New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from the Yankees win over the Braves

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

The New York Yankees finally pull out a win last night after sliding 5 games in a row that put them as far into the cellar in the America League that you can get. From the aspect that a win is a win, last night’s game shouldn’t be confused with something to celebrate; it wasn’t a pretty win, it wasn’t a win produced by the Yankees, it was a win provided to the Yankees by the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees won the game 3-1.

Taillon had a good start

After a good start and a shaky start, Jameson Taillon performed well in last night’s game. He kept the Yankees in the game allowing only four hits and one earned run across 5 innings of work with five strikeouts. Taillon faced only four more batters than the minimum.

Jameson Taillon came to the New York Yankees via the trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates with the hope that after two Tommy John surgeries that he could return to the pitcher he was before the surgeries; so far, it’s a mixed bag that seems to have an upside to it. His performance last night shows that when the rust shakes off, he could be everything the Yankees could have wanted.

For the most part, the Yankee bullpen has been stellar, headlining Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisga, Justin Wilson, and Aroldis Chapman with a new pitch that may make him the closer the Yankees have always wanted him to be. In five innings of work, he has had 19 pitches registered at 100 mph or more.

Yankee batting is still substandard

Last night’s win is nothing to rejoice about. The fact of the matter is that the Yankees as a team still aren’t hitting, especially considering that they are supposed to be one of the most powerful lineups in baseball. The team in the last sixteen games is batting just .210  with an OPS of .642. If that is isn’t bad enough, the only reason it’s that high is the anchor players in the lineup. The heart of the lineup is pitiful.

What is truly disturbing is that only half of the team is doing their jobs. The team is leaving too many men on base and hitting into too many double plays. In several games, the defense has been downright miserable, not making plays that would be made in high school games. These stats are unexplainable; more than half of the Yankee’s regular lineup is hitting below .200. You don’t win games consistently when more than half of your lineup isn’t being productive.

Those Yankees that are doing their jobs

It still early in the season, and all is not bad. Defense wise last night’s game was free from errors that have plagued Gleyber Torres and others. Even though there were only 5 hits in the game, the Yankees played solid ball.

There are some stand-out players, and it’s not just from last night’s game. Gio Urshela won the game for the New York Yankees with a double and a home run (437′). DJ LeMahieu contributed with two hits and has the highest number of multihit games since 2019. Ushela and LeMahieu have also been defensive standouts. We need to include Kyle Higasioka, who has the team’s highest batting average.

Playing in average mode is Aaron Judge, who leads the team in home runs, Giancarlo Stanton, the team’s only real situational hitter; he has the most RBI’s. Brett Gardner has been the best player out of the dugout. Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier have been absolutely abysmal. I give the team coaching staff an F for not energizing and motivating the team. And that applies to manager Aaron Boone as well. These coaches must inspire the players to play to their considerable abilities as we advance.

Upcoming games

Tonight the New York Yankees will face the Atlanta Braves in the finale game at Yankee Stadium. Corey Kluber will face the Brave’s Ian Aderson at 6:35 pm. Starting on Thursday, they will face the Cleveland Indians in a four-game set. Then a four-game set with the Orioles before returning to the Stadium to face the Tigers and Astros.

 

 

The New York Yankees finally find the win column, but plenty of work remains

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

As April nears an end, the New York Knicks continue their downward spiral. Coming off yet another ugly loss while sitting at the bottom of their conference, the Knicks somehow found the win column on Tuesday to put an end to their five-game losing streak.

Oh wait, the Knicks are currently on a seven-game winning streak and sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference. It’s actually the New York Yankees off a five-game losing streak and on the floor of the American League. Certainly not a jab towards the Knicks who have done an incredible job on their rebuild, but it’s certainly unusual to see them flourishing while the Yankees struggle to win games.

However, the Yankees finally managed to pull out a victory on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves, putting an end to their dismal losing streak spanning a week. Giveth, the Braves played without the hottest hitter in all of baseball, Ronald Acuna Jr., as he’s day-to-day with an abdominal strain. But, just seeing a win is something to celebrate, regardless of who the Yankees are playing.

Sure, it wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win in the end. The Yankees only had five hits, but two of them came off the bat of Gio Urshela with the latter flying 437 feet into Monument Park for a home run. DJ LeMahieu added two hits, but Urshela’s home run was really the only run-producing swing of the night. The team had the bases loaded in the eighth and scored two runs, but they came off a wild pitch and a walk. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge each singled to set up the two run-scoring plays, but each of the scoring plays wasn’t direct results of swings.

So basically, the Yankees won the game off the Braves pitching mishaps. The Yankees did get a strong five-inning start out of Jameson Taillon and four shutout innings from the bullpen, but the bats weren’t there to back the pitching staff. When the Braves scored their lone run of the evening in the second inning, it felt like the Yankees were going to lose that game 1-0. Fortunately, Urshela came through with a bomb and the team had enough plate discipline late.

Right now, LeMahieu and Urshela are really the only two guys swinging the bat well on the team. The common factor between the two: Both are probably the most versatile hitters on the team. By that, they can hit the long ball, but can also go the other way for a base hit. They can put one in the gap when needed, or beat out a chopper for a hit. And on Tuesday night, that’s exactly what happened. Urshela’s first hit of the evening was a two-strike pitch slapped down the right-field line for extra bases, and LeMahieu picked up an infield single on a ball hit about six feet.

However, the other seven guys in the order look lost at-bat. Judge has been hit-and-miss this season, but he did manage to single on Tuesday. Giancarlo Stanton’s hitting .170, Gleyber Torres is hitting .182, and Clint Frazier’s hitting .162. All three of those guys have enormous expectations set for them this season and have so far been let-downs.

Through almost three weeks, the Yankees are hitting just .210 as a team with an OPS of .642. Players are striking out in 25% of at-bats with a combined 87 wRC+. The team has also been the worst at hitting fastballs across the league, a category that the Yankees are typically towards the top of. In short, the New York offense has performed terribly through 16 games and needs to improve. No other way to put it.

However, we have seen a few positives of late. Baserunning seems to have….improved, and the infield defense hasn’t done anything horrific over the past few games. Torres has looked a little more comfortable at shortstop and has made all of his throws, while of course LeMahieu and Urshela continue to play Gold Glove-caliber defense.

As cliche as a sounds, the Yankees should hopefully snap out of this rut soon. We’re finally seeing a few positives on each side of the ball, and a win should give the team some confidence with a long road trip looming. However, the team still has a long way to go, and the battle continues with trying to win back-to-back games against the Braves to conclude the homestand.

 

Knicks News: Julius Randle details why he’s been so successful, full-team effort demolishes Pelicans

new york knicks, julius randle

Sometimes, all it takes is the right coach to unlock potential in players. For the New York Knicks, new head coach Tom Thibodeau has allowed Julius Randle to find his capabilities, and he’s reaching new bounds this season after a disappointing 2020 campaign.

Randle most recently won the Eastern Conference player of the week award, averaging 35.8 points last week. His rise this year has played a significant part in the Knicks’ overall success, as they are firmly saddled in the fifth seat after a dominant victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday evening.

Randle dominated the boards, picking up 10 rebounds and posting 16 points, in addition to seven assists. While his range from downtown wasn’t efficient again, Charlotte, he found ways to make an impact, playing in 40 minutes and demanding attention from opposing defenders, opening up clean shots for players like Reggie Bullock, RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, and Immanuel Quickley.

Combined, the five players totaled 90 points out of the Knicks’ total 109. It was a full team effort, and Randle continues to deflect questions regarding his play and how he’s carrying the squad this year. In fact, he offered a perfect response to such claims, indicating that he has totally bought into Thibodeau’s mindset and methodologies, which are tailored around the team playing as one and not individually.

“Honestly, it’s really about the team,’’ Randle said Tuesday before the Knicks hosted the Hornets. “Me and Thibs will talk about it all the time. Thibs tells the team all the time: When a team does well, everybody’s value goes up. We’re playing well as a team. As a unit, guys are making me look good. I’m doing my best to try to help other guys out. It’s really just a tribute and an honor to our team, how well we’re playing right now. We’ve just got to keep it going.”

The Knicks are currently on a seven-game win streak, their longest in more than five years. They are a completely different team this season, and it is clear they are taking positive steps forward to attract star players in the near future. With Julius expecting to stay in New York over the long term, he only has one year left on his deal currently, and due to the collective bargaining agreement, President Leon Rose can’t offer him a max contract.

Nonetheless, I expect the two sides to find common ground someway somehow. At the end of the day, without Randle, the Knicks are an entirely different team, but it’s also the chemistry they have with one another that makes them so exciting to watch.

New York Giants are mulling idea of doing the impossible…trading down

New York Giants, Joe Judge

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has never traded back in the NFL draft, and that is a sample size spelling eight NFL seasons. However, the 2021 draft offers an opportunity to not only acquire more draft capital but also pick a playmaker in a trade down scenario.

We have gone through several trade back scenarios, where the Giants find themselves in a position to snag the best pass rusher available in a weak class, but the value they can add might not be worth passing on an elite talent like Micah Parsons or even one of the top receivers on the board.

The Giants have sent plenty of front office personnel to evaluate the edge rushers this year, including Gregory Rousseau, Jaelan Phillips, Azeez Ojulari, and many more. While they could be considering one of those options in the second round, depending on if any drop, one NFL analyst believes the Giants could realistically trade back, despite not having a history of doing so.

According to NFL Analyst Ian Rapoport:

The Giants are slated to pick No. 11 in the NFL Draft, and trading back is already something they are internally considering, I’m told. That spot will have real value. … How rare would a trade down be? GM Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the 1st round in 8 drafts as a GM

Trading back could return some great value for the New York Giants:

The idea of walking away with more draft capital and plugging multiple holes sounds good in theory. However, passing up in an elite talent at 11 would be difficult to do. There’s an argument to be made the Micah Parsons might be more influential than any of the pass rushers in the first round this year. As a potential generational talent who can do many things, including rush the passer and stop the run at an elite level, the value might be too much to pass on. Ultimately, the Giants can let the draft come to them and remaining patient, waiting to see if any quarterbacks fall and teams are looking to trade up.
The 11th overall pick is actually an advantageous one this year, with multiple quarterbacks expected to go in the first 10 picks, opening up the possibility for several elite players to fall right into Big Blue’s lap.
Again, Gettleman has never moved back in a draft before, and I wouldn’t expect a change in strategy at this point in his career. However, after adding Joe Judge and more forward-thinking personnel behind the scenes, their methodologies might be in flux.

New York Jets: A history of multiple first round picks

New York Jets, Joe Namath

Barring any shocking trades, the New York Jets will have multiple first-round picks for the ninth time in franchise history.

For the ninth time in franchise history, the New York Jets fill out at least two draft cards during first-round action at the NFL Draft…barring any unforeseen developments, of course. New York holds the second overall pick in this year’s draft (one all but confirmed to be used on their next franchise quarterback), while they also hold the 23rd overall choice obtained from Seattle in last offseason’s Jamal Adams deal. The process is currently on pace to repeat itself next year.

How did the Jets and those picks of years gone by fare? ESM takes a trip down draft memory lane…

1965 (AFL)

  • QB Joe Namath, Alabama (1st)
  • RB Tom Nowatzke, Indiana (4th)

Namath was the subject of an AFL-NFL bidding war and was drafted by both leagues in November 1964. True to his larger-than-life form, Namath made some high-roller requests from his NFL employers, the St. Louis Cardinals (who chose him 12th overall). When the Cardinals made a request of their own (asking him to sign immediately, which would render Namath ineligible for the upcoming Orange Bowl against Texas), Namath turned them down and joined the Jets. He’d take his advantage against the NFL in the best way possible, the legendary Super Bowl III triumph that changed the course of professional football.

The Jets had Denver’s pick in that same draft and took Nowatzke, a Big Ten rushing champion out of Bloomington. Nowatzke was the opposite of Namath, turning down the AFL to play in the NFL, chosen 11th by the Detroit Lions. He moved onto the Baltimore Colts, the Jets’ Super Bowl III victims, in 1970 and wound up scoring the team’s lone touchdown in their Big Game triumph over Dallas two years after Namath’s guarantee. After the Jets chose Nowatzke, the Kansas City Chiefs chose future Hall of Fame Gale Sayers…who likewise turned down the AFL.

1972

  • WR/TE Jerome Barkum, Jackson State (9th)
  • LB Mike Taylor, Michigan (20th)

Barkum quietly built one of the longest and successful receiving tenures in Jets history as both a receiver and a tight end. He notably reached a Pro Bowl in his second NFL season and stands as one of only four Jets to catch at least 40 touchdowns in green (Don Maynard, Wesley Walker, and Wayne Chrebet are the others). Barkum also ranks eighth in career yardage (4,789) and ninth in receptions (326).

Taylor’s tenure wasn’t so prosperous. The consensus All-American lasted only two seasons in the NFL, opting to join the short-lived World Football League’s Detroit Wings after that.

1984

  • CB Russell Carter, SMU (10th)
  • DE Ron Faurot, Arkansas (15th)

Carter, another All-American nominee, had a strong start to his NFL career, earning four interceptions in his debut year. He notably earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors during Week 15 action in December, earning two sacks and an interception in a win over Buffalo. Alas, Carter never earned another NFL interception and lasted only four seasons in New York before partaking in two years with the Los Angeles Raiders to end his career. Making the Carter dropout all the more painful by the fact that Wilbur Marshall went to Chicago at No. 11. Marshall would join the Jets for his final season in 1995…after reaching three Pro Bowls and earning both a Super Bowl title and the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Year title.

Meanwhile, Faurot, acquired with a pick from New Orleans in exchange for former franchise quarterback Richard Todd, saw his career derailed by injuries and was released before the midway mark of his sophomore season.

1995

  • TE Kyle Brady, Penn State (9th)
  • DE Hugh Douglas, Central State (16th)

It’s probably not officially draft day until the networks roll the clip of horrified Jets fans booing the choice of Brady, who was chosen three picks before Warren Sapp (and Sapp’s fellow future Pro Bowlers Mark Fields and Ruben Brown). Brady never made Jets fans forget about Sapp, but he had his share of moments in green and lasted 13 seasons in the league, most of them spent with Jacksonville.

The Jets used the 16th pick acquired from Arizona (for receiver Rob Moore) to take NAIA standout Douglas. He burst onto the scene with 10 sacks and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but the Jets nonetheless dealt him to Philadelphia in a process that netted them four picks that became Dorian Boose, Kevin Williams, Eric Bateman, and Casey Dailey. Douglas apparently took the deal personally and put up two All-Pro seasons in a different shade of green, notably leading the league in tackles for a loss twice.

2000

  • DE Shaun Ellis, Tennessee (12th)
  • LB John Abraham, South Carolina (13th)
  • QB Chad Pennington, Marshall (18th)
  • TE Anthony Becht, Virginia (27th)

The cost was great…namely losing future Super Bowl champions Bill Belichick and Keyshawn Johnson…but the Jets managed to get four consistent contributors that set them up for a solid decade. Ellis and Abraham united for 126 sacks with a green oval on their helmet, while Pennington took over the franchise quarterback role by 2002, working with a reliable red zone target in Becht.

Between 2000 and 2005 (when Abraham departed for Atlanta through a trade we’ll get to in a minute), the Jets earned four winning seasons and won a pair of playoff games. Ellis would last until 2010, reaching two Pro Bowls as a Jet. Pennington earned the league’s Comeback Player of the Year honor in 2006, when he got the Jets back to the playoffs after missing a majority of the prior campaign with an injury. Alas, Pennington provided payback when the Jets ousted him for Brett Favre in 2008, joining Miami for a division title run that ran through Giants Stadium.

2006

  • T D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia (4th)
  • C Nick Mangold, Ohio State (29th)

By far the most productive of the multi-first round classes, Ferguson and Mangold became cornerstones of the Jets’ offense, paving the way for the consecutive visits to the AFC title game in 2010-11.

The idea of Jets fan booing D’Brickashaw Ferguson seems downright absurd, but it was a reality upon his drafting in 2006. Fans desperate to see USC legend Matt Leinart come out to the east coast gave Ferguson a not-so-friendly welcome, but the Freeport native was able to silence his doubters 160 consecutive starts, three Pro Bowls, and a single missed snap later.

Meanwhile, Mangold arrived through a trade that sent Abraham down south and more than made up for the defender’s departure. His blocking intensity was matched only by his personality, one that continues to show itself through appearances at local sports events, namely New York Rangers games at Madison Square Garden.

2008

  • DE Vernon Gholston, Ohio State (6th)
  • TE Dustin Keller, Purdue (30th)

Blessed with another multi-pick first round two years later, the Jets again attempted to mine talent out of Columbus but came up horrendously short with Gholston. He was supposed to make a major difference in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 set, namely through his edge-rushing abilities. Alas, Gholston failed to record a single sack over three seasons in green before he was unceremoniously released in 2011. Among the Pro Bowlers passed in favor of Gholston were Jerod Mayo, Ryan Clady (who played his final season with the Jets in 2016), and Jonathan Stewart.

A pick obtained from the Packers (sending over their second and fourth-round picks) was far more lucrative, even if his NFL time was unfortunately cut short. Keller was a reliable target and for four seasons before injuries took over his career.

2013

  • CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (9th)
  • DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri (13th)

After a rocky rookie season, Milliner seemed to have some momentum going into his sophomore campaign with three interceptions over his final pair of games. Alas, he became another victim of the injury bug and he wound up playing only eight more NFL games over the next two seasons.

The Jets didn’t miss out on much between Milliner and their pick obtained from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Darelle Revis (Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, and D.J Hayden each went in that span). Richardson was the eventual honoree in the 13th slot and enjoyed some good gridiron memories before legal issues caused the Jets to seek out a trade. He narrowly missed out on the Defensive Rookie of the Year award that went to Kiko Alonso and also stands as the only defender in Jets history to earn two rushing scores (briefly lining up as a fullback in certain situations). Richardson was traded to Seattle in 2017 and recently wrapped up a two-year stint in Cleveland.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

UFC books headliner between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai

The UFC has finalized a big time main event for June between top ten heavyweights. Combate was the first to report that the promotion was in the final stages of booking the headliner between “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) and Augusto Sakai (15-2-1).

The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on June 5th. Augusto Sakai will make the walk on June 5th as the ninth ranked heavyweight in the division. This will be his second straight UFC headliner and Sakai will be hoping for a better result in this main event.

In his last fight, Sakai was stopped by Alistair Overeem. This loss snapped a six-fight win streak for Sakai. Sakai made his UFC debut back in 2018 after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. After winning his first few matchups, the promotion gave him a big step up in competition.

While Sakai had bright spots, Overeem proved to be too much for him. Prior to his loss to Overeem, Sakai defeated the very tough Blagoy Ivanov back in May. This fight on June 5th is a massive opportunity for Sakai. If he’s able to knock off Bigi Boy, he will be back on the right track in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

UFC Bounce Back for Bigi Boy

Entering 2020, Jairzinho Rozenstruik looked like he could challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. Bigi Boy was unbeaten and the promotion booked him against Francis Ngannou. The fight had a ton of heat and Ngannou went on to knock Rozenstruik out in the first 20 seconds.

After that fight, Rozenstruik picked up a win over Junior Dos Santos at UFC 252. After that win, the promotion booked Bigi Boy in a headliner against Ciryl Gane. An impressive performance from Rozenstruik in this matchup could have him right back in the title conversation.

However, Bigi Boy failed miserably in this spot. Gane pitched a shutout and Rozenstruik didn’t do anything throughout the entire fight. After entering 2020 unbeaten, Rozenstruik is now 1-2 in his last three. This UFC Fight Night headliner on June 5th is massive for both men. However, it’s clear that Rozenstruik has to prove to the world he’s still a top threat in the division.

Walker Get Heated, Mets Offense Goes Cold in Chilly Loss to Cubs 3-1

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets are no strangers to ugly weather this season, but that does not mean they get used to it. Taijuan Walker started strong but did not have a happy finish at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Walker threw 3.2 hitless innings but failed to make it out of the fourth inning after allowing two singles and three consecutive walks. He needed 91 pitches in his outing and was thrown out in the 3-1 loss.

While Walker failed to make it through the fourth inning, his demise began in the third inning. The first of two errors from J.D. Davis allowed the first Cubs’ run to score on a straightforward play. Davis made two mistakes on the play: first, letting the ground ball come to him instead of charging it and then double clutching on the throw, which has become a bad habit. Simple mistakes like these were habits Davis needed to quit to be an adequate third baseman, and it happened again on his second error.

Walker Loses The Zone

When Walker gave up three consecutive walks, they all went to a full count, and a few tough calls did not go in his favor. The stressful at-bats and frustrating inning made Walker leave the mound bursting with anger. He took it out on home plate umpire John Libka, who, in all fairness, had a very questionable strike zone. Manager Luis Rojas also got the boot in the sixth inning due to Libka’s inconsistent zone. In total, Walker threw 3.2 innings, allowed just two hits but walked six.

Even if Walker pitched adequately, there was no offense to support him. Davis’s solo home run was all the Mets could scratch across against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. He was not unhittable but found ways to keep the Mets from putting up a crooked number. Arrieta allowed one run, three hits, and walked three over five innings pitched.

Their best scoring chance came against closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth with one out and the bases loaded. Brandon Nimmo struck out, and Francisco Lindor grounded out to leave the tying and winning runs on base. They left 10 runners on base and went just 1-for-6 w/RISP. The biggest positive is from their bullpen, who threw 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.

The Mets look to start a new winning streak on Wednesday when David Peterson takes the bump against Zach Davies. The first pitch from Wrigley Field is at 7:40 p.m. ET.

Barrett’s explosion keys Knicks’ 7th straight win

Just as when the law of averages seemed to have caught up with the New York Knicks, they still found a way to extend the league’s current longest winning streak.

The Knicks entered Tuesday night’s game on a roll with sixth straight wins and the league’s top 3-point defense. But the Charlotte Hornets posed a significant challenge in the first half, hitting 13-of-19 three-pointers.

Then the Knicks tightened up the loose ends on their defense in the second half and rode on RJ Barrett’s explosion to repel the Hornets, 109-97, Tuesday night at The Garden for their seventh straight win.

Tom Thibodeau made the necessary adjustments, and the result was disastrous for the Hornets, who were a measly 3-for-20 from beyond the arc in the second half.

“I thought our defense in the second half was much better. We contained the dribble drive better. We made a better effort. We moved down on the fly with the ball. We challenged shots,” Thibodeau said.

After a torrid stretch that earned him his first NBA Player of the Week award, Julius Randle cooled off as he was the focal point of the Hornets defense. But Randle did plenty of other stuff to impact the game.

Randle set up Barrett for consecutive three-point shots to get going in the third quarter. Barrett, who missed seven in a row in the first half after his first basket, keyed New York’s turnaround.

Barrett took over in the third quarter and outscored the entire Hornets team, 18-16, as the Knicks built a nine-point lead.

The sophomore wing was a perfect 4-of-4 from 3 in that pivotal period and finished with 24 points to pace the Knicks. He had a career-high-tying six threes.

PJ Washington, who smoked the Knicks with 21 points off the bench in the first half, led the Hornets with 26.

With Barrett on fire, the Knicks turned a six-point halftime deficit into a 91-82 lead, which they never relinquished.

“That’s what Julius has done all year. He didn’t score the ball like he usually does, but he made plays for us, and he has great awareness of what’s going on in the game. He gets people going,” Thibodeau said.

RJ, in the second half, got a great rhythm going. He’s been shooting the 3 great for us. He gotta continue to do that. But Julius can beat you a lot in different ways. He can beat you with the pass, with his rebounding, with his post-ups, shooting the 3, going off the dribble.”

After averaging 35.8 points in his last four games, Randle was held down to 16 on 5-for-16 shooting by the Hornets’ defense. But the Knicks’ All-Star forward added 10 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

Reggie Bullock, who hit the overtime-sending triple in their previous win, kept it going with 16 points on five triples. 

Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson combined for 10 points, 19 rebounds, and four blocks as they split the minutes at center.

Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley each had 17 points off the bench for the Knicks, who moved five games over .500 (32-27) for the first time this season and to solo fifth in the Eastern Conference.

They can knock the Atlanta Hawks (32-26) from their perch and grab solo fourth if they beat them tomorrow in an all-important matchup.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Giants: Wayne Gallman gets visit with San Francisco 49ers

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman

Wayne Gallman ended up playing a larger than expected role for the New York Giants last season. He was off the radar of just about everyone going into the season, but after Saquon Barkley was quickly taken out for the year, the Giants tried multiple running backs to replace him. It took them some time to find their man, but Gallman came out on top in the end and took the majority of the playing time at running back.

However, the Giants had to make some sacrifices because of the salary cap and Gallman is one of the players the team is moving on from. His contract is up after joining the Giants in 2017 and it looks like Gallman is going to get a payday with another team after having the best year of his career.

The team that might pick him up is the 49ers. The team is hosting Gallman for a visit and will have more money to spend compared to the Giants, as one of the top teams picking in this year’s draft. The 49ers are further back when it comes to the rebuilding process, and can afford to give Gallman the paycheck that the Giants can’t.

Gallman is coming off his best statistical season by far after he had 682 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns in 15 games – only 10 of those games were starts, owing to Gallman taking some time before getting into the main starting role.

As for the Giants, it remains to be seen who their number one backup will be this season. However, the hope is they won’t have to use a backup as much. With Saquon Barkley recovering from injury and expected to return in week 1, the franchise will want him on the field as much as possible in 2021.

New York Yankees Recap: Atlanta Braves fall to the 8th inning rally by the Yankees

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Tonight the New York Yankees hoped to turn around their season while meeting the Atlanta Braves in a short two-game series. The Yankees have gotten off to a languid start going 5-10 with some pretty sloppy play in the last few games. They were coming off a sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight, Jameson Taillon was hoping for a rebound facing the Braves. Charlie Morton, a pitcher, the Yankees, were all too familiar with. He pitched for both the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays most recently, but now he is an Atlanta Brave.  The Yankees won the game 3-1.

Taillon took the mound at the top of the first and faced Ehire Adrianza, who struck out. Freddie Freeman singled off Taillon. Marcell Ozuna gound out to Torres. d’Arnaud flew out for a quick inning for Taillon. DJ LeMahieu led off the bottom, grounding out to first. Aaron Judge had a long fly out to far left for the second out. Brett Gardner struck out for a dominant half for Morton. No score.

Ozzie Albies led of the second against Taillon and flew out to Tauchman. Pedro Sandoval struck out. Dansby Swanson ground out for Taillon’s 1-2-3 innings. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton struck out. Gleyber Torres ground out. Mike Ford was up for his first time in the major league season and flew out on the first pitch thrown. No score.

Austin Riley led off the third inning by flying out. Guillermo Heredia doubled to the left-field wall. Andrianza doubled, and Heredia scored for the Braves early one-run lead. Freeman went down looking for out number two. Ozuna struck out, but the Braves picked up a run. At the bottom, Gary Sanchez ground out to third. Gio Urshela doubled for the first hit by the Yankees. Mike Tauchman had a sac fly with Urshela going to third base. LeMahieu struck out swinging, leaving one on base. Braves 1 Yankees 0.

d’Arnaud led off the fourth by flying out. Albies walked. Sandoval singled, making two on and no outs for Taillon. Swanson drove into a double play getting Taillon out of trouble. Judge led off the bottom by walking off Morton. Brett Gardner flew out to Ozuna in left. Stanton walked for two on and one out with Torres up; he reached on a fielder’s choice. Stanton went to third base. Mike Ford went down looking as the Yankees failed to tie up the game.

At the top of the fifth, Austin Riley tapped back to Taillon for out number one. Heredia flew out to Judge for the second out. Adrianza struck out for a quick inning for Taillon. Sanchez led off the bottom by flying out to the right-field foul territory. Urshela then homered to tie up the game at one apiece. Tauchman ground out. LeMahieu got a slow roller single. Judge ground out to short, but the Yankees tied up the fame in the fifth. Yankees 1 Braves 1.

Freddie Freeman led off against Lucas Luetge, who replaced Trillion, who had a good start allowing just one run in five innings. Freeman popped out behind the plate to Sanchez. Ozuna flew out to Judge in right. d’Arnaud walked. Albies ground out to short to end the half. Brett Gardner at the bottom of the frame stuck out on 10 pitches running Morton’s pitch count up. Stanton struck out as the Yankee fans booed from the stands. Torres ground out to short, and the score remained tied at 1 apiece.

Sandoval led off the seventh inning by walking. Swanson faced Chad Green replacing Luetge. Green coming into the game, had an unfortunate 0-2 record but an unbelievable 0.93 ERA. Swanton struck out. Riley singled, moving Sandoval to second. Sandoval, one of the slowest runners, was replaced by Kazmar, who hasn’t played in the majors for 12 years.  Heredia singled on a show chopper to third, loading the bases for Green. Adrianza struck out for the second out. That was it for Green, replaced by Justin Wilson. With the bases loaded and two outs, Freeman hit sharply out to LeMahieu, leaving the bases loaded with Braves. At the bottom, Ford led off, lining out to the first baseman. Sanchez chopped to third for the second out. Urshela, with two hits in the game, flew out to Freeman for an over-the-shoulder catch and final out of the inning. The game tied at 1.

At the top of the eighth, with a new pitcher, Jonathan Loaisiga on the mound hit Ozuna, advancing him to first base. d’Arnaud hit into a double play to Torres for two outs. Albies struck out. At the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Hicks pinch hit for Mike Tauchman and walked. LeMahieu single left of short and advanced Hicks to second base. Judge singled, loading the bases with no outs. Clint Frazier pinch-hitting for Brett Gardner with the bases loaded with Yankees. A strange move for manager Aaron Boone as Frazier was 0-66 without an RBI. Frazier did the job benignly as a wild pitch allowed Hicks to score. However, Frazier popped out into the infield. Stanton was intentionally walked, bringing up Gleyber Torre. Torres flew out to center. Mike Ford, with the bases, still loaded, and two outs, walked in a run with DJ scoring. Sanchez popped out to left, but the Yankee rallied to take the lead. Yankees 3 Braves 1.

With last licks on the line for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman took to the mound to close it out for the Yankees. In for Kazmer, Johan Camargo struck out on a breaking ball. Swanson struck out swinging on a 100 mph Chapman pitch. Riley walked. Heredia flew out to Mike Ford in foul territory to end the game and break the Yankees’ five-game losing streak.

Final score New York Yankees 3 Atlanta Braves 1. The winning pitcher was Jonathan Loaisiga, the loser was Tyler Matzek, and the save went to Aroldis Chapman. Gio Urshela homered and doubled in the game.