New York Knicks: How will David Fizdale distribute playing time in 2019?

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks are beyond the point of babysitting. They’ve signed multiple pricey free agents and will be looking to utilize their talent instead of prioritizing the development of their youth.

The 2018 season was used as such — allowing options like Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson and more to rack up minutes with no consequences of failure. This upcoming season will be different. The front office wont hold back from playing the best players and we have to be ready to see options like Knox struggle to get on the court.

While we saw good things from Knox this past Summer League, the struggles will emerge again as they did last season. Whether he can fight through them or not is the question. However, just because the Knicks brought in players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris doesn’t mean they can’t rotate frequently to ensure their players are gaining essential experience.

Building chemistry will also be a hurdle they must face head-on. Meshing rookies and youth with veterans isn’t always smooth, it will take playing time together to really help the team develop a cohesiveness.

I anticipate head coach David Fizdale favoring the players with the most potential at this point. He will undoubtedly start Randle, Morris, Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr. The final slot could be handed to Knox, Dotson, Trier, Barrett…

Barrett, a 6-foot-7 winger, will earn his fair share of minutes, but his potential actually poses a problem for Fizdale who will have to floor an everyday lineup with a concentration of talent at power forward. Fizdale has been criticized in the past for his lineups — he consistently played Emmanuel Mudiay over Frank Ntilikina who absolutely ‘needed’ playing time.

Finding a balance for Barrett, Robinson, Knox, Trier, Smith Jr., Ignas Brazdeikis, and veterans Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Morris, Randle, and Bobby Portis will be difficult. They also have Wayne Ellington, a three-point sharpshooter.

The reality of the situation is that the Knicks could very well be a .500 team if they rely on the veterans. However, it’s still important that the youth players earn plenty of time on the court.

New York Giants rookie corner Julian Love learning by losing to Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

The New York Giants made a significant effort to bolster their secondary this past offseason, drafting DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine. The trio will influence the defense in some way, or at the very least leave their mark on the special teams unit, which is where I imagine Ballentine featuring.

However, Baker and Love have a good shot at not only earning playing time with the defense but starting in their first professional seasons. Baker is the expected No. 2 corner opposite Janoris Jenkins but will have to fend off the tenacious Sam Beal for the starting job.

Love will compete with Grant Haley for the slot-corner spot, and while the rookie is at a disadvantage due to the latter’s experience, he has a fair opportunity to steal playing time.

So far, Love has learned plenty from his fellow defenders, but it’s the pass catchers that have really opened his eyes to the talent he will be facing. Playing against Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, two of the game’s best slot receivers will certainly help the rookie develop his game.

“I’ve learned that they’re the real deal,” Love told Giants.com. “A lot of pride for Golden Tate, a fellow Notre Dame guy. Both of them, it can be a slant and they’ll run it 20 different ways, the same route. They’re students of the game still and smart, so being able to predict an play the situation has been helpful at times and they’re just two of the best and I’m happy to be practicing with them.”

New York Yankees: Cameron Maybin the better option over Giancarlo Stanton?

New York Yankees, Cameron Maybin

Let’s start with a little New York Yankees trivia to start this topic at hand. One player is earning $26 million in 2019 and the other $471K, can you name them?

Here’s a hint, the title gives it away. Stanton, the Yankees’ big-name acquisition from 2018 is making about 52X more than Cameron Maybin, a journeyman outfielder who is a career average player.

However, Maybin has proved to be a major impact player in 2019, hitting .314 on the year prior to a calf injury that has sidelined him for about three weeks. Maybin is closing in on a return, though, as he will be designated for minor league assignment next week.

The question I want to ask is: 

Are the New York Yankees better off starting Maybin or Stanton?

By default, the Yanks really don’t have much of a choice but to play Stanton, but his numbers don’t exactly scream consistent. So far in 2019, he has just 31 at-bats, hitting .290 with one homer. Maybin, on the other hand, has 118 at-bats and has proven that he’s capable of handling an everyday load.

Aside from his consistency this year, Cameron is an elite base runner and steady defender. He’s played a minimum of 20 games at every outfield position, recording exactly zero errors.

In Stanton’s eight total defensive games, he has one error. From every angle, Maybin looks the better player this season, and his return should see him start in left field for the foreseeable future given his bat remains steady. I imagine once Stanton returns he will take over, but only due to his price-tag — otherwise, the red-hot Maybin should be the choice every day of the week.


Injury update:

Aaron Boone stated that Giancarlo Stanton’s rehab has not been progressing at the ideal speed, this is the slugger’s second injury of the season and it’s proving to be significant once again.

“Better, but still slow,” Boone said. “Not baseball activities yet, just continuing to work on stabilizing things, making sure the quad is built up and strong, doing things in the weight room. Moving slow, but talking to G, too, he feels like he’s making some progress where the first couple of weeks were frustrating because it was slow-moving.”