New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu Continues To Be A Force

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Minus a slight cold spell in the end of April, DJ LeMahieu has been absolutely terrific for the New York Yankees. People believed that LeMahieu would struggle being outside of Coors Field, his old home stadium. But, he has clearly proved the haters wrong and has a solid chance to be an all-star.

Well rounded

Over 195 at-bats, LeMahieu has 61 hits, good for a .313 average. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs. On Wednesday against the Padres, he opened up the game with a solo home run, then Luke Voit followed suit batting second.

For most of the season, LeMahieu has been the leadoff hitter, dropping Brett Gardner in the order. 30 RBI at the end of May for a leadoff hitter is fantastic, and that puts him on pace for 90 RBI. The beginning of Friday’s series against the Red Sox begins the middle third of the season.

On defense, LeMahieu has been very good, too. Over three positions, he has just three errors, and two of them were early on. He helps anchor an already great defensive infield.

LeMahieu is also pretty quick, and has two stolen bases this year. On the defensive end, that along with his reaction time makes him a wall in the field.

Overall, DJ LeMahieu’s contributions have greatly benefited the team. His 1.9 WAR is already nearing his 3.0 WAR from last season, and he likely will pass his career high WAR if he continues to play the way he is. His career high WAR was 5.2 in 2016 with the Rockies.

New York Giants: What Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate can do for Big Blue

New York Giants receiver, Sterling Shepard.

Trading away Odell Beckham Jr. was certainly the biggest headline of the offseason for the New York Giants, but the most important thing of the entire scenario is how they responded to his departure.

The Giants went out and signed veteran pass-catcher Golden Tate, a player known for his yards-after-catch abilities. The new acquisition and weapon for Eli Manning has led the NFL in forced missed tackles in five of the last six seasons, finishing second in the only season he didn’t come in first, according to Pro Football Focus.

If you can remember the electrifying plays Beckham made and the number of tackles he avoided, it’s hard to imagine Tate breaking even more tackles and picking up more yards. I’m not saying that Tate is anywhere close to as talented as Beckham, but in specific areas, he’s more refined.

“He is nifty,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “Obviously, before the ball is thrown and then once he catches it, he has a way of breaking tackles or making them miss. I can see that is going to be a part of his game already.”

One of the best attributes Tate holds is his health. Beckham has missed a total of 16 games in two seasons, so essentially missing an entire year. Tate, on the other hand, has missed just one game in six years. The best way to make a difference is to actually be on the field, something OBJ couldn’t consistently do on a regular basis.

Manning will benefit greatly from a clean bill of health for his receivers moving forward.

How will the New York Giants utilize Tate and Shepard in 2019?

One of the major positive in regards to Tate and Shepard is their ability to play inside and outside. Head coach Pat Shurmur will be able to create an unpredictable offense with two diverse receivers. Additionally, they are possession receivers that will help keep the ball with the offense and the defense on the sidelines.

Running down the clock and holding onto possession should help the overall efficiency of the team. Ultimately, it comes down to Manning and his ability to get the ball to Tate and Shep quickly in space. Speedy receivers are better when the ball is in their hands with room around them.

Tate averaged 10.7 yards per reception in 2018 and Shepard 13.2. Both will be impactful players on a rebuilt Giants offense.

 

New York Knicks: Carmelo Deserved To Bring A Title To NY

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks have not won an NBA title since 1973, a 46-year drought. That seems like hundreds of years ago. Since then, the Knicks had a handful of shots to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

There have only been a few players to come through New York as the centerpiece of a hopeful title contender.

Most notably Patrick Ewing. Ewing, one of the great Knicks, was able to get the Knicks to the finals and gave the franchise years of success, after they were in basketball purgatory.

Besides Ewing, the other player most deserving of bringing a title to New York was Carmelo Anthony.

Although, Amare Stoudemire was the first piece of the puzzle in revitalizing the Knicks.  He was acquired in a sign-in-trade with the Phoenix Suns in July of 2010.  It quickly became Melo’s team after being traded to the Knicks in February of 2011 from Denver.

Similar to Ewing, the Knicks were in bad shape before they arrived.  Both, Ewing and Melo, did their best to bring basketball back to New York.  And they did just that.

Melo was a little different.  He played his college ball at Syracuse and was born in Brooklyn.  Melo wanted to play in New York and vice versa.  It was only a matter of time before it became a reality.

Anthony deserves more credit.  He was one of the big name superstars, at the time, who had enough confidence to want to play in New York and try to revitalize one of the NBA’s most historic franchises.

Players these days don’t do that anymore.  They want to go wherever they can win a title and as soon as possible.  Nothing wrong with that.  If players have that opportunity, more power to them.

Melo played his heart out for the city of New York.  He was only able to get the Knicks to the second-round in the playoffs, but was able to bring the basketball culture back to New York. Melo gave fans several long lasting memories, capping it off with scoring the most points in Knicks history, 62.

If there was any player that deserves the credit, who had the confidence, determination and drive to try and bring the Knicks back to basketball promise it was Carmelo Anthony.

New York Knicks Trading Back This Draft?

New York Knicks

According to ESPNs Jonathan Givony, the New York Knicks are exploring options in this year’s draft.  The Knicks have been looking into trading back from the 3rd pick.

The Knicks are, allegedly, considering trading back in the draft for the 8th and 10th pick with the Atlanta Hawks.  Despite the rumors, SNYs Ian Begley reports these claims are not serious.

But for fun, the idea of this trade will get fans buzzing.  Why would the Knicks want to trade away the 3rd pick in what some are calling a ‘3 player draft’.

RJ Barrett could be selected by the Knicks with the 3rd pick and fans would not be upset.  Barrett is a very good player and may to have a long career in this league.

However, if the Knicks were to trade back, and get the 8th and 10th pick, then this opens up a lot more.  The rumor is that the Knicks could be looking for players to ‘better complement’ Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

If the Knicks were to do so, then they are going to have to spin this in a way so fans can understand.  Although, they will miss out on Cam Reddish and Jarrett Culver.  Maybe they would look at Kevin Porter Jr. and someone else?

But, we simply do not know.  We do not know how the draft will play out.  Knicks have to be 100% positive that they are going to get the right players if they were to do so.  For now, the Knicks should stay away.

With the Knicks luck, they will do the trade, pass on Barrett, he turns out to be an All-Star and the others are flops.  Although, Scott Perry has done an excellent job thus far in turning the roster around.  If he pulls the trigger, then fans have to trust his decision.

Should the New York Knicks pursue a Chris Paul trade?

Chris Paul and Kevin Durant.

The New York Knicks are the water in the mill currently as the free agent and trade rumors are flowing prior to the NBA Finals. Players such as Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving and more have reached the surface in potential Knicks deals – one of these players presents an interesting opportunity.

Houston Rockets point guard, Chris Paul, is the player of notice. We have all heard the rumors that Durant is buying a house in New York and is leaning in this direction, however, one perennial All-Star isn’t going to make the Knicks a finals-caliber team.

Bringing in a player like Paul to compliment Durant might get the job done, though. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has put every player on the market as he attempts to piece together a quality team after a disappointing finish in this year’s playoffs.

While a James Harden deal seems off the table, Paul is very much included in his statements. The question is, what would the Knicks have to give up to secure him? I imagine the No. 3 overall pick and additional players would be the minimum asking price.

The general concern over trading for Paul is his behemoth contract. A five-year, $159.7 million deal that will pay him $44.2 million in 2020 is the huge “STOP” sign standing in front of a potential deal. I can not imagine the Knicks parting way with that much cap-space if they also want to bring in Durant as their second max-contract.

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However, Paul is one of the NBA’s best floor generals and scoring point guards, which represents his value and price-tag. Some former teammates have presented concern over his attitude and locker room personality, which could be a deterrent for the Knicks and their young team. They need a pure leader that can help the younger player develop, but also win on a consistent basis.

My final conclusion is that the Knicks should stay very far away from a Chris Paul deal. It would be a classic trade for the Knicks, and it would be one that bites them in the butt down the road.

New York Giants: 3 biggest position battles of 2019

New York Giants, JJ Watt

As the New York Giants progress through the OTA period, position battles are starting to catch fire and some unexpected ones have taken shape. The defense will be one of the more prominent units full of competition and opportunity, as the amount of rookies and younger players has increased exponentially this offseason.

Adding players like DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, Corey Ballentine and more, have made the outcome of the starting team a bit more murky, which is a positive thing.

Nonetheless–

New York Giants top 3 position battles:

1.) No. 2 cornerback spot

The assumed No. 1 corner for the Giants is Janoris Jenkins, but the second spot opposite the veteran is the position up for grabs. Heading into pre-season it was expected the DeAndre Baker has the starting job all but locked up, however, 2019 Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal has shown he can compete at a high level.

Beal has shown his range and ability in coverage thus far in OTAs, tipping a pass with his recently surgically repaired shoulder that resulted in an interception by Peppers. This will be one of the more exciting battles of the early summer, as the two are fierce competitors with solid attributes.

2.) Pass rusher

Some might have Lorenzo Carter and Markus Golden penciled on the defensive line, but I’m not so quick to give them the starting jobs. The Giants recently drafted pass-rusher Oshane Ximines out of Old Dominion. Coming from a small school certainly doesn’t present the best chances in terms of an immediate impact for Ximines, but he has proved to be quick and active so far in camp.

Oshane has advanced moves for a product of a smaller school – GM Dave Gettleman was especially impressed with his counter-punch. I expect Carter to earn a starting role, but Golden is three years removed from his best season, a 12.5 sack effort in 2016. He’s coming off a significant knee injury and shouldn’t be considered a starter just yet, Ximines could steal the job with a bit of development.

3.) Right tackle

Mike Remmers was recently signed to a one-year deal to solidify the right tackle position for the Giants. I do not consider him the legitimate starter until he has proven that his surgically repaired back isn’t a hindrance to his abilities. Chad Wheeler was the starter at RT last year and will fight for his right to stay put.

I expect both Wheeler and Remmers to battle it out over the course of the summer. “Big George” out of Kentucky could also be in the mix, but I believe he will need a bit more development before he can withstand premium NFL edge-rushers.

It’s fair to remember, though, that Remmers was forced to play out of position with the Minnesota Vikings, so returning to his natural spot at right tackle should help him find his normal self.

New York Giants: Top News 5/31 – Cody Latimer prepping for breakout season

New York Giants wide receiver, Cody Latimer.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants will head into training camp with the top two receivers on the team solidified, however, the No. 3 spot is up for grabs.

Options like Corey Coleman, Cody Latimer, and Russell Shepard all present forms of quality in their own specific ways. Coleman is a former first-round pick with solid hands, Latimer is a speedy wideout that can get behind the defense, and Shepard is a bigger body that can bring in contested balls.

I believe that Latimer will be the player to earn the No. 3 receiver spot behind Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. The former Bronco had his second-best season to date last year, racking up 190 yards and a score over just six games. Latimer succumbed to injury in 2018, limiting his production on the field, but with a full bill of health, he is looking to finally break out in 2019.

A 68.8% catch rate and17.3 yards-per-reception total presents optimism for the 26-year-old pass catcher. I wouldn’t necessarily rule out Coleman to earn the starting job, but I imagine Latimer is better equipped considering his resume and experience.

Head coach Pat Shurmur will surely look to utilize Latimer in the long-game as his speed is an asset that can tantalize defenses at times.

Nonetheless–

Giants top articles of the day:

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants already using Ryan Connelly tape to teach proper technique

Dan Schneier (247 Sports) – The 10 New York Giants players most likely to break out in 2019

Paul Schwartz (NY Post) – Antoine Bethea is perfect for Giants’ defensive overhaul

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: Eric Dungey trying to make transition to hybrid role

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: What Kevin Zeitler can do for the offensive line

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