 team and Eastern Conference foe, the Washington Wizards.

State of the Knicks:

Another difficult game for the New York Knicks players and fans to swallow. New York has allowed 110+ points in the last 12 games, which is tough for all parties involved, besides of course, opposing game plans and offensive strategies. Do not forget, as you’re going through your NBA scoreboard to see if the other bottom NBA teams are winning their games for the Knicks 2019 Tankathon (Good news: Phoenix Suns won), the players, staff, and front office on the New York Knicks also have egos. They’re playing for their professional careers and so the best case scenario for the Knicks is to remain competitive, show heart, but still lose games. However, these blow out losses just won’t cut it.

Nonetheless, it’s not all bad. Emmanuel Mudiay continues to impress at the point guard position. Courtney Lee is starting to get his feet wet on the basketball court after overcoming his neck injury. Enes Kanter continues to put up decent numbers despite horrific defense. Daymean Dotson, Noah Vonleh, and Kevin Knox are continued to slowly improve in Fizdale’s system. Dot had a great game posting 14 points in 22 minutes on 6 for 11 from the field, but while also going 2-6 from 3 point land. Kevin Knox has also been on a surge, averaging about 20 points and over 40% shooting from 3 point land in the last 6 games. Even Luke Kornet is beginning to look more and more like an NBA player (at least on offense).

FUN FACT: Kornet in his four years with the Vanderbilt Commodores, holds the NCAA record for three-pointers made by a 7-footer with 150 3’s, and leads Vandy’s all-time shot-blocking record books, with 210 blocks.

Tim Hardaway Jr., battling Plantar Faciitis in his foot, still dropped 27 points, while going 10 for 10 from the free throw line.

Which brings us to the most heated and controversial IntraKnicks conflict of the 2018 season, Frank (NIK UH LEE NUH). The French guard played 16 minutes and ended with 3 points, going 1-7 from the field, and adding 2 assists and 2 rebounds. Tough night for Frank after he has been averaging 14 points since riding the bench for three straight games in a Coaches Decision. Coach Fizdale seems to have his hands busy with Frank, by explaining in his post-game press conference comments that Coach attributes the young French guard’s inconsistencies to a mental aspect, rather than an ability deficiency.

Why Should you Remain Optimistic?

The best case scenario for the Knicks 2019 offseason is to trade players that have expiring contracts. Do not anticipate resigning some players or trading players that are not part of the Knicks future. The players that fall into the categories are Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, Mario Hezonja, and Enes Kanter.

Unfortunately, the New York Knicks can’t lose every game in their mission for Zion Williamson. the consensus #1 overall prospect. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Knicks 2019 offseason has hit boom-or-bust potential. They have a surplus in cap-space and ability to sign Porzingis. But, this comes with the contingency of signing free agents in 2019 and then offering KP his extension. The NBA, the Knicks front office, and Knicks Nation already have KP pencilled into the Knicks roster for the foreseeable future. But as we know, nothing is guaranteed in sports.

After that doom and gloom news, do not fret! The Knicks have a good ‘Friday Night Knicks’ spot coming up against the Atlanta Hawks in the Garden. This is the same team that the Knicks have beat twice already this season. In both games, Frank has played great defense against rookie point guard from Trae Young. The two wins against the Hawks may not be a big deal normally, but the Knicks have 9 total wins.

Facing the Atlanta Hawks at home after losing 8 of the last 9 games, is exactly the medicine the New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden needs leading up to a Noon Matinee in Madison Square Garden against Giannis ‘The Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, on Christmas Day, in front of the world!

Also… don’t worry… KP will probably resign with the Knicks.

Is Emmanuel Mudiay The New York Knicks’ Point Guard For The Future?

New York Knicks point guard, Emmanuel Mudiay.

Throughout this entire season, all fans have been asking the same question. Who’s going to be the point guard of the future? New York Knicks fans want Frank Ntilikina to be that person, considering he was a lottery pick in last year’s draft. Even though Ntilikina is only 20 years-old and still has ways to go in his NBA development, it’s becoming clear that another Knick is passing him by.

The New York Knicks have a low-key point guard on the rise:

First off, statistics aren’t going to be focal point of this.  Emmanuel Mudiay appears to be in the drivers seat to be the Knicks point guard of the future.  Throughout the past multiple games, Mudiay has kicked his game into a different gear.  He is appearing to be more aggressive, creating and driving more while be the conductor of the offense.

Mudiay has been on a scoring rampage as of late and is appearing to have his best season in the NBA.  He is only 22 years old, which baffles some, as many thought he would have been a veteran. Before the season began, Coach Fizdale was excited to work with Mudiay and attempt to bring out the potential in the young player.

Recently, Fizdale has begun to crack the Emmanuel Mudiay code. His confidence can be seen in all facets of his game.  He’s pushing on the fast break, he’s driving and creating opportunities ,and he’s getting to the free throw line; everything Fizdale pretty much wanted.

Many fans believe that he’ll be too expensive to retain after this season. Which may be true. However, the trustworthiness Fizdale seems to have in Mudiay may be greater than anything. Mudiay has had the ball in his hands in big time situations, whether good or bad, and it shows the confidence Fizdale has in him.

Mudiay’s success is pushing Frank Ntilikina down the pecking order:

Unfortunately, all of this is not the same for Frank.  In many ways, fans believe Frank has been a bust.  But again, he’s only 20 years old.  Not a bust yet.  However, his offensive production, aggressiveness, ability to control the flow of the offense is not there.  In time, maybe.  But, don’t get me wrong, Frank is a tremendous defender already.  That is something the Knicks do need.

Good teams need a lockdown defender and that is what Frank will most likely become.  The example I’ve recently turned to is Andre Roberson from the Thunder.  He’s a guy that isn’t going to give you much offensively, but he’s going to lock up the opposing teams best defender and keep them in check.

As his confidence continues to grow, Mudiay is only going to cement him as the point guard of the future.  His confidence is already oozing and will continue with the trust from Fizdale.  Does Mudiay need to tighten up some of his defense and decision making?  Of course, he’s still young.  But for the time being, Mudiay appears to be the guy that will be running the Knicks offense for the foreseeable future.

 

New York Yankees Put On A Show For Manny Machado At Yankee Stadium

All the bells and whistles were expected in the New York Yankees’ pursuit for third-baseman Manny Machado who’s set to earn a massive payday. Despite just a 90-minute gathering, reports have indicated that the Yankees believe the star free agent is a “perfect fit,” and Machado’s “first choice” is, in fact, the Big Apple.

The enticing sight of your name on the Jumbo-Tron at Yankees Stadium is surely a skeptical, and when you close your eyes and imagine the passion bleeding through the atmosphere it’s a feeling to hold on to. Machado has been a fan of the Bombers since he was a young boy, and his dream is about to come true if both can come to a reasonable agreement.

The Yankees aren’t expected to offer more than $300 million to the two-time Gold Glove winner and four-time All-Star.

The Yankees have enjoyed their fair share of games against Machado, and he’s been a menace. You know the old saying, “if you can’t beat the, buy them.”

General manager Brian Cashman wined and dined Machado, his wife, and agent on Wednesday night. It’s unknown if the recently hired Carlos Beltran played a part in his tour. Being that they share the same agent in Scott Boras, the two have common ground. Being a 20-year MLB veteran also helps.

Fans are split in regard to the Yankees signing Manny Machado:

Some people think bringing on the star would be a great move, while others don’t think he fits the bill and would ultimately affect the team with his “careless” attitude and lack of effort at times. Machado make it clear that he’s not changing anything about his game, despite lacking hustle at times. But, at the end of the day, if your 2018 slash line looks like — .297/.367/.538 over 162 games — you can do whatever you want. Success is success and if you can contribute to a World Series victory, who cares how arrogant you can be.

The primary question is: Are the Yankees okay with bringing on a player that could damage the image of the Pinstripes?

The answer seems to be clear.

CFL MVP Bo Levi Mitchell Will Work Out With New York Giants

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants might make a change at quarterback in 2019, and it seems the organization is willing to look far and wide to find their successor to Eli Manning. That apparently includes the CFL, and while not a lot of players make the jump from Canadian football to the NFL, it’s not impossible to do. The latest player to make the attempt will be CFL MVP Bo Levi Mitchell, who has already worked out with four teams and will work out for three more this month.

According to David Naylor of TSN, the Giants are on the list of teams. Some of the ones on the list, such as the Jaguars and Broncos, are more quarterback-needy than others. But with the Vikings having brought in Kirk Cousins, the Bears having Mitchell Trubisky, and the Bills drafting Josh Allen not even a full year ago, it looks like the Giants will be one of the more appealing destinations.

After all, there’s no guarantee that Eli Manning is the starter next season, and ideas of a quarterback competition have been brought up by fans and media alike. Some believe that a competition will come following the NFL Draft, but after surging in the second half of the season and improving their record from what it was at the halfway mark, the Giants may not have a pick high enough to take the quarterback they want.

This also isn’t a year where there’s an obvious move to make in free agency, other than the potential signing of Jameis Winston if the option on Winston’s contract isn’t picked up by Tampa. Such a move wouldn’t be popular, and seems unlikely not just because of that, but for salary cap reasons. It wouldn’t be possible for the Giants to sign Winston and keep Eli Manning, as both of them are paid significantly.

That’s why fans should keep an eye on this decision to work out a CFL quarterback, who could be signed for less and has an existing history of success in the CFL. Mitchell becomes a free agent in February and, while the CFL isn’t the same as the NFL, making it hard to directly compare stats between the two, performed quite well in 2018. He threw for 5,119 yards and 35 touchdowns, leading the Calgary Stampeders to a championship and a 13-5 record.

He was awarded the CFL Most Valuable Player award not once but twice, with the honors coming in 2018 and 2016. He also holds some other notable accomplishments, being the fastest CFL quarterback to 60 wins and the holder of the streak for most consecutive wins by a starting quarterback.

That’s not to say that Mitchell will immediately contend for the starting job with the New York Giants, but one shouldn’t write him off simply for playing in Canada. Playing in New York is more attractive to a lot of players than playing in Jacksonville or Denver, and if the Giants do sign Mitchell, it certainly makes their quarterback situation a lot more interesting.

New York Yankees Believe Manny Machado Is ‘The Perfect Fit’

While the New York Yankees and Manny Machado met for all of 90 minutes on Wednesday, the Bombers seem to be highly intrigued by the star free agent.

The short gathering can be perceived in two very opposite ways. Either both sides were on the same page and felt the meeting had gone so well it didn’t need to continue, or they couldn’t stand each other and there’s no deal.

What did the New York Yankees think of Manny Machado?

Early reports indicate the Yankees think Machado is a “perfect fit.”

According to the Athletic’s Jim Bowden, Machado’s “first choice” is his boy-hood club, however his asking price might be a oroblem. The Yankees are reportedly not willing to offer more than $300 million for the two-time Gold Glove award winner.

Production and potential:

At just 26 years-old, Machado has had an extremely productive career. Manny played on two teams last season — the Orioles and Dodgers — registering a .297/.367/.538 slash line in 162 total games in 2018. Additionally, he managed 37 home runs and 107 RBIs.

The four-time All-Star could contribute significantly to the Yankees, but the fan base is torn between wanting him and letting him walk. His lack of effort and judgement has sparked outrage on social media and elsewhere.

Three New York Giants Players Awarded With 2019 Pro Bowl Honors

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The NFL announced the rosters for the 2019 Pro Bowl on Tuesday and three New York Giants players were selected as starters. Those players include rookie running back Saquon Barkley, the NFL’s most efficient kicker this season in Aldrick Rosas, and the injured captain of the defense Landon Collins.

Saquon Barkley:

Saquon Barkley, the extraordinary rookie running back out of Penn State will participate in his first Pro Bowl of his career this year. The number two overall pick from last year’s draft leads all rookies in rushing yards and is third in the NFL in that category with 1,155 rushing yards on the season so far. Saquon has also tallied nine rushing touchdowns so far this season. On top of that, Barkley has 82 receptions for 654 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. This totals his all-purpose yards at an astounding 1,809 yards with two games left to play. The Giants have a special player in Barkley. He is the first rookie Giants running back selected for the Pro Bowl since 1965. Giants fans should expect to see Barkley selected for the Pro Bowl on a yearly basis.

Aldrick Rosas:

After a rocky 2017, fans were skeptical of Aldrick Rosas and unsure if he should return to the team in 2018. However, it is now clear that the Giants front office made the right decision in keeping Rosas. Through 15 weeks of the 2018-2019 NFL season, Rosas has been the league’s best kicker. He has only missed one field goal all season, making his tally an impressive 28 for 29. His longest field goal of the season was a Giants team record 57 yard kick against the Chicago Bears. Rosas even won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week that week. Rosas will be the fourth Giants kicker selected to for the Pro Bowl in team history.

Landon Collins:

Former all-pro safety Landon Collins has now made the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons. Landon is a popular player in the NFL, known for his leadership and hard-hitting play style. Unfortunately, for the second season in a row, Collins will be unable to participate in the event due to injury.

Alternates And Snubs:

Many Giants fans were surprised to see that Odell Beckham Jr. was snubbed from the Pro Bowl roster in 2019. This is the secon season in Odell’s career that he was not selected as a Pro Bowl starter (last season he was not selected due to being placed on injured reserve in week 5.

However, Beckham Jr. was awarded as a second alternate, so it is likely he will have a chance to play in the game anyway. Along with Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants had two other players selected as alternates. Safety/special teamer Michael Thomas was selected as a special teamer first alternate.

Pass rushing outside linebacker Olivier Vernon was also selected as a first alternate. This shows that general managers and coaches around the NFL value Vernon’s play, which could boost his trade value this offseason. Another player who was snubbed from the Pro Bowl is linebacker Alec Ogletree. Ogletree has five interceptions this season and leads the Giants in tackles with 93 tackles. In the opinion of many Giants fans, his play during the second half of the season warrants a Pro Bowl selection.

New York Yankees Pursuit Of Manny Machado Is Causing Chaos

The very moment that reports emerged that the New York Yankees were pursuing star free agent Manny Machado, the fan-base went up in flames.

Comments ranging from, “he’s terrible for team chemistry,” to “he would be an insane addition to the lineup” have crossed my screen far too many times. But, more often than not, it’s the former. Negativity surrounding Machado has been the primary type of comments from fans.

Why/why does Manny Machado not fit the bill for the New York Yankees?

I sympathize with the fans who are nervous, but New York could be the perfect landing spot for Machado. It’s his boy-hood team and when you put on those pinstripes, expectations are elevated, and the fans let the players know when they’re upset.

I believe Machado would thrive in the hostile environment of Yankee Stadium. He seems to be fueled by the passion and energy, despite lapses of effort and judgement. There’s no getting away from the stats and awards. Two Gold Gloves that would benefir the infield — likely for Didi Gregorius at shortstop while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery — and Manny’s bat would be stellar in an already dangerous lineup.

Just picture a lineup of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Machado staring opposing pitchers in the face. Intimidating would the operative wordfor the fear those hitters would strike into any team.

But the best part about Machado is that while he’s a slugger, he also records tons of base hits. Machado’s on-base-percentage was .367 in 2018, and he only struck out 104 times over 632 at-bats. His abilities on the field are clear, but it’s his attitude that has fans torn.

The prized third-baseman commented about an incident where he simply didn’t run to first-base:

He said via The Athletic:

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.

 

“Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah … but I didn’t and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and I’m like, ‘Woah, what was I doing?’ You know, just the emotions of the game … I’m the type of player that has stayed in the zone, I’m playing and I’m just in the zone.”

If that’s the type of player Machado is, so be it, but the bottom line is that he contributes to the success of the teams he plays on. It would be no different for the New York Yankees.

What Will This Offseason Look Like For New York Giants’ Landon Collins?

New York Giants, Landon Collins

New York Giants all-pro safety Landon Collins is coming off of his second season in a row ended on injured reserve. This offseason, he will be a free agent with a lot of interest. Collins has stated again and again that he wants to stay in New York, but the Giants have not been as committed to their future with Collins.

Trade Rumors

Back in October with the trade deadline approaching, the Giants were actively shopping Landon Collins. He had been having a down year and the team had just traded away Damon Harrison Sr. and Eli Apple. The Giants were trying to start a fire sale and got offers for Collins, but no deal was made. One team that reportedly made an offer was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would have been interesting to see what the Giants could have gotten for Collins, but now fans need to look ahead to what the Giants could potentially give up for the talented young safety.

Free Agency Preview

Collins is expected to have a high price tag this offseason and a lot of interest as he is a tremendous talent with plenty of good years left ahead of him at only 24 years old. It is rare for a safety of this talent to reach the open market, but with a questionable injury history, that could be the case for Collins. According to Spotrac, Landon Collins has a calculated market value of $9.3 million average annually. A likely contract value for Collins is a 5 year deal estimated at around $46,831,250. This would make him the eight highest-paid safety in the NFL, annually. This would be a good deal and it is probably as low as it is due to his most recent injury. The Giants are projected to have about $31 million in salary cap space in 2019, so they would be able to afford Collins for this price. The Giants will want to begin negotiating with Collins soon or risk letting him hit the open market. If the two parties do not reach a deal by the time free agency is here, the Giants could place the franchise tag on Collins. The franchise tag would likely pay Collins around $12 million fully guaranteed for the 2019 season, and they could negotiate a long-term deal while he is tagged.

Landon Collins has been a great player and leader for the Giants since coming into the league four years ago. There has not been a lot of talent surrounding him the last two seasons, but GM Dave Gettleman is looking to change that as soon as possible. Landon Collins was a first-team all-pro in 2016 and he certainly has potential to return to his all-pro status soon. Expect to hear a lot of contract buzz surrounding Collins in the coming months.