In a season full of anticipation, the Chicago Bears put together an inconsistent performance against the Los Angeles Rams in week 1, proving that the Bears have a long way to go before truly competing in 2021. Throughout the evening, the Bears did have some bright moments, including a three-yard touchdown run by rookie Justin Fields.
Nearly every bright moment was overshadowed by a bad moment. Chicago’s defense, which many consider the strength of the team, gave up two big passing touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown to Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson. The Bears did start out fast, with a 41-yard run by running back David Montgomery in a drive that ended with quarterback Andy Dalton throwing an interception in the redzone.
Chicago’s inability to establish rhythm should be concerning for head coach Matt Nagy, who heads into his fourth season as Bears head coach. Nagy’s offense limped to the finish line in both 2019 and 2020 and while week 1 provided us with the opportunity to see flashes of what the offense can do under Dalton, Chicago wasn’t consistent enough.
Moving forward, the Bears defense needs to limit big plays to have a chance against explosive offenses. For a defense that features a revamped secondary, Chicago needs more consistent play from safeties, along with a front seven that get after the quarterback consistently.
Dalton did have a solid outing, going 27-for-38 with 206 yards, and one interception. Dalton took what the Rams defense gave him, completing multiple throws underneath. Chicago does need Dalton to hit plays downfield to have a chance at really staying in games.
Another silver lining is that the Bears’ offensive line did look solid throughout the night. Rams star pass rusher Aaron Donald was neutralized on most plays and had just one sack and one tackle for loss. For a unit that played together just once throughout preseason, the Bears have to be feeling good about the offensive line moving forward.
What’s next for the Bears? Chicago will host the Cincinnati Bengals at home in week 2. Labeled by fans as the Andy Dalton revenge game, the Bears will have an opportunity to build on any momentum established in week 1.
The New York Giants kicked off their season on Sunday with a disappointing loss to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos beat the Giants with a final score of 27-13.
It was an embarrassing defeat for the Giants, a team that looked outcoached from the get-go. The Broncos dominated in time of possession, holding the ball for 35:08 while the Giants possessed the ball for only 24:52.
Key stats and takeaways
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater looked like a stud today, completing 28 of his 36 attempts for 264 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The Broncos’ offense was a well-oiled machine that totaled 420 total yards, 24 first downs, and only 1 turnover (fumble).
The Giants’ offense, on the other hand, looked stale and sluggish all game long. The unit averaged 17.5 points per game in 2020 and promised big improvements in 2021. Unfortunately, it looked like more of the same. New York totaled only 314 total yards and 19 first downs with 6 of their 13 points coming in garbage time.
Daniel Jones, entering his crucial third season, left fans unimpressed. He put together 267 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble, and one garbage-time rushing touchdown.
Saquon Barkley made his return to the field today and played more than most expected him to. Barkley took 10 handoffs for 26 yards.
The Giants enjoyed a couple of solid performances from their receivers. Sterling Shepard managed 113 yards and 1 touchdown on 7 receptions. Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton both totaled over 60 yards.
The New York Giants start the season off with an 0-1 record after having an exciting offseason that had fans looking forward to an improved 2021 season. The Giants now have a short week as they travel to Washington to play their first divisional opponent of the season on Thursday Night Football.
Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson had their Sunday revenge against the New York Jets, dooming to a sour start to the Robert Saleh era.
Sam Darnold’s two touchdowns in the late stages of the first half were enough to make a big difference in the Carolina Panthers’ 19-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte.
Darnold, the Jets’ first-round pick from the 2018 draft, allowed Carolina to build a two-possession lead going into the halftime break through a 57-yard hook-up with fellow former bearer of green Robby Anderson and a five-yard scoring run that put the Panthers ahead 16-0. The Jets (0-1) fought back with two Zach Wilson touchdowns to Corey Davis but their inability to contain Christian McCaffrey (187 yards in his return from an injury-plagued 2020) led to their demise.
The Jets’ pressure left much to be desired on Sunday, which was probably to be expected in the first game post-Carl Lawson injury. Franklin-Myers did what he could to pick up the slack, however. He had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage including a sack of Darnold on a short third down that helped the Jets’ defense, reeling from consecutive scoring drives, start the second half on a three-and-out.
Zach Wilson's first career NFL touchdown pass goes to Corey Davis. After a 2-pt conversion (Wilson keeper on a nice zone read), #Jets trail the Panthers 16-8 with 1:19 to go in the third. @nyjetspic.twitter.com/WqxO62Tw2y
Davis is one of the Jets’ most intriguing veteran newcomers in the sense that he has something to prove: overshadowed by some prominent weapons in Tennessee, Davis is trying to show the NFL world he’s capable of consistent duties as a No. 1 receiver.
He lived up to the hype and then some on Sunday, becoming Wilson’s favorite target and helping guide the Jets’ offense back into the game. Davis was also a sense of comfort and stability for the slightly frazzled Wilson, who dealt with a relentless Carolina pass rush for a majority of the afternoon.
Davis opted to look at Sunday’s loss through an optimistic lens.
“We’re in the building process of this thing,” Davis said, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “There’s going to be some growing pains. Obviously, we wish we could have had this one back but there’s a lot to learn from it.”
When Ammendola arrived in Charlotte on Sunday, his days as a distance kicker at North Penn High School (the Lansdale, PA establishment where he played soccer) were long behind him. However, he was pressed into service when primary punter Braden Mann went down with a knee injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game.
The Jets are perhaps a bit too familiar with punter-related calamities on opening day…remember Tom Tupa’s emergency services in 1999?…but Ammendola helped them make the best of it. Pressed into six services when the Jets’ offense sputtered in the early going, Ammendola’s averaged ranked sixth amongst Sunday competitors. He also pinned Carolina inside its own 20 twice, including once on a 65-yard boot. Thus far, that ties Ammendola with Tampa Bay’s Bradley Pinion for the longest punt in this infantile season.
“Terrific job by him. I thought he punted the heck out of it for not really practicing it,” head coach Robert Saleh said of Ammendola’s moonlighting in Costello’s report. “He just stepped right in and did a really good job. Hats off to him. I wish we could have gotten him a field goal [opportunity] somewhere, but I thought he did a great job.”
Tonight the New York Yankees will have their finale with the New York Mets. It is the rubber game of the series, and Clarke Schmidt will start the game in his first start of the season. Schmidt was considered for a starter role for the 2021 season, but a common extensor strain ended the highly-rated prospect’s hopes. An MRI confirmed no serious damage, but a couple of bouts with renewed discomfort kept him out.
Schmidt has started 7 games in the minor leagues en route to his return. He is 0-1 with a 2.96 ERA. With the Yankees short on dependable pitchers, the Yankees will be hopeful he can give them three or four innings. He is not stretched out, pitching a total of 27.1 innings. In his last four games at Scranton, he has 20 strikeouts over 15 innings of work.
If you are not familiar with Schmidt or have forgotten about him, here is what you need to know. Clarke was born in Acworth, Georgia, attended Allatoona High School, and played baseball at the University of South Carolina. Schmidt pitched in 18 games and made 10 starts as a freshman, pitching to a 2–2 with a 4.81 ERA and 55. He became South Carolina’s ace as a sophomore in 2016. He pitched in 18 games with 17 starts and went 9–5 with a 3.40 ERA and 129 strikeouts. Schmidt remained the team’s number one starter his junior year in 2017, but he was forced to have Tommy John surgery to repair an ACL in April.
Nevertheless, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2017 draft but did hot play that year at all rehabbing. He made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2018. He got a big signing bonus of $2.1 million. He quickly worked his way in the minors finishing the season with a 3.09 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. He started 2019 with the Tampa Tarpons but was promoted to the Trenton Thunder in August, where he pitched until it was announced that there would be no minor league season. Then, on September 4th, he was called up to the Stadium, where he pitched in relief. The 24-year-old pitched in 3 games for 6.1 innings striking out seven but had an elevated 7.11 ERA.
He really impressed manager Aaron Boone and the coaching staff during spring training. Pitching coach Matt Blake feels that Schmidt is progressing well and is the second most promising pitcher after Deivi Garcia. Garcia has had a disappointing 2021 for the Rail Riders. Tonight at Citi Field, he will finally get his chance to start a game this season before it is turned over to the bullpen. The Yankees sent Andrew Velazquez down to Scranton to make room for him on the roster, although that is likely not the last we will see of him this season.
One down, hopefully many, many, many more to go, New York Jets fans hope.
Zach Wilson found Corey Davis for his first career NFL touchdown during the late stages of the third quarter in the Jets’ Week 1 contest against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. A Wilson rollout afforded a 23-yard lob to a wide-open Corey Davis, who earned six points as a member of the Jets for the first time. Wilson wound up adding all eight points on the Jets’ possession: a quarterback draw capped off the drive, slicing Carolina’s 16-point lead in half.
The drive at the end of the third quarter allowed Wilson and the Jets to create some offensive traction: after struggling in the first quarter, he converted all four of his attempts on the drive, totaling 57 of the Jets’ 70 yards en route to his first New York score.
Alas, the play, true to Jets fashion, was not without heartbreak. Mekhi Becton was injured on the play and required assistance to leave the field. Becton, who was later transported to the Jets locker room on a medical cart, was labeled doubtful to return.
The Jets continue to trail the Panthers 16-8 in the middle stages of the fourth quarter.
The New York Knicks have had an exciting off-season full of free agent acquisitions and draft selections, but during the dog days of the rumor mill, the front office was connected to nearly every option on the market.
One player, the Knicks, had interesting, DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs, ended up signing a lucrative deal with Chicago. However, the Knicks had their sights set on the shooting guard, who predominantly feasts in the paint rather than feature as a sharpshooter from the perimeter.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks were intrigued by DeMar DeRozan in free agency, electing to go in a very different direction.
“Turns out, according to two NBA sources, [Knicks GM Scott] Perry was leaning toward a bolder pursuit, that of San Antonio standout swingman DeMar DeRozan. He made the All-Star Game his last three seasons in Toronto before being traded to the Spurs in 2018. DeRozan, though, would have cost more per season. According to the sources, DeRozan had sincere interest in the Knicks, but instead ended up with a generous deal in Chicago – a three-year, $85 million package. The Knicks inked [Evan] Fournier for four years, $78 million (with bonuses) while retaining a team option for the final season.”
DeRozan has averaged 20+ points consecutively since 2013, earning four All-Star appearances during that time frame. He dominates in the paint, using his physicality and savvy style. He shot nearly 50% from the field last year but only attempted 1.2 three-pointers per game. Nonetheless, the Knicks’ interest might’ve created a few problems for power for Julius Randle, who plays a very similar style of basketball with added shooting prowess.
Instead, the front office went in an entirely different direction, signing Evan Fournier to a four-year contract instead. Fournier couldn’t be more opposite compared to DeRozan, averaging 17.1 points last year, but attempting 6.7 three-pointers per game, hitting on 41.3% of his shots from range. He features as a spot-up shooter who can also create opportunities for himself, while DeRozan uses his 6’6″, 220-pound frame to find his way close to the basket.
Ultimately, Fournier’s qualities likely fit the Knicks’ style much better, who want to be a high percentage three-point shooting team while adding defensive value. Fournier will draw attention away from the paint, and Randle, who will remain the team’s top player as the Knicks, took a more conservative approach this off-season when it comes to signing bonafide stars.
At the end of the day, the Knicks might’ve dodged a bullet avoiding DeRozan and letting him sign a fruitful deal with Chicago.
In a must-win game, the New York Yankees managed to extract a victory over the New York Mets on Saturday evening. On the anniversary of 9/11, the Yankees found themselves in peril as they lost ground in the Wild Card standings. While Baltimore managed to extract victory over Toronto in the first game of their four-game series, they have lost the last two, allowing 11 runs in the seventh inning Saturday. In fact, the Yankees are currently tied with Toronto in the WC standings, so their victory over the Mets proved to be that much more significant.
Toronto has one more game against Baltimore, and the Boston Red Sox will take on the Chicago White Sox with just one game up in the WC. The season is boiling down to an exciting last few weeks, but the Yankees are still unsure who they will start on Sunday evening against their crosstown rivals; things are getting a bit tumultuous in the Bronx.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
The Yankees’ victory on Saturday was valiant and exciting, as both teams went back-and-forth, trading punches with Luke Voit eventually grounding into a fielders choice at shortstop, as Andrew Velazquez scored on a throwing error by Javier Baez.
The real hero on the evening was Aaron Judge, who launched two home runs, tallying three RBIs and making a few big-time plays in right field defensively. Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres both tallied two hits, showcasing their contributions and providing an offensive spark.
Unfortunately, starting pitcher Corey Kluber had a difficult outing, lasting 4.0 innings, giving up five hits and four earned runs. After returning from a shoulder injury, Kluber has had trouble easing his way back in, but the Yankees have no choice but to utilize him with a lack of starting support after Gerrit Cole’s Injury.
Nonetheless, a win is a win — the Yankees desperately needed this one to give them a bit of confidence and momentum moving forward.
“One of those where we needed everyone, we used almost everyone,” Boone said. “And yeah, definitely feels good to hear some noise in that clubhouse postgame.”
It’s just one game, but last night the New York Yankees returned to their winning ways, giving glimpses of the 13 game winning streak. From July 4th to the end of August, the Yankees won more games than any baseball team. But then, unexplainably, they just as quickly returned to the team that played the first half of the season, losing 8 games and playing and pitching poorly. But last night, with new urgency, the team rose to the occasion and started what may be another winning streak. It wasn’t easy, but the Yankees pulled out an 8-7 win over their crosstown rival New York Mets.
It was a bit of a roller coaster event in a day and night that baseball, particularly in New York, remembering those lost in the 9/11 attacks on our country. There were ceremonies at Citi Field, and the players of both teams wore FDNY ball caps. In the second inning, the Yankees burst out of the doldrums scoring five runs and looking like they were going to have a laugher. But the Mets clawed back to lead at one point, but the Yankees answered with 3 runs in the eighth for a lead that would hold.
Corey Kluber continues to build for the postseason
Corey Kluber, who had been on the IL for three months, had his third start since his return. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was one more step to him returning to form that saw him pitch the Yankee’s only no-hitter this season.
Kluber went four innings striking out six Mets hitters but giving up four earned runs. However, he showed signs of better control and poise on the mound. Kluber pitched a scoreless first. After the Yankees put five runs on the board in the second. At the bottom, Kluber issued a walk to Javier Baez walked. Jeff McNeil struck out, but Baez stole second. Kevin Pillar got an RBI double driving in the lead-off walk. James McCann tripled driving in Pillar. Taijuan Walker singled, driving Pillar. Villar struck out swinging. Lindor ground out to second. New York Yankees 5 New York Mets 3. Kluber gave up another run in the third inning, a Baez homer.
Lucas Luetge, Chad Green, and Clay Holmes in relief of Kluber, all gave up a run in their inning. Albert Abreu although waking two, didn’t give up a run in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman walked one, gave up a hit, but preserved the Yankee win, getting his 26th save of the season.
The home run is again king
It is often said that when the New York Yankees homer, they win games. It certainly was true last night. Of the 8 runs scored, 7 were scored off the home run. Kyle Higashioka homered driving in two. Brett Gardner homered driving in two. Aaron Judge hit two homers in the game, scoring three.
A tail of two catchers
There are glaring differences in the Yankees’ two catchers. Last night Kyle Higashioka made some excellent plays and called a good game. He also hit a 2 run homer in the second inning. Unfortunately, this was in comparison to Gary Sanchez’s passed balls and boneheaded play at home plate. In the first game that the Yankees lost Sanchez backed off the home plate to allow a run scored instead of blocking the plate.
Higashioka often doesn’t get the praise he deserves. “Higgy” is a professional behind the plate that calls great games and seldom makes errors. He, for the most part, is Gerrit Cole and Cory Kluber’s personal catcher. But still, he doesn’t get a lot of playing time.
Those who support the idea that Sanchez is the Yankees’ catcher of the future always say that, yes, Higashioka is a good catcher, but he is not the power hitter that Sanchez is. If you look a little deeper, that is not true; the fact is that Higashioka is right up there with the best Yankee home run hitters considering at-bats this season. He has 10 long balls in 58 games. Sanchez has 21 in 101 games. Kyle’s drive-in rate is almost identical to Sanchez. Higgy leads the AL in range factor (putouts + assist per games played).
Except for a few, catchers are notoriously poor hitters with low batting averages and don’t run the bases well. The whole point of this conversation is that Kyle Higasioka is well-focused and is a much better player than many fans would think. He could be even better if he had more playing time.
New York Jets first-round pick Mekhi Becton spoke to ESM about the weeks to come and his new endorsement endeavors with Pepsi.
As the anchor of the New York Jets’ offensive line, left tackle Mekhi Becton already has some arduous tasks ahead of him on autumn weekends.
Thanks to a collaboration with Pepsi, however, Becton will not only be able to protect the stars of Gang Green’s revamped offense, but he’ll also have the time and ability to assist Jets fans in preparing their gameday snacks.
Days before the Jets open their 2021 season on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET, CBS), Becton was revealed as the face of Pepsi’s new Jets-centered campaigns, entitled “Made for Jets Watching“. His participation is headlined by an augmented reality endeavor in which a mini version of the Jets’ first-round pick from the 2020 draft assists fans in conjuring up some Sunday recipes, including Pepsi BBQ Sauce, a dressing made with the official soft drink of the NFL.
“As fans across the country return to their favorite gameday watching and game day eating traditions this year, we’ve teamed up with the Jets to help fans unapologetically enjoy the experience all season long,” Kathy Kennedy, Sr. Director of Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages North America, North Division said in a company statement obtained by ESM. “Pepsi wants to give fans the magic of gearing up for game day no matter where or with whom they find themselves watching this season.”
Becton appears in Pepsi’s new league-wide campaign alongside other young talents like Jalen Hurts, Sterling Shepherd, Chase Claypool, and Sam Hubbard. Tenured veteran Devin McCourty and Hall of Famer rusher Barry Sanders likewise appear for their respective squads in New England and Detroit.
“Everything drew me to (this campaign),” Becton told ESM. “My parents they’re really big Pepsi fans and stuff like that. So I always grew up with it, with them drinking it and things like that. So it was just, it’s just a dream come true, honestly.”
With the season opener looming, Becton spoke with ESM about his new partnership and the upcoming trials and the Jets will face in the 2021 season…
Q: While this is an interesting and hopeful period on the Jets’ timeline, many choose to dismiss such hope as being a case of “Same Old Jets”. How is this team different from prior incarnations we’ve seen on this rebuild?
A: We’re really hungry, we’re a really hungry team. We go to work every day, we go hard every day. We have a lot of things ready to put on display and show the world. We’re ready to go out there and play, we’re ready to show the world what we can do. Our motto is “All Gas, No Brake”. I feel like that explains and defines us 100 percent.
(Robert Saleh) been really great. He brings the energy every day, he makes sure we’re bringing the energy every day. He’s just he’s a great guy, a great coach as well. He never sugarcoats things. He’ll always tell it how it is, so that’s already great to have.
Q: The team addressed its offensive needs in the first round through the selections of Zach Wilson and Alijah Vera-Tucker. What has it been like to work with them and almost guide them through the early stages of their NFL journeys?
A: (Vera-Tucker) goes to work every day, just like I go to work every day. He likes, he loves to work hard, and I like to work hard. So it’s just great to have two hard-working dogs on the same side and I’m excited about that.
As for (Wilson), he has been great, he’s a great player. He’s going to do a lot of things that a lot of people aren’t expecting him to do and I can’t wait for him to prove the world room. The fact that he was named a captain speaks a whole lot of volume about how he just he’s just a leader already. So it has just been really great, and I can’t wait for fans to see it.
Q: In addition to the rookies, the team added several veteran talents that know to win and contribute. How they helped this team and what impact have the defensive additions left on you, namely DE Carl Lawson?
A: It’s was great to have them here. Guys like Corey (Davis), Sheldon Rankins, C.J. Mosley, they can take control of the team when things are getting out of whack. They are always people that everyone always listens to no matter what they’re saying. It’s been really great and it’s very helpful as well, too.
Carl helped improved me a lot, just helping with my hands, and my feet, just making sure I don’t give up on a play because he’s still going 100 percent. So that definitely personally helped me out a lot.
Q: What stood out to you most about the New York culture when the Jets chose you last season? Was there any additional pressure considering they passed on several elite receiving talents to bring you in?
A: It was love at first sight. The fans are the best, they’re always going hard no matter what’s going on in the season. They’re very loyal and the city has great. Everything in New York drew my attention. I can’t wait to have the fans back in the stands, that’s going to be really great. I’ve seen a little taste of it at the Green & White scrimmage. and when we played Philly, when we played the Giants (in the preseason), Once we get to the regular season, it’s going to be really great and they’re going to be really happy.
I don’t think I had any additional pressure at all (after the draft). I wasn’t even I honestly wasn’t thinking about those (receivers). I was just trying to go out there and perform, no matter who they passed up on. I was just trying to go out there and do what I got to do.
Q: What’s the message you want to send out as a leader and representative of the new-look Jets and how big would it be to make a statement in these early contests against noteworthy opponents (Carolina & New England)?
A: It’d be really great to make a statement early on. A lot of people aren’t expecting us to do good things on the field. But everybody in the locker room knows that we can go out there and perform and do those things that people aren’t expecting us to do. So it’s going to be really great.
To the critics, all I can say is be ready. Just be ready. That’s all I can say. Just be ready. That’s all I’m going to say. Just be ready.
(Special thanks to Katherine Hartley for making this interview possible)
The New York Knicks are entrusting the point guard position with veterans Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker for the 2021-22 season and beyond. After rolling with Elfred Payton as the primary starter last year, it was imperative they upgraded this off-season, spending a good portion of their salary space on the two players.
Walker, however, signed a two-year, $17.9 million deal, which is a fantastic contract from the team’s perspective. They land a potential All-Star caliber player at minimum cost who could be the difference between winning and losing in the postseason.
Even Boston Celtics general manager Brad Stevens admitted it was difficult to trade Walker given his qualities, but it made sense for the team to clear salary space and move forward.
“Trading Kemba right off the bat was not fun, was not an easy thing to do,” Stevens told the hosts. “But obviously the opportunity to get Al back and some of the things it opened up the opportunity to do as we try to build toward the future, it was just part of it.
The risk-reward margin for the Knicks significantly favors them, but there are two versions of Walker that could present themselves next season, vastly impacting the team scoring production and consistency.
On one side, Walker is extremely injury-prone, playing just 43 games last year and 56 games the year before. He averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and shot 42% from the field, his lowest mark since 2014 with Charlotte. During the first half of the season, Walker struggled considerably to get going, but after his knee enjoyed a bit of rest and recovery, his production improved drastically.
When looking at his field goals made unassisted, his total dropped to 60.6% last season, hitting a career-high in 2017 at 71.9%. He has witnessed a slow decrease in creating opportunities for himself ever since the injury became more significant. In fact, he posted a career-low 73.2% unassisted rate from two-point field goals, indicating a reduction of playmaking and versatility.
Building on Walker’s intriguing statistical fluctuations, one category that saw a huge uptick was his total points from 3-point range. Walker scored 46% of his total points from beyond the arc last season, the second-highest rate in his career, only lower than his 2019-20 campaign. This would suggest that the former Celtic take on a bigger role as a sharp-shooter, but one that receives assists rather than dishes them out. His 3-PT shots made via assists rose to 55%, his highest since 2015, which could increase even further with players like Julius Randle controlling the interior and kicking out shots. He hit 36% of his 3-PT shots on 8.2 attempts per game, a solid success rate.
With a full off-season to rehabilitation and strengthening his knee, the Knicks expect him to come back full strength, but also have a plan in place to mitigate fatigue throughout the year. This is where Derrick Rose comes in to play, as the Knicks extended him on a three-year contract this offseason. Rose played in 35 games with the Knicks, averaging 14.9 points and 4.2 assists. He was one of the primary reasons they were able to make the postseason and became the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
With a contingency plan put in place, allowing Kemba to rest appropriately to keep his knee healthy, the strategy should provide him with the necessary tools to have a good season. The negative version reveals itself as an injury-prone player that is incapable of playing consistent minutes and building continuity and consistency with his new team. Luckily, the front office also invested in Luka Vildoza and Miles McBride, and I would be remiss not to mention Immanuel Quickley playing point guard during Summer League play. They have plenty of talent to supplement any losses.
Nonetheless, if Walker can present himself as an All-Star caliber player at a position of weakness in the past for New York, the entire team will be elevated, which is what they are betting on with a two-year contract.