UFC: Who earned contracts on week three of DWCS?

UFC, Dana White

Tonight, we saw more UFC contracts handed out in the third week of the 2021 season of Dana White’s Contender Series. We saw the most amount of fights we’ve seen all season as six fights took place tonight in the UFC‘s APEX.

So far this season, Dana White has been very generous with the contracts. The UFC president has shelled out ten contracts after two weeks. Last week, all five winners got a contract while in week one, White even gave a UFC contract to a fighter who lost.

With the promotion upping the amount of events they are hosting, they are constantly looking to add talent and The Contender Series is proving to be a gold mine for them. Tonight, the promotion ended up handing out another five contracts tonight.

UFC Contract Winners

Jailton Almeida

In the featured bout of the evening, we saw a battle of light heavyweights as Jailton Almeida (13-2) took on Nasrudin Nasrudinov (9-0). Nasrudinov entered the bout as the massive favorite and entered the contest with the same reputation as most fighters that come out of Dagestan.

However, it was Almeida who looked the most impressive in the grappling exchanges this evening. While everyone expected Nasrudinov to come forward and take Almeida down, we saw the opposite. Almeida’s strength gave Nasrudinov problems throughout the entire fight.

In the second round, Almeida landed a takedown and was able to work his way to the back of Nasrudinov. Once there, he was able to secure a rear naked choke and get the finish. Almeida’s dominant performance earned him a UFC contract.

Albert Duraev

The fourth fight of the night featured a battle of middleweights as Albert Duraev (13-3) took on Caio Bittencourt (14-6). Many were looking forward to this one and Bittencourt was riding a long winning streak as he was hoping to earn himself a UFC contract.

However, this fight ended up being incredibly one-sided in the other direction. Early on in the first round, Duraev was able to get a takedown and Bittencourt wouldn’t get back up. Duraev tied him up on the ground and use his ground and pound to secure dominant positions. Towards the end of the first, Duraev locked up a choke and got the tap. With his dominant win, Dana White gave him a contract.

Lakasz Brzeski

The third fight of the night featured a battle of heavyweights as Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1) took on Dylan Potter (10-5). These two heavyweights wasted no time as both men started the fight throwing bombs. Immediately, Brzeski had the upper hand as he was landing big shots. However, Potter hung in there and threw back.

Both men looked absolutely gassed just halfway through the first round. For the rest of the fight, Brzeski pushed forward while Potter tried to hold him off. In the final round, Brzeski got a takedown and got the back of Potter. He sunk in a choke and initially it looked like Potter tapped however, upon further review, he was just fighting the hands.

Nevertheless, Brzeski got the submission win and earned himself a UFC contract as a result.

Jack Della Maddalena

The second fight of the evening paired up prospective welterweights Jack Della Maddalena (9-2) and Ange Loosa (7-1). This fight ended up being an absolute war as both men were going all out for a UFC contract.

Throughout the entire fight, it was Della Maddalena who was pushing forward and landing the better shots. In the second round, Della Maddalena slipped which allowed Loosa to get on top. In that, Loosa almost ended up securing an arm-triangle choke, however, Della Maddalena powered through.

In the third round, Loosa had success early in the round, but Della Maddalena turned things around about halfway through. Throughout the final couple of minutes, Della Maddalena put his foot on the gas and had Dana White standing up at the end. A sensational win that earned him a UFC contract.

Jasmine Jasudavicius

The first UFC contract of the evening went to Jasmine Jasudavicius (6-1) who defeated Julia Palestra (8-3) in an entertaining battle in the women’s flyweight division. This fight was back-and-forth, but there was a clear strategy for Jusdavicius.

The Canadian flyweight wanted to get the fight to the ground throughout. Palestra has great Muay Thai and you could tell when the two would exchange. However, Jusdavicius did a fantastic job of getting the fight to the ground throughout the three round contest.

In the first round, Jusdavicius was so dominant that she came within seconds of a finish. While it was a grinding performance, she did enough in Dana White’s eyes to earn herself a UFC contract.

New York Yankees Recap: Homers are king as Yankees win over the Orioles

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees entered a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles tonight at Camden Yards in Baltimore. After a win against the Minnesota Twins last night, the Yankees hoped to continue with another win tonight. The Yankees had a dramatic come-from-behind win, and that same energy was hoped to propel them to another winning streak against the Orioles, who will lose at least 110 games this season. Gerrit Cole was on the mound for the Yankees and Alexander Wells for the Orioles. The Yankees homered their way to a 7-2 win over the Orioles.

DJ LeMahieu led off the first with Wells on the mound and singled to left. Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer for his 34th of the year. Anthoney Rizzo singled to center. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging. Luke Voit lined out to short. Joey Gallo flew out to left, but the Yankees picked up two runs in the half. At the bottom, Cedrick Mullins faced Cole and doubled to the left-field wall. Ryan Mountcastle popped out to first. Anthony Santander ground out, but Mullins advanced. Trey Mancini, with two outs and a man on third, walked. Austin Hays walked to load the bases. Ramon Urias struck out to get Cole out of a bases-loaded jam. New York Yankees 2 Orioles 0.

At the top of the second inning, Gleyber Torres stuck out. Gio Urshela singled to right. Gary Sanchez flew out to right-center. Higashioka ground out to second. LeMahieu flew out to Mullins. At the bottom, Pedro Severino ground out. Pat Valaika ground out. The bottom was scoreless off of Cole. New York Yankees 2 Orioles 0.

In the third inning, Stanton, with one on, hit a two-run homer to left. Luke Voit followed him with a homer of his own, a solo shot for his 10th of the season. At the bottom, the Baltimore Orioles remained scoreless. New York Yankees 5 Orioles 0.

The Yankees had a scoreless fourth inning. DJ Stewart ground out to lead off the fourth inning. Austin Hays stuck out. Urias singled to Stanton in left field. Urias struck out. Pedro Severino ground out to end the inning. New York Yankees 5 Orioles 0.

Stanton, against new pitcher Erick Handhold in the fifth inning, singled up the middle. Voit ground out for a double play to left. . Joey Gallo ground out to center. Cole at the bottom faced Valaika, who got a single in front of Stanton in left. Gutierrez popped out to center. Mullins went down swinging. Mountcastle doubled down the left-field line to drive in Valaika, getting the Baltimore Orioles on the scoreboard. Santander walked on Cole’s 103rdd pitch. Stewart, with two on and two outs, stuck out to end the inning. New York Yankees 5 Orioles 1.

The sixth inning was led off by Gleyber Torres, who ground out to short. Urshela singled up the middle. Higashioka singled to right field. LeMahieu hit into a double play to end the half. Austin Hays led off the bottom against new Yankee pitcher Michael King and walked. Urias singled. Hay made second on a double bobble from Torres and Urshela. With two on and no outs, Severino hit into the double play with Hays moving to third. Valaika flew out to Stanton in left to keep the Orioles scoreless in the sixth. Yankees, 5 Orioles 1.

Aaron Judge led off the seventh inning by walking. Rizzo hit into a double play. Stanton walked. Brett Gardner was brought in to pinch-run for Stanton. Voit struck out on the 10th pitch at-bat. At the bottom, Gutierrez flew out to Gardner in left. Mullins lined out directly to Judge. Mountcastle went down swinging. Yankees 5 Orioles 1.

The eighth inning was led off by Joey Gallo, who homered to right-center. Torres gound out. Urshela flew out to right field. Higashioka flew out to left field to end the half. Anthony Santander led off the bottom by flying out to a running Aaron Judge in right. Stewart flew out to Gardner in left field. Hays struck out looking for a 1-2-3 inning for Michael King. Yankees 6 Orioles 1.

DJ LeMahieu led off the ninth inning for the Yankees and homered into the left-field stands. Judge ground out to third. Rizzo singled up the middle. After taking over for Stanton at left, Brett Gardner flew out to the warning track at center in his first at-bat. Voit flew out to right-center to end the half, but the Yankees picked up another run. At the bottom, with the last licks on the line, Urias facing Sal Romano foul tipped into Higashioka’s glove. Austin Wynns singled to right. Valaika walked. Gutierrez singled off Romano’s bare hand with two on and one out as Wynns scored, knocking Romano out of the game with an injured finger. Aroldis Chapman came in to face Mullins with one out and two on; he struck out. A wild pitch advanced the runners. Mountcastle struck out swinging.

The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Baltimore Orioles 6. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole, and the loser was Alexander Wells.

 

 

 

 

 

NASCAR: 2022 Clash headed to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

PRESS RELEASE:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2021) – The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, one of the most storied venues in all of sports and entertainment, will add a new event to its long and decorated list: The Clash at the Coliseum.

This season-opening exhibition will take place on Feb. 6, 2022 and become the first NASCAR race held inside the iconic Los Angeles stadium since it opened in 1923.  The Clash at the Coliseum will be a signature event as a part of the venue’s centennial celebration and mark the first time NASCAR’s prelude to the DAYTONA 500 will take place somewhere other than Daytona International Speedway, an icon in its own right that will host the regular-season opener two weeks later.

“Los Angeles is synonymous with major sports and entertainment events, so we seized an innovative opportunity to showcase NASCAR at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to take center stage in this market as we get our 2022 season underway.”

The traditional Coliseum playing surface will be converted into a quarter-mile, asphalt short track creating a brand-new action-packed event to kick off the season. Drivers will compete for the first time in the new Next Gen cars.

The Clash at the Coliseum will be the first of two visits to Southern California, as NASCAR’s premier series will also visit Auto Club Speedway in 2022.

Tickets for the Feb. 6 NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum will go on-sale beginning Thursday, Sept. 16that 1 p.m. ET.  Tickets start at $65 for adults and kids 12 & under starting as low as $10.  The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum offers a variety of seating options from lower to upper bowl, midfield start/finish line seats to premium club seats with access to the exclusive Lou Galen Club Lounge.  Premium Club seats will go on-sale starting Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. ET following a special pre-sale to current Club Members.  Tickets can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com. For more information visit nascar.com/lacoliseum.

The remainder of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, as well as schedules for the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, will be announced later.

Tune in this Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET as the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue at Bristol Motor Speedway, an elimination race that will determine who moves on to the Round of 12. All the action from Bristol will be live on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

New York Jets to add former Giants LB (Report)

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

The New York Jets have begun to address their medically-induced defensive woes through the signing of former Giants starter B.J. Goodson.

B.J. Goodson is reportedly back in the New York groove, albeit in new colors.

The former New York Giants draft pick is coming back to the metropolitan area as one of four additions to the New York Jets’ active roster. Gang Green has picked up Goodson and punter Thomas Morestead from the free agency market while blocker Isaiah Williams and safety Jarrod Wilson were called up from the practice squad. These moves are in conjunction with the placement of Mekhi Becton, Blake Cashman, Lamarcus Joyner, and Braden Mann onto the injured reserve list.

Goodson originally donned blue in New York as a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2016. He spent three seasons with the Giants before spent the past two campaigns in Green Bay and Cleveland. The linebacker played a sizable role in the Browns’ playoff push last year, leading the team with 91 tackles and two interceptions. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Goodson’s one-year deal is worth $2.1 million.

In addition to Cashman, the Jets are also missing offseason arrival Jarrad Davis, who is not expected to play prior to the Jets’ bye in Week 6. Head coach Robert Saleh also said that another linebacker, rookie Jamien Sherwood (sprained ankle), will miss the next two weeks.

Morestead, a 2012 Pro Bowler, joins the Jets after 12 seasons in New Orleans. He’ll relieve Mann for at least the next four weeks after the 2020 draft pick suffered a knee injury on his second Sunday kick in Carolina. Placekicker Matt Ammendola took over for the remainder of the game before Morestead’s arrivals.

Williams will provide depth on the offensive line George Fant relieves Becton on the blindside and Morgan Moses takes over Fant’s regular duties on the right. The Akron alum has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game but joined the Jets’ practice squad after appearing in their preseason finale against Philadelphia. He had spent time on either a practice squad or training camp in seven different NFL locales and earned professional starting experience with the Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta Legends and the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers.

Wilson arrives as reinforcement to the Jets’ secondary after injuries to Joyner and Ashtyn Davis left Marcus Maye and newcomers Sheldrick Redwine and Adrian Colbert as the only healthy safeties on the roster. Formerly of Jacksonville, Wilson has seen action in 75 games since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan in 2016. Sunday starter Lamarcus Joyner (torn triceps) is out for the season.

In addition to the moves on the active roster, the Jets restocked their practice squad with the additions of blocker Elijah Nkansah and linebacker Noah Dawkins. The latter returns to the Jets after appearing in five games with the team last season.

The Jets (0-1) return to action on Sunday afternoon in their home opener against the New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Luca Vildoza will rejoin Knicks this week

Did the pristine waters of Vitoria heal Luca Vildoza’s right foot?

The answer will be known this week when Vildoza rejoins the New York Knicks with the NBA training camp only two weeks away.

Vildoza will fly to New York on Thursday, according to his camp. The Knicks’ medical staff will re-evaluate him upon his return.

A right foot injury held Vildoza to just two games in the NBA Summer League. The medical report, according to his camp, revealed fluid at the back of his right foot. He avoided surgery and was only advised to rest and get treatment. It is not clear whether he sustained the injury with the Knicks or with the Argentina national team.

Vildoza only had a few days in between the Tokyo Olympics and the NBA Summer League.

The 26-year old guard didn’t score in the limited time he saw action with the Knicks’ Summer League team. But he contributed 1.5 assists and a rebound in 6.5 minutes in the Knicks’ first two games. He missed the rest of the tournament with the injury.

Vildoza went to Vitoria, Spain after the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for a much-needed break.

The Argentine guard arrived in New York last May with a reputation as one of the top European talents available in the free agent market.

The Knicks shouldered $750,000 (the maximum amount allowed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement) of Vildoza’s reported $2 million buyout with his Spanish club Baskonia in the Liga ACB. Shortly after, the Knicks signed him to a partially guaranteed $13.6 million, four-year deal.

After spending a month with the team’s player development staff, Vildoza rejoined Argentina’s national squad for their Olympic buildup. But Vildoza underwhelmed in Argentina’s quarterfinal run in Tokyo, averaging 7.0 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 31 percent from the field and an atrocious 16.7 percent from the three-point zone.

The Knicks will have until the opening night to guarantee Vildoza’s next season salary. The training camp and the preseason games will represent Vildoza’s last shot to salvage a guaranteed spot next season.

The Knicks already have 14 guaranteed deals and one two-way player in rookie Jericho Sims on their roster. The last guaranteed spot looms to be a two-way battle between Vildoza and veteran guard Dwayne Bacon. On the other hand, undrafted free agents MJ Walker and Aamir Simms will compete for the team’s other two-way slot.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Now what? Solutions to the New York Jets’ injury woes

mekhi becton, jets

The New York Jets’ injury report resembles the top of its depth chart. What can they do to hold down the fort in the early going?

There are growing pains, and then there’s what Robert Saleh has had to deal with within his first 24 hours of being a ledgered head coach of the New York Jets.

In his comments from the aftermath of a 19-14 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Saleh’s injury updates resembled the unveiling of the Jets’ starting lineup seen shortly after kickoff during Sunday broadcasts. The headliner is offensive tackle and 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton, who’s out for at least four weeks after dislocating his kneecap on the Jets’ first scoring play of the afternoon.

For Saleh, adaptation after intervention from the football gods is nothing new. He had to work through several medically-induced absences during his final year as the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator last season, posting respectable results after losing Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, K’Wuan Williams, and Richard Sherman, among others, to injuries. He hinted that help from abroad may be on the horizon.

“There’s going to be talks, obviously,” Saleh said per notes from the Jets. “(General manager Joe Douglas) and his staff getting together and gathering names, but there are going to have to be some additions.”

The Jets have four games left prior to their Week 6 sabbatical, starting with Sunday’s home opener against the New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS). ESM looks at each affected area and ponders the Jets’ next moves…

Offensive Line

Of Saleh’s subtractions, none may be more glaring that than the loss of Becton, the Jets’ anchor of the offensive line and their top pick from the 2020 draft. The Jets’ Sunday protection looked scary enough with Becton there: Zach Wilson was sacked six times and Jets rushers put up less than three yards a carry.

Saleh claimed that Becton’s departure may not be a death blow in part due to his limited prep time going into the 2021 season: injuries limited the Louisville alum to two practices in the “two or three weeks” leading up to game day in Carolina. Saleh confirmed that George Fant will assume Becton’s duties on the blindside while Morgan Moses will fill in for Fant on the right, as was the case on Sunday afternoon in Carolina. Becton is not expected to undergo surgery, but that could change if a second opinion recommends such a measure.

The Jets’ blocking depth took a hit before the season started: Connor McDermott and Becton’s fellow 2020 selection Cameron Clark linger on injured reserve and won’t be eligible to come back until Week 4. Jimmy Murray, Isaiah Williams, and undrafted rookie Grant Hermanns were part of the Jets’ final cuts from training camp but were retained on the practice squad. A promotion or two may be in the cards.

But simple promotions haven’t been the Douglas way: in making up for the blocking negligence of the Mike Maccagnan era, Douglas has left no stone unturned, no matter how seasoned that stone may be. His first moves upon taking office were to trade for Alex Lewis from Baltimore and convince Ryan Kalil to postpone his retirement. The trend continued this offseason when the team added Moses in the latter stages of the pre-training camp slate.

Not everything has worked out, but that’s probably not going to deter the proactive Douglas. Most available names have shown a preference for the right, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Douglas nonetheless inquire. Asking for a name like Russell Okung might be a stretch, but the team could possibly take a waiver on someone like veteran Ricky Wagner or Chaz Green. An intriguing journeyman to watch could be Corbin Kaufusi, a former metropolitan practice squad rep (2019-20) whose time at BYU overlapped with Zach Wilson’s by a year (2018).

Linebacker

A rare sign of good medical news in the linebacking corps…that in the fact that C.J. Mosley was finally able to complete a game for the first time in his Jets career…was immediately offset by further calamities. Blake Cashman has return to the injury report with a hamstring issue while Jamien Sherwood sprained his ankle in his NFL debut. Each is expected to miss two weeks.

New York was already missing one potentially sizable contributor in Jarrad Davis, who was lost in the preseason visit to Green Bay. Del’Shawn Phillips filled in serviceably on Sunday, earning a team-best dozen tackles in defeat. Formerly of Buffalo, Phillips should remain on the active roster after his recent promotion from the practice squad.

The signing of Quincy Williams after cuts toward the original 53-man rosters feel particularly timely. He was inactive for Sunday’s game but he should be ready for the home opener. The older brother of Quinnen, the Jets renowned third-year defender, has starting experience from his two seasons in Jacksonville but, perhaps more importantly, has a long-term NFL case to prove.

“We care about winning football games. That’s all that matters to us. He is not just Q’s brother. We want to win,” Quinnen said, per team reporter Jack Bell. “Whether he’s my brother or not, we play football games to win, not to lose. He needs to come in and put (his) best foot forward every day, and we need to hold each other accountable.”

Despite the emergence of Phillips and the potential arrival of the elder Williams, the Jets will likely look to practice squads and free agency for assistance. Several former Jets linger on the latter front, including Avery Williamson and James Burgess.

Safety

Enough has been written about the Jets’ problems and lack of experience at cornerback, but the makeshift group held its own on Sunday. Bryce Hall, Brandin Echols, Michael Carter II, and Javelin Guidry united to allow only 77 yards and four first downs.

The true issues lied at safety, where some inopportune deep balls led to the Jets’ demise. Lamarcus Joyner was forced to leave the game early with an elbow issue, which Saleh as since diagnosed as torn tendons that will keep him out for remainder of the season. Sheldrick Redwine, a final cut from Cleveland, took over in Joyner’s wake. Alas, his lasting mark from Sunday’s game was getting victimized by the long scoring hook-up between Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson that helped Carolina break the game open.

Joyner was already standing in for Ashtyn Davis, who’s stuck on injured reserve (along with another safety, Sharrod Neasman). Neither will be back until Week 4. It’s thus inevitable that the Jets will seek further assistance elsewhere. Adrian Colbert, another recent practice squad promotee, is likely on board to stay.

Punter

The Jets will be without sophomore punter Braden Mann for 4-6 weeks, suffering a knee injury on his second attempt of the day. Mann made several trips in and out of the medical tent and was later seen pacing the sidelines in a knee brace on his left leg. According to Saleh, Mann’s situation is not expected to require surgery.

One almost wouldn’t blame the Jets if they stood pat at punter: Matt Ammendola stepped in and wound up amongst the league’s Week 1 leaders. The 65-yard boot on his second attempt was the best individual effort amongst Sunday competitors. But there’s no use in wearing down Ammendola, especially with kicker being such a vital role for an offense in transition. Saleh declared that the Jets will work out several legs.

It’s a surprisingly opportune time to be searching for a punter from a Jets standpoint, as several veteran names linger on the open market. Thomas Morestead is a former Pro Bowler from New Orleans while two entries from the Colquitt punting dynasty (Britton and Dustin) are also available. Chris Jones recently wrapped a decade-long stretch as Dallas’ fourth-down man. The Jets probably aren’t looking for a long-term solution here, as they have a little something invested in the sophomore Mann, a sixth-round choice from 2020.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

New York Giants will face backup quarterback in Week Two

taylor heinicke, giants, washington

The New York Giants are coming off of an embarrassing Week One loss to the Denver Broncos. The team will travel to play the Washington Football Team on Thursday. A short week and a small amount of time for the team to make a crucial turnaround.

The Washington Football Team will be without its starting quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, for Thursday’s matchup. Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury during the team’s Week One loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation and is being placed on injured reserve. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Taylor Heinicke will start in his place on Thursday night.

Taylor Heinicke stats and highlights

Taylor Heinicke took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick after he went down with a hip injury in the second quarter of the team’s first regular-season game.

Filling in for Fitz, Taylor Heinicke went 11-of-15 for 122 yards and one touchdown as the Football Team fought hard but came up short against the Chargers. Heinicke has been in the NFL since 2017 but has only one career start to his name. He has played for three teams but has shown some potential in various moments as a backup.

Taylor Heinicke got the start for Washington last year in the 2020 NFL playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many were impressed with Heinicke as he fought hard and put together a surprisingly decent performance as a fill-in. Heinicke threw 44 passes with 26 completions, one passing touchdown, one interception, and one heroic touchdown run:

When it comes to backup quarterbacks in the NFL, Taylor Heinicke is one of the better options in the league. The Giants need not underestimate their opponent this week. Washington will be without Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Taylor Heinicke played well in relief of the starter and will pose a threat to a Giants’ defense that allowed 27 points on Sunday.

The New York Giants need to win this crucial, divisional matchup on Thursday to turn their season around. Facing a backup quarterback could make that goal much easier to accomplish.

New format awaits Westchester Knicks in G League

jericho sims, knicks

Jericho Sims, the New York Knicks‘ 58th pick in the NBA Draft, will have more games to develop with the Westchester Knicks in the reformatted G League season.

The new G League format will feature two tournaments within the season.  On top of the 36-game regular season, a 14-game expanded Showcase Cup will bring the total games to 50 for each team.

The Showcase Cup tips off on Nov. 5 and will conclude at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase from Dec. 19-22. Meanwhile, the regular season begins on Dec. 27.

The G League Ignite is the pathway program of the NBA for the top high school prospects who didn’t go the college route.

In the Showcase Cup, the 29 regular teams and the G League Ignite will be divided into four regional pods where they will play 12 games against each other in NBA G League markets.

The teams with the best winning percentage in each regional pod and the next top four teams across the league will advance to the single-elimination NBA G League Winter Showcase.

Team records will reset in the 36-game regular season as the NBA G League Ignite and expansion team Capitanes de la Ciudad de México will only play in the Showcase Cup. The top six teams in each conference will qualify for the NBA G League playoffs.

The Knicks will open their Showcase Cup schedule against Capital City Go-Go in back-to-back road games on Nov. 5 and 6.

Their regular season tips off against the Lakeland Magic in similar back-to-back road games on Dec. 28 and 30.

Sims, who signed a two-way contract with the Knicks, averaged 8.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, one assist, and one block in the NBA Summer League. He shot a staggering 81 percent from the field. As a two-way player, Sims is eligible to join the Knicks’ active roster up to 50 games in the regular season.

Joining Sims in the Knicks’ G League team is former UCLA point guard Jaylen Hands, acquired from the Long Island Nets on Monday. The Knicks sent the returning rights of Bryce Brown to the Nets in exchange for Hands, the 56th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Hands played overseas last season, averaging 8.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 12 games for the FMP of the ABA League First Division and Basketball League of Serbia.

MJ Walker and Aamir Simms, who played for the Knicks Summer League team in Las Vegas, will likely join Sims and Hands in the G League. The Knicks signed both Walker and Simms to an Exhibit 10 deal last month.

Walker averaged 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in three games with the Knicks’ Summer League team. On the other hand, Simms posted 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in four games in Las Vegas.

The rest of the Westchester Knicks roster is expected to be announced in the next coming days.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

 

New York Giants: Joe Judge stands by Daniel Jones amid rising pressure

new york giants, joe judge

This season, there’s no New York Giants player with more pressure than Daniel Jones. Patience is wearing thin in Jones’ third season in the league, and a week 1 loss where Jones fumbled the ball once and only managed one touchdown before garbage time has left many feeling restless in the wait for an improvement.

Despite the circumstances, the Giants organization has been nothing but supportive of Jones. That trend began this offseason when figures associated with the staff and front office repeatedly affirmed their faith in Jones, and has continued more recently with Joe Judge restating his confidence in the quarterback even after the recent loss.

The subject came up once again when Judge was asked if his experience being around Tom Brady in the Patriots organization has influenced his coaching of Jones.

Joe Judge stands by Daniel Jones’ preparation

“Obviously, we share experiences with all of our players from places we’ve been. You’ve got to use your experience with other players in terms of things that may have helped them along the way. I don’t try to live in the past. I don’t want to walk into anything and say, ‘this is how somebody else did it. You do it that way.’ You can’t emulate and imitate anybody,” Judge told reporters.

He would go on to praise Jones for the skills he’s worked to establish in his two seasons, including preparation.

“Daniel goes out there and practices hard every day. He goes out there and we have confidence in him because of the way he prepares on a weekly basis, doing everything it takes to be ready for the game… Do I walk in and I say, ‘Hey, I’ve had the opportunity to be around really good players at other positions. You should do it this way’? Absolutely not. Everyone’s a unique player.”

It’s clear the organization’s leaders have faith in Jones’ skills and his potential as a player, but that will become harder and harder to publicly justify if the performances don’t pick up.

Regardless of how well Jones prepares and how much he takes away from studying film, the loudest criticisms of his game have usually been about his decision making and failure to process the game fast enough.

With patience largely running out and some highly rated quarterbacks coming out of college in next year’s draft, the window for Jones to figure it out and justify the staff’s faith in him appears to be shrinking by the week. For now, the official lines are the same as always. But that might not be the case forever.

After knockout loss in boxing debut, Tito Ortiz wants Logan Paul

This past Saturday at Triller’s boxing event, Tito Ortiz (21-12-1 MMA) made his debut in the squared circle. The former UFC light heavyweight champion was taking on former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 NC).

The matchup was Silva’s second boxing match of 2021 while Ortiz had never been in the boxing ring before. Ortiz had been vocal about his frustrations with Silva regarding the weight of the bout.

Silva forced Ortiz to make 195 pounds which Ortiz had never done in his professional career. Ultimately, Ortiz was unable to make the weight and came in at 200 pounds which is still lighter than he had been for the majority of his MMA career.

There were not a ton of expectations for Ortiz in the boxing match as he’s never been known for his striking. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy made a career out of taking his opponents to the ground and using his elbows.

While his boxing was never considered bad, it wasn’t considered great either. Ortiz opened the bout with immediate pressure and you could tell his strategy was to try and bully Silva. However, it didn’t work as Silva ducked/dodges all Ortiz’s shots and knocked him out with a right hand in the first round.

Ortiz wants another boxing match

Tito Ortiz didn’t look good at all in his boxing debut. His punches looked incredibly slow and he literally ate the canvas after a huge right hand from Anderson Silva. After Ortiz talked about hurting Silva, he was truly embarrassed by The Spider.

That said, Ortiz isn’t done with the boxing world. In fact, he made a callout on Twitter following his loss. Ortiz said that he wants Triller to setup a boxing match between himself and Logan Paul.

Have to admire Tito for wanting to stay in the news, but there’s little incentive here for Logan Paul. First and foremost, I’m not sure I could bet on Tito Ortiz to beat Logan Paul based on what I saw on Saturday night.

I’m sure the boxing match could do some decent numbers, and maybe that would be enough to entice Logan Paul. On one hand, it could make sense for Paul who could take on a former UFC champion and likely be the favorite against.

On the other hand, is Tito Ortiz even relevant enough nowadays for Logan Paul to have interest. Time will tell on this one, but one thing is for sure, we haven’t seen the last of Tito Ortiz.