Friday, December 14, 2012

Top Moments of the Year

Go to and check out the rest of the top twenty moments of 2012 in New York Sports.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What to Watch For: New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets December 11

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Pre Game News and Notes
New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets

The Knicks will look to get some revenge in round two of the Battle of the Boroughs as they travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets.  The first time around, the Nets won a hard fought overtime game 96-89.  In the first meeting, it was the Knicks who were not at full strength; tonight it will be the Nets who will be playing short-handed.  Here are some things to watch tonight:

-Jason Kidd in the Lineup

In the first matchup of the season, the Knicks were without guard Jason Kidd.  Thankfully, this time they will have Kidd at their disposal and he should assume his regular role in the starting lineup. 

Without Kidd in the lineup, the Knicks offense struggled; the ball movement was stagnant and the offense was over reliant on isolations, especially with Carmelo Anthony.  With Kidd in the lineup, the ball movement is crisper and everyone is on top of their game.

Kidd also brings veteran intangibles that are irreplaceable for the Knicks.  He is 39 years old, but he has the hands of a 24 year old and can still make things happen on the defensive end of the court and still makes precision passes not every point guard is capable of. 

-Attack the Paint

The Nets this time will be the team without a key piece in their lineup, as starting center Brook Lopez will miss the game with a foot injury.  It will be the sixth straight game that Lopez misses, meaning Andray Blatche will take over at center for the Nets tonight again.

The Nets are 1-4 without Lopez in the lineup, with their only win coming against a lowly Orlando Magic squad.  The Nets will also have Reggie Evans in the starting lineup, replacing Kris Humphries to try and replace the defense lost with Lopez sitting out.

Without Lopez in the lineup, the Nets are allowing 11.5 more points per game; 102.2 without Lopez compared to 90.7 with him.  The shooting percentages also see a drastic change without Lopez in the lineup, as the Nets are allowing teams to shoot 50.7 percent from the field without him compared to 44.9 with him. 
Blatche has filled in admirably for Lopez, scoring 17.2 points per game to go along with 9.8 rebounds, but he leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive end, blocking only 0.4 shots per game compared to the 2.5 Lopez provides.

-Bench Play

With the injuries the Nets have, their starting lineup will be shifted around much like the Knicks in the first meeting.  That means that their bench is weakened, meaning the Knicks have to take advantage.

Since Lopez has been out, the productivity of the Nets bench players has suffered as well.  Jerry Stackhouse has been shooting 30.4 percent from the field and C.J Watson is averaging only 1.5 assists and shooting 37.5 percent.

The Knicks bench has been coming alive of late, with Steve Novak finding his touch and Rasheed Wallace giving strong minutes as well.  J.R. Smith has struggled with his shot recently, but the effort he gives on defense and how he fills other stats still helps the Knicks.

With the Nets lineup change, the Knicks now have the superior bench and will have to take advantage as they cannot rely on Anthony, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler solely to carry the offense.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Run Game, Defense Propel Jets to Victory

Sunday, December 9th, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: New York Jets: 17 Jacksonville Jaguars: 10
Run Game Propels Jets to Victory

The New York Jets were able to overcome an ugly first half yesterday and pull out a victory against the woeful Jaguars 17-10 Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville.  A dominant run game mixed with a dominant third down defense equaled a victory for the Jets, who are on their first winning streak of the season. 

The Jets are capitalizing on their weak schedule right now, keeping alive their slim playoff chances as they moved to one game under .500 with a 6-7 record.  The critics will be quiet, at least for one week, as the quarterback controversy can be put to sleep as Mark Sanchez led the Jets to the win.

For at least another week, Sanchez has staved off a benching, as he bounced back from a rough start.  The play calling was ultra conservative, as Sanchez was relegated to handing it off most of the afternoon and was not able to air it out. 

This is not a cure-all win by any standards for Sanchez or Rex Ryan for that matter, as Sanchez still showed skittishness in the pocket and was only asked to make one big time throw; albeit he did complete that pass to Jeff Cumberland for 37 yards on third down to seal the win. 

Ryan did show confidence in Sanchez though just with his pre-game lineups, as he chose to start him and dress Tim Tebow as the backup, moving Greg McElroy back to third string; Tebow didn’t play a single snap as he is still battling through rib injuries.

It wasn’t the greatest played game by Sanchez, but he did not implode in the fashion he has been accustomed to at times this season.  He did a good job of handing the ball off to the Jets running backs, who had a very successful day on the ground and wore the Jaguars defense down.

Sanchez finished the game with 111 passing yards on 12 of 19 attempts.  He did not throw a touchdown or interception, but fumbled once for his 19th turnover of the season.

The Jets running game this week was a two-headed monster led by Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell.  Each running back scored a touchdown and combined for 166 yards on 39 carries; 77 on 20 carries for Greene and 78 on 19 carries for Powell, as the Jets have moved into an equal time share at running back.

The Jets terrible luck of injuries continued Sunday as well, as rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill suffered what is thought to be a serious knee injury.  Hill slipped on a wet spot on the grass and television replays showed a gruesome scene.  An ACL injury would be awful for Hill, who has struggled at times but is a big part of the Jets future.  An injury like this would most likely sideline him through workouts and preseason, something a young player benefits greatly from participating in.

With the injuries, the Jets were without their top three receiving threats in Hill, Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller.  This in turn forced the Jets to use an underwhelming receiving crew of other team’s castoffs and practice squad players.

The Jets defense was dominant once again, but it is nothing that was not expected.  They were facing off against an already bad offense, was also injury ridden as well.  The Jaguars were down to their second string quarterback, fourth string running back and their top receiver missed the game with injury. 

For a second straight week though, the Jets owned third down, allowing the Jaguars to convert only two of 16 attempts.  They also put immense pressure on Chad Henne, the Jaguars quarterback, sacking him three times and hitting him on multiple occasions with a vast array of blitzes and coverage schemes.

Next up for the Jets is another road game, this time on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Knicks Continue Strong Play at MSG

Sunday, December 9th, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Denver Nuggets: 106 New York Knicks: 112
Knicks Stay Undefeated with Hard Fought Victory

In his first game back after a two game absence, Carmelo Anthony returned to the court, helping the Knicks back into the win column.  With the victory, the Knicks continued their home winning streak, winning all their home games thus far this season.  Under Mike Woodson, the Knicks are 19-1 at home in the regular season.  Also, the Knicks continued an amazing stretch in which they have only lost back-to-back games in the regular season only once.


  • Anthony struggled early, but got his shot going when the Knicks needed it most; Anthony missed 12 of his first 17 shots. The fourth quarter Anthony finished strong, going five of seven and scoring nine key points as the Knicks were able to hold off a scrappy Nuggets squad.  Anthony finished with 34 points and six rebounds, going 10 of 24 from the field and 11 of 16 from the foul line.  Anthony showed tonight how much he really means to this Knicks team and how much a team can benefit from having a superstar to close out games.

  • The ball security was at a premium for the Knicks coming into the game, as the Nuggets thrive in the open court and on fast breaks.  The Knicks were able to limit those opportunities by turning the ball over only nine times.  When the Knicks turn the ball over 12 times or less, they are now 13-0; but when they turn it over 13 times or more they are 2-5.  The Knicks shot poorly from the field, at only 43 percent, but was able to make up for that by not turning the ball over. 

  • The Nuggets came into the game as one of the top rebounding teams in the NBA with players like Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee in the middle.  Without Rasheed Wallace tonight and Marcus Camby, the Knicks were dangerously thin up front with only Tyson Chandler and Kurt Thomas, equaling a potentially disastrous situation on the boards.  The Knicks weren’t having any of that though, as they were outrebounded by the Nuggets by only one, 40-39, thanks to a dominant performance by Chandler with a game high 12 and a surprising nine from J.R. Smith.

  • Jason Kidd was amazing for the Knicks tonight, showing that age is just a number once again.  As Alan Hahn has said plenty of times, Kidd’s body is 39 years old but his hands are still 24.  Kidd was instrumental in the Knicks coming back tonight and holding onto the lead.  He made timely baskets and led the Knicks with seven assists.  The Knicks look much better on the court when Kidd plays.

  • Chandler continued his spirited play Sunday night, playing with tenacity and energy knowing the Knicks really needed him with Wallace and Camby both sitting out; he responded with another double-double, his eighth of the season.  Chandler finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, changing the Nuggets shots on numerous occasions. 


  • The Knicks struggled from the free throw line tonight, but thankfully it did not hurt them at the end.  Even when struggling from the line, going 36 for 27, they made more free throws than the Nuggets, who went 21 for 29.  If the Knicks had knocked down more free throws, the end of the game would not have been so close and in question.  Five of the misses came from Anthony in the first half before he got going and into the flow of the game.

  • The Knicks got pounded in the paint tonight also, as Chandler was the only big man along with Thomas the Knicks had to employ tonight.  The Knicks were able to keep the Nuggets off the boards pretty efficiently, but they allowed the Nuggets to live in the paint; they scored 62 points in the paint, compared to only 32 for the Knicks. 

  • The Knicks were able to pull the game out night, but it should not have been this close.  The combination of poor defense (the Nuggets shot 55.6 percent from the field) and poor shooting (43.0 percent from the field for the Knicks) goes together like oil and vinegar.  Nonetheless, the Knicks scored when they needed to and got the stops that were necessary in picking up the victory tonight.

Next up for the Knicks is round two in the Battle of the Boroughs as the Knicks head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets Tuesday night and will look to exact some revenge from the loss earlier in the season the Nets handed them.

Wilson has career day in Giants 52-27 win over Saints

Twenty minutes before the Giants and Saints kicked off Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins completed their comebacks to get within a half game of the Giants.

Now the Giants were officially in a must win game.

After Eli Manning threw his 14th career interception returned for a touchdown, MetLife stadium was about as quiet as it has ever been. Manning threw a pass behind Jerrel Jernigan, and Saints corner Elbert Mack picked it off and took it back for six.

On the ensuing kickoff, the stadium erupted as the speedy rookie David Wilson took the kick back 97 yards to tie the game at seven.

The Saints then handed the ball back to the Giants after Saints fullback Jed Collins was stripped by Antrel Rolle.

Manning led the Giants on a 35 yard scoring drive capped by a touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett.

The Saints made it a one point game with back to back field goals, but Eli and the Giants offense executed another one of their patented two minute drives. Manning found Domenik Hixon in the back right corner of the end zone to give the Giants a 21-13 lead at the half.

The Giants defense, who played with a bend but don't break mentality, stepped up and forced two more turnovers in the second half.

Stevie Brown intercepted Drew Brees' first pass of the second half after it was deflected by Antrel Rolle and Jimmy Graham. Brown's sixth pick of the season set up a David Wilson touchdown to make it 28-13 Giants early in the third.

Trailing 35-13 in the third quarter the Saints put together a quick scoring drive ending with a Darren Sproles touchdown to cut the lead to 35-20. The Saints picked off Eli Manning again, and another Darren Sproles score made it an eight point game.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Saints kicked it short to keep it away from the speedy Wilson, but Jerrel Jernigan took the return deep into Saints territory to set up a Victor Cruz touchdown and give the Giants a 42-27 lead.

The Saints threatened to cut into the Giants lead, but Stevie Brown picked off his second pass of the game at the Giant eight yard line, and returned it 70 yards down to the Saints twenty two yard line.

Up 45-27 in the fourth, the Giants let their first round draft pick display his talents in the backfield.

David Wilson broke through the Saints defense and ran 52 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the night.

Wilson finished the night with a franchise record 327 total yards (100 rushing and 227 return yards) and three total touchdowns.

Victor Cruz had another big game for the Big Blue pulling in passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Eli Manning, who looked shaky at points in the game, finished 22 of 35 for 259 yards, four scores, and two picks.

Drew Brees threw threw for 354 yards, and hit eight differen receivers, but also threw two more interceptions. Brees has thrown 16 interceptions this season, two more than he threw all of last year.

If there was a game ball to be handed out tonight it would most certainly go to rookie David Wilson, but Wilson would have to share that with his kick return squad for opening up those lanes for him.

The Giants are 8-5 and maintain their one game lead in the NFC East with three games to go.

The Giants will travel to the Georgia Dome next week to take on the Matt Ryan and the 11-2 Falcons.

Dallas will host the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Redskins travel to Cleveland.

What to Watch For: Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks December 9

Sunday, December 9, 2012
Pre Game News and Notes
Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks

The Knicks saw firsthand Saturday night how tough life can be without Carmelo Anthony and his return could not come soon enough.  Tonight will be the end of a four games in five nights stretch for the Knicks before getting a lengthy stay at home, as they will get to stay in New York for the next 16 days.  But before then, they have to take care of business against the Nuggets; here are some things to watch for:

-Will Melo Suit Up?

Carmelo Anthony has missed the last two games because of a laceration on his left middle finger that required five stitches and the Knicks went 1-1.  Anthony warmed up prior to both games, but decided to sit as the bandage caused Anthony discomfort; he was also unable to catch the ball with both hands.

Unlike the other two games, Anthony has something to prove tonight as the Knicks will be playing against his former team in the Denver Nuggets. 

Anthony is warming up again prior to the game tonight, with a noticeably smaller bandage on his finger.  He is also catching the ball with less of a problem and going through low post moves; I would say there is a high probability he suits up tonight.

-Return to MSG

In the trade for Anthony, the Knicks sent multiple players packing.  Raymond Felton has returned to play for the Knicks, but the others are not as lucky.  Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and Wilson Chandler will all be returning to the first place they called home in the NBA. 

Chandler will not be playing because of injury, but Gallinari and Mozgov will be suiting up.  Gallinari is coming to the Garden this time on a cold streak; having shot only five of 20 in his last two games and is shooting a putrid 37.5 percent on the season.

Returning to MSG might bring out the best in Gallinari though, as last season in a double overtime victory Gallinari scored 37 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

-Felton Bounce Back

Felton has been relied upon heavily by the Knicks with Anthony sitting out because of injury.  He scored a team high 27 points in both games; each being much different 27 point games. 

Felton was super efficient Thursday, knocking down a career high six three pointers, but was off Saturday making only nine of his 30 attempts.  Which Felton will show up tonight?

Felton will have his hands full again in guarding the blur that is Nuggets’ point guard Ty Lawson.  You know Felton will bring his A game though, as he will be motivated to play against his former team and bounce back from his poor performance last night.

Knicks Drop Sloppy Game in Chicago

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: New York Knicks: 85 Chicago Bulls: 93
Knicks Drop Sloppy Game in Chicago

The Knicks dropped a tough, hard fought and sloppy game in Chicago Saturday night, falling to the Bulls 93-85.  It was the fourth game in five nights for the Bulls and third in four nights for the Knicks; it showed as both teams looked tired, having trouble knocking down shots and struggling to get anything going.
The Bulls came into the game sporting the best rated defense, and it showed as the Knicks shot only 32.1 percent from the field.  As expected, the Bulls out-rebounded the Knicks, but the margin was much closer than expected at 47-40 in favor of the Bulls.  Here are some positives and negatives from the game tonight:

  •             James White gave the Knicks good minutes off the bench again with Carmelo Anthony sitting out with a laceration to his left middle finger that required five stitches.  White was rewarded with 13 more minutes tonight after 17 against Miami Thursday and made the most of them.  White finished with a team high +10 +/- and gave the Knicks a good defensive effort, doing a solid job on Luol Deng for the portions he was in the game.
  •            Tyson Chandler was again a monster in the middle for the Knicks, grabbing a season high 18 rebounds to go along with 14 points.  Chandler also showed up big time on the defensive end like Knick fans have become accustomed to seeing, taking his counter-part for the night Joakim Noah out of the game and out playing him.  Noah scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds, but turned the ball over a career high nine times.  It is an impressive feat for Chandler, as Noah came off a career game Friday in which he went for 30 points and 23  rebounds and added six assists.
  •             Kurt Thomas again put in a strong effort for the Knicks.  He does not play many minutes,   but you know what you are going to get when he is on the court.  Thomas also helps the Knicks in areas they are weak in, like rebounding.  The Knicks were outrebounded by the Bulls tonight, but they showed effort and energy in attacking the glass even though they were under-manned and lacking some size.  The Knicks were paced by Chandler’s 18 rebounds.

  •          The offense lacked without Anthony tonight.  The Knicks were unable to find a consistent scoring threat, as no one had the hot hand for the Knicks tonight.  Against the Heat, the Knicks relied on the pick-and-roll; against the Bulls they had no such success.  Because of this, the Knicks were unable to get many open looks from the perimeter, making only eight three pointers compared to the 12.1 per game they had been making entering the game.

  •          J.R. Smith once again struggled, unable to pick up the slack left with Anthony being injured.  It wasn’t for an effort of trying for Smith, as he took 14 shots, eight of which were three pointers, but made only four shots and two from long range.  Smith also struggled with his handle tonight, turning the ball over five times.
  •          Ball Security was not where it needed to be for the Knicks tonight, as they turned the ball over 15 times.  The Bulls scored 14 points off the Knicks turnovers and the lack of cohesion led to a stagnant offense that the Knicks could never get going.  The defensive pressure put on by the Bulls definitely played a part, but some of the struggles for the Knicks tonight were self-inflicted.
  •         Raymond Felton put on a masterful performance Thursday against the Heat, but he struggled some against the Bulls.  With Anthony out, the onus fell upon Felton to carry the offense, leading to Felton taking 30 shots from the field.  Felton was able to only make nine of his attempts, scoring 27 points but not doing it efficiently.  Felton said after the game that taking 30 shots is not something he wants to do often.  Not to make excuses for him, but he was hit on his injured left hand early in the game and could have affected him as the game went on.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bradshaw, Wilson keys to a Giants victory

Tom Coughlin made it very clear to his team after their 17-16 loss to the Redskins last Monday night. "We have to win every game from here on out, we have no other choice."

Last Monday's loss to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, the New York Giants have seen their division lead shrink to just one game, and there's more than one team hot on their heels. The Redskins and Cowboys are both 6-6 while the Giants sit at 7-5. The Cowboys cruised past a dismal Philadelphia team last week, and the Skins beat the Giants on Monday Night Football.

The Giants have mad nothing easy on themselves, and now must win the rest of their games to assure themselves of a playoff spot.

On Sunday, Eli Manning and the Giants offense openly welcome the NFL's worst defense with open arms.

The New Orleans Saints, who have had a down year, are giving up 440 yards per game, a stat Eli doesn't mind looking at. But Manning and the Giants passing attack won't be the key to the Giants winning the game. It will be up to Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, and the Giants offensive line to control the clock and keep Drew Brees and company off the field.

The past two times the Giants have faced Brees and the Saints, Brees embarrassed the Giants defense putting up 48 points in 2009, and 49 last season. Fortunately for the Giants both games were played in the Superdome where the Saints are almost unbeatable.

The scene will shift to MetLife Stadium for tomorrows contest where the Giants are used to the cold and wind, and the Saints would rather be in the comfort of their own dome.

The Saints rushing defense has given up an average of 153.8 rush yards per game, which again ranks last in the league. Bradshaw has put up some of his best rushing numbers for the Giants since joining the Giants, and is headed for a 1,000 yard plus season. Tomorrow's game will be in his hands, and hopefully in David Wilson's hand eight to ten times.

This game is the must win game this season for the Giants over the next four weeks. After tomorrow the Giants go on the road for games against the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons, and the 9-3 Baltimore Ravens, and finish at home against the 3-9 Eagles. The game against the Eagles may mean nothing if the Giants can't win these three.

If the Giants have shown us anything it's that they play their best with their backs against the wall. They have successfully backed themselves against that wall with a 1-3 record over their last four games.

Tomorrow is going to be a high scoring game with both offenses putting up points, but the if the Giants can get their ground game going, they will be able to control the clock, and thus take the game out of Drew Brees hands.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Twenty Moments of the Year in New York Sports

The count down continues of the top moments from 2012...

Here are moments 15-11

15. Eli Manning passes Phill Simms as the Giants All-Time leader in touchdown passes. 

Eli Manning has been criticized, praised, criticized again, and praised again during his career with the Giants. On November 25, 2012 against the Green Bay Packers,  Manning passed Giants great Phil Simms for the most touchdown passes in franchise history, and maybe the greatest Giants quarterback. Manning hit Hakeem Nicks inside the Packer ten yard line, and Nicks did the rest just barely breaking the plane of the end zone for the score. It was Manning's third TD pass of the night and the 200th of his career.

14. McElroy leads game-winning touchdown drive after replacing Sanchez. 

It happened less than a week ago, but Jet fans have been calling for Mark Sanchez's benching for a month. It has been a dreadful year for Sanchez, and after his three picks and no point performance through the first two and a half quarters, Rex Ryan decided to put in McElroy. The change electrified the crowd and the team, and McElroy stepped up and led the Jets down the field for the eventual game winning score. McElroy  hit tight end Jeff Cumberland for a one yard score, and his first career touchdown pass. Can McElroy take the Jets over the .500 mark this season? You will have wait until Sanchez gets benched against Jacksonville because Sanchez is the starter.

13. Rangers clinch first place in the Eastern Conference. 

When was the last time Ranger fans could say they had their team was the one seed going into the playoffs? It was the 1993-1994 season, and the Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup. Stats like this gave Ranger fans hope that their team would make it back to the promised land. Well that and having the Vezina Trophy winner between the pipes. Unfortunately the Rangers could not get by their Hudson River rivals, the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Finals. Great to see the Rangers take the top spot in the East last year, now it's time for them to bring the cup back to New York (if there's a season this year).

12. Jeter fractures ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The Yankees had tied Game 1 of the ALCS three innings earlier and seemed to have some momentum on their side. But in the 12th inning Derek Jeter ranged to his left to field a routine ground ball. Jeter landed awkwardly on the ground and did not get up. X-rays revealed a fractured ankle for Jeter, who's Yankees ended up losing Game 1 6-4 in twelve innings. Jeter's injury seemed to have sucked the life out of the Yankees fans and players. Jeter missed the rest of the series, and the Yankees were swept by the Tigers in four games.

11. Kreider delivers for Rangers against Ottawa. 

The Rangers were on the brink of exiting the playoffs, and it was only the first round. They say the playoffs is a brand new season and anything can happen, but the Rangers could not afford to get bounced this early after the season they had. The Rangers called up Chris Kreider, who was fresh off a National Championship victory with Boston College, to replace a concussed Brian Boyle. In just his fourth career NHL game, all in the playoffs, Kreider delivered for the Blueshirts. After trailing the Senators 1-0, Derek Stepan tied the game nine minutes into the second period. Brad Richards gave the Rangers the lead with a power play goal late in the period. With under a minute left in the period the Ottawa defense broke down and Stepan hit Kreider who slipped behind the defense, and Kreider buried his first career goal. Ottawa would score with under a minute to go in the game, but that was all. The Rangers won the game 3-2, Kreider had his first game winner, and the series moved back to the Garden for a Game 7 the Rangers would win 2-1.

Up Next: We start the Top Ten Moments from 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Redskins edge Giants 17-16 in NFC East showdown

All eyes may have been on rookie all-star Robert Griffin III, but it was the Redskins defense that stole the show in the second half last night in Washington's 17-16 win over the Giants.

The New York Giants needed this win. If they beat the Redskins last night on Monday Night Football, they would be 8-4 with a two game lead over the Dallas Cowboys with four to play. Now Big Blue has a one game lead not only on the Dallas Cowboys, but the Washington Redskins have climbed to within a game of the division lead.

The Giants did a great job keeping Griffin III off the field in the first half. The Giants first three drives of the first half averaged twelve plays and around six and a half minutes. Eli Manning had the Giants driving all three possessions, except one problem. The Giants only put the ball in the end zone one time Monday night on an Eli Manning pass to Martellus Bennett.

After Griffin III led two scoring drives for the Redskins, a field goal and a fumble that led to a touchdown, Manning led the Giants down the field 54 yards and set up another Lawrence Tynes field goal.

 The Giants led Washington 13-10 at the half, and were getting the ball to start the second half.

The Giants had a chance to put some distance between them and the Skins with the opening drive in the second half. The Giants drive was stalled at their 41 yard line, and the Giants were forced to punt. The Redskins had all the momentum, driving the ball deep into Giant territory before Alfred Morris was stripped by Chase Blackburn, giving the ball back to the Giants.

The Giants took the turnover and drove down to the Washington 16 yard line thanks to a 49 yard pass from Manning to Victor Cruz. Once agaiat n the Giants got down deep into Redskin territory, but had settle for another field goal by Lawrence Tynes.

After that scoring drive, the Redskins held the Giants offense to just 16 yards of offense.

On the following possession, RG3 drove the Redskin 86 yards on 12 plays ending with a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, who had eight catches for 106 yards and a score, giving the Redskins a 17-16 lead.

The Giants could not get any offense going on their next two drives, and also lost right tackle Sean Locklear to a knee injury.

Penalties stalled two of the Giants drives Monday night and cost Big Blue ten to fourteen points; points they could have really used.

Griffin III, who went 13/21 for 163 and a touchdown, and the Redskins offense kept Manning off the field with a four minute drive to end the game.

Manning finished the game 20/33 for 280 yards and a touchdown, but could not lead the Giants to another comeback victory.

Alfred Morris led the Redskins rushing attack with 124 yards on 22 carries, while the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 103 yards an 24 carries.

The Giants will host Drew Brees and the struggling Saints Sunday at 4:25 pm, while the Redskins will take on the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field at 1:00 pm Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys will be in Cincinnati to take on the surging Bengals at 1:00 pm.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top Twenty Moments of the Year in New York Sports

It's almost the end of 2012, and that means a countdown of the greatest moments of the year for New York sports. New York saw it's share of success this season in the sports world, the Giants winning Super Bowl XLVI, the Yankees going to the ALCS once again, and the New York Rangers emotional playoff run that ended all too soon against their Hudson River rivals.

So let's get to the countdown already.

Here are numbers 20-16 for 2012:

20. Tim Tebow comes to New York

 That's right Tim Tebow made the best moments of 2012. I mean he does own the back pages wearing the jersey of the team that owns the back pages (the New York Jets if you're not sure). Tebow was traded to the Jets for a fourth round pick, or was it a fifth round pick? Does it really matter? He has 29 rushing attempts for 87 yards! But to his credit he has completed six of seven passes for 39 yards.

19. Giants win first home playoff game since 2000

 The New York Giants finished the regular season with a 9-7 record, good enough to win the NFC East and host the Atlanta Falcons during the Wild Card round. The Giants beat the Falcons 24-2 thanks to Eli Manning's three touchdown passes, and two fourth and short stops by the Big Blue defense. It was the Giants first playoff in their new home, and their first home playoff win since 2000.

18. Knicks break their playoff losing streak

April 29, 2001. That's how far back you have to go for the Knicks last playoff win. The Knicks were trailing three games to none to the Miami Heat, and were in danger of getting swept out of the first round yet again. Game 4 was in Madison Square Garden, and although the Knicks chances of actually winning the series were long gone, the Knicks had the chance to stop the franchise's thirteen game playoff losing streak. The Knicks beat the Heat 89-87 behind Carmelo Anthony;s 41 points and Amare Stoudemire's double-double. The Knicks losing streak was history, and so were the Knicks in Game 5 losing 106-94.

17. Islanders moving to Brooklyn after 2015 season

I didn't say all of these moments would be positive ones, just look at number twenty (LOL). The Islanders have decided to take their talents to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after their lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015. Nassau County residents had the chance to keep their team, but voted against the renovation of the Coliseum. All I can say is good luck to the Brooklyn Islanders, but a new home doesn't mean the team will suddenly start winning again.

16. Wright becomes Mets All-Time hits leader

David Wright is the Mr. Met of the last twenty years, yes even more than Mike Piazza. Wright has established himself as one of the greatest players in the Mets organization, and by the time he retires, he will be the greatest. On September 26, 2012, Wright took another step towards Met greatness when he passed Ed Kranepool for number one on the Mets All-Time hit list. Wright hit a little dribbler down the third base line and beat it out for his 1, 419th career hit. Wright is a free agent this off season, but he will most likely be back in the Mets uniform, I hope.

There are still 15 moments left from 2012 for New York sports, but don't expect to see any about the Jets, we are trying to keep it positive from here on in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mets Offer Wright Seven Years, Over One Hundred Million

The New York Mets have reportedly offered third baseman David Wright a seven year contract worth around $130 million dollars.

Wright posted a .306 avg in 2012, with 21 home runs and 93 runs batted in for the Mets. Wright also became the Mets all-time hits leader in 2012 passing Met great Ed Kranepool.

Wright has been a staple for the Mets at third baseman during his career, and has rightfully earned a seven year $100 million dollar plus contract. In his eight years with the Mets,Wright has hit over 200 home runs and has driven in over 800 runs.

Wright also played a key role in the Mets 2006 season that ended in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

It is expected that Wright will accept the deal and spend the next seven years in a New York Mets uniform.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knicks Pull Away Late, Improve to 5-0

The Knicks came into tonight's game against the Orlando Magic riding a 4-0 record to start their season, All four wins came against playoff teams from the previous year, so what could we expect from the Knickerbockers against the young Orlando Magic who have lost four straight?

The Knicks and Magic were neck and neck through the first three quarters of play before New York over powered the Magic and pulled out a 99-89 victory in Orlando on Tuesday night. 

Carmelo Anthony, who led all scorers with 25 points, and the Knicks could not shake the Orlando Magic early in the contest, and had to grind out the victory in the fourth quarter to keep the Knicks unbeaten this season. 

It wasn't a pretty first half for the Knicks who found themselves trailing in the first quarter, but they found a way back and eventually took the lead from the Magic late in the first. It continued to be a game of runs for the Magic who's late run in the second quarter gave them a 53-49 halftime lead. 

The Knicks J.R Smith sparked the Knicks offense with 13 points in the third quarter, and Raymond Felton hit timely shots to keep the Knicks right with Orlando. The Knicks would finish the third quarter on an eleven to seven run and take a 77-76 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

In the fourth, the Magic offense went ice cold, shooting 5 for 16 from the field and scoring just 13 points for the quarter. The Knicks continued to get timely shooting from J.R Smith, who finished the game with 21 points, and Raymond Felton who also finished with 21 points. Tyson Chandler added 12 points and 6 rebounds for the Knicks.

J.J Redick was the high scorer for the Magic with 18 points, shooting 7-13 from the field. Redick also added seven assists and four rebounds to his solid scoring night. 

The Knicks struggled on the boards against the Magic, getting out rebounded by Orlando 42-31, but they made up for the lack of rebounding by taking care of the ball. The Knicks turned the ball over just 9 times tonight, and forced 20 Magic turnovers that led to 24 Knick points. 

The Knicks are now 5-0 with all five wins coming by ten points or better. The Knicks will continue their short road trip with contests against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, and the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night, two more playoff teams from the previous season. 

What to Watch For: New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic November 13

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Pre-Game News and Notes
New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic

The Knicks will look to move to 5-0 for the third time in franchise history Tuesday night against the Magic.  Good things happen when the Knicks start seasons this strong, as in 1993-1994 they lost in the NBA Finals and in 1969-1970 they won the NBA Championship.  Tonight is the start of four games in six nights, the first three of which are on the road.  Here are some things to keep an eye on for the game tonight

-Keep up Defensive Pressure

The Magic’s offense thus far this season has been offensive.  They are averaging just 87.8 points per game, lowest in the NBA.  It has been even uglier for the Magic in their last four games, all losses, averaging only 77.5 points per game in that span. 

This is something that should continue, as the Knicks are the top team in defensive efficiency currently in the NBA.  The Knicks are playing suffocating defense, holding opponents to a lowly 40.7 percent shooting from the field.  This one has ugly spelled all over it if you are not a Knicks fan.

-Match-ups Against Carmelo Anthony

Early reports are that the Magic will start with Arron Afflalo getting the assignment of guarding Carmelo Anthony, who is leading the NBA with 27.3 points per game.  It will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on throughout the night as Afflalo is a good defender but does not have the size to match-up with players like Anthony; he is more suited guarding shooting and point guards.

If Anthony takes Afflalo to the paint like he should, it will be interesting to see who the Magic turn to.  Power forward Glen Davis does not have the lateral quickness or speed to keep up with Anthony on the perimeter.  In the post, Davis could pose a problem for Anthony but Mike Woodson will definitely put Anthony in position to take advantage of whoever guards him. 

Where the Magic can attack Anthony is on the defensive end, as he has expended much more energy there compared to past seasons.  Because of that extra effort, forcing Anthony to guard someone like Davis would take a toll and theoretically make Anthony less effective on the offensive end of the court because of his energy level being lowered.

-Bench Play

The Knicks bench will play a pivotal role in the game tonight and should be a strength going forward.  The bench for the Knicks is far superior to the one the Magic will use and the Knicks need to take advantage.

J.R. Smith has been playing some of the best basketball of his career and has been a consistent second scoring option behind Anthony for the Knicks with Amar’e Stoudemire.  Smith has helped out on the defensive end and on the boards also, doing everything the Knicks wanted from him and more. 

-Avoid a letdown

This is a quintessential trap game for the Knicks, as the Magic are an opponent that will be looked over by plenty of opponents this season.  With big games against the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies Thursday and Friday it is not uncommon for players to look past tonight’s game and to the future ones instead. 

This is where the presence of veterans like Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace come in handy.  They know the ropes of the NBA game and will have to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.  This is a game the Knicks should win by double-digits easily and command right from the opening tip.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Knicks Grind Out Win, Continue Hot Start

Friday, November 09, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Dallas Mavericks: 94 New York Knicks: 104
Knicks Grind Out Win to Continue Hot Start
The Knicks entered the fourth quarter in a close game for the first time this season and came out with the same end result; a double-digit victory.  The Knicks were able to win a tough fought, grind it out game against a much underrated Mavericks squad, winning 104-94.  The Knicks are 4-0 for the first time since the 1993-1994 season when they started 7-0.  According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, the last two times the Knicks started a season 4-0, they won at least 57 games and went to the NBA Finals. 

Tonight was an impressive win for the Knicks because they got it done when they were not at their best.  They did not light it up from downtown like the previous three games, but the effort on the defensive end never gave up and is the reason the Knicks pulled out he victory tonight.  They got baskets when they needed them and played off of their defense, forcing nine turnovers while turning over the ball only nine times. 

Many of those timely hoops came from Carmelo Anthony, who had another strong game even with the Mavericks throwing everything and everything at him.  Anthony scored 31 points on 10 of 22 shooting all while enduring a mugging throughout the night from the Mavericks.  Anthony added seven rebounds and another two blocks, showing intensity on the defensive end again.
Anthony did let the refs and Mavericks get into his head a little bit, evident from the technical foul that was called on him but he was able to put it behind him enough to carry the Knicks in a hard-earned victory.  He also was able to do all this while in foul trouble for most of the game, playing only 29 minutes tonight.

With Anthony in foul trouble, the Knicks needed someone to step up and J.R. Smith rose to the occasion.  Smith continued his great start to the season, scoring 22 points and really picking it up when Anthony was forced to the bench in foul trouble. 

Smith scored nine points on three of five shooting in the pivotal third quarter with Anthony on the bench.  He also was flawless from deep, knocking down all three of his three point attempts.
Where Smith made a big impact was on the defensive end; he didn’t give in to either O.J. Mayo or Vince Carter, the top guns for the Mavericks tonight.  Smith added four steals and one block to his stat line on the defensive end. 

The Knicks endured their worst defensive quarter in the 2nd, giving up 34 points and allowing the Mavericks to take control of the game.  They didn’t control the game long though, as the Knicks came out with a vengeance in the second half and clamped down on the Mavericks.  The Knicks held the Mavericks to 13 of 37 shooting in the second half and only 37 points in total. 

Mayo had a strong game for the Mavericks, leading the way with 23 points and five of 10 shooting from beyond the arc.  Darren Collison on the other hand was shut down by the Knicks after having a hot start to the season, going one of eight from the field tonight with eight assists and four turnovers.
Ronnie Brewer continued to validate Anthony when he said Brewer was the most underrated signing this offseason, giving the Knicks the defense they expected when they signed him but also giving help in the scoring column and on the boards.  Brewer stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 13 points while adding eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and no turnovers.  No turnovers are the most impressive thing here, as Brewer is just another piece of the puzzle to the Knicks better ball security this season.

Marcus Camby made his season debut tonight for the Knicks and picked up right where he left off in grabbing rebounds at a high rate.  Camby grabbed four rebounds and scored two points in his eight minutes of play, as head coach Mike Woodson has decided to go with Camby and Rasheed Wallace as his big men off the bench, pushing Kurt Thomas to a reserve role.

Wallace was the first big man off the bench tonight and played 18 minutes as he is still getting into game shape after being retired for the past two seasons.  Wallace finished the game with six points and six rebounds as he looks to be in position to get meaningful minutes off the Knicks bench.

The Knicks will have three days off before embarking on a stretch of eight out of 10 games on the road, starting in Orlando against the Magic Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. ET.

What to Watch For: Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks November 9

Friday, November 09, 2012
Pre-Game News and Notes
Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks look to continue their hot start to the season against a banged up Dallas Mavericks team that will be without stalwarts Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.  This will be a good test for the Knicks, as the Mavericks are off to just as hot a start at 4-1 even without their star player.  The Knicks have had plenty of time to prepare for the Mavericks since they were off since Monday so they should come out ready to go.

-3 Point Shootout

The Knicks set a record for three pointers made through the first three games in a season, going 43 for 95, but the Mavericks are no slouches behind the arc.  The Mavericks are the hottest team in the NBA from behind the arc, going 50 for 103 thus far in the season.  O.J. Mayo leads the NBA with 21 makes on the season.

Darren Collison has been a big reason for the success from deep for the Mavericks, as he has excelled in the pick-and-roll game and has the ball movement at a premium in Dallas.  Collison was the response move to Jason Kidd joining the Knicks.

Another reason for the success from deep is the post play of Vince Carter, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand.  They are all willing passers and can find the open man on the perimeter when they are double teamed in the post.

-Defend the Paint

As stated, the Mavericks run a deep rotation up front with Kaman, Brand and Brandon Wright.  The Mavericks are dangerous team in the paint and the Knicks will need to lock that down for the victory tonight.
The Mavericks run their offense through pick-and-roll with deadly shooting from deep; taking out the big men would go a long way in winning tonight for the Knicks.  The Mavericks will be without top rebounder Marion, so the Knicks need to take advantage and control the boards.  Winning the battle on the boards is a formula to winning.

This should all be easier with the expected season debut of Marcus Camby.  Camby gives the Knicks a legitimate center on the second unit and someone to do everything that Tyson Chandler does in the starting unit.  Camby is an upgrade over any option the Knicks had last season and in recent memory.
Camby’s playing time will be dictated by how much Kaman is on the court, as the Mavericks have been using a small-ball lineup much like the Knicks recently, putting more of an emphasis on guard and wing play.

-O.J. Mayo vs. J.R. Smith

Mayo starts for the Mavericks and J.R. Smith is the Knicks sixth man, but they will undoubtedly be matched up throughout the game together.  Right now, Mayo and Smith are two of the most efficient players in the NBA and have numbers very similar, as Mayo is shooting 63.6 percent from deep and Smith is shooting 61.5 and both players are turning the ball over less than two times per game.

Smith has been getting at it on the defensive end this season, evident from the 1.7 steals he is averaging per game so this is the match-up to keep an eye on throughout the game.  It will be two electrifying players opposing each other.

-Get Off to Hot Start

The Knicks have had a long lay-off not playing since Monday night, so a lackluster start could be in the cards.  That is something the Knicks need to avoid though, as the crowd will be raucous and ready to watch their Knicks take the court again.  Slow starts was the norm last year for the Knicks, but so far this season they have led at the end of the first quarter in every game, a trend that would be a welcome site to see, especially at home; once you have the crowd going behind you it makes it that much more difficult for the road team.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knicks Left Standing as Last Undefeated Team
The Knicks are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season and setting records in the process.  They are the first team in franchise history to win the first three games of the season by 15+ points and set an NBA record by knocking down 43 three points in those games.  The Knicks are also the last standing undefeated team in the NBA, as the Clippers beat the Spurs and the Bulls beat the Magic earlier in the week.

What makes this start so impressive, even though it is still early in the season, is that the Knicks are playing without three key rotation players in Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Marcus Camby.  Camby is expected to make his season debut Friday night against the Mavericks, but Stoudemire and Shumpert are out for multiple weeks.
One reason for the great play is because the Knicks have three seasoned veterans at the point guard position that have the respect of their teammates and can run an offense.  Raymond Felton, on his second go-round with the Knicks, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni have been getting everyone involved in the offense and offer a calming influence when on the court.  The three players have combined for 42 assists compared to 17 turnovers, seemingly to always put their teammates in the easier position to score.

Kidd has been forced into the starting lineup with the injury to Stoudemire and ran with the role.  He starts at the 2 for the Knicks and the offense clicks with him on the court.  It’s another player willing to make an extra pass on the court in the starting lineup and the savvy-ness of Kidd cannot be measured as he is capable of hitting anyone cutting to the basket.  For at least one week, these three have combined to make Knick fans finally realize losing Jeremy Lin was not as bad as many people made it out to be.

Another positive to the three guards is that they can all handle the ball well as the lead guard or play off the ball.  Kidd has become an exceptional spot up shooter and Felton demands attention at the three point line; this enables the Knicks to play any three of the point guards on the guard together because they can adapt to different roles, something that is a vast improvement over the team from last season.  Last season, the Knicks were unable to even get one consistent ball handler on the court, leading to a bevy of turnovers and no cohesion on the offensive side of the ball. 

Another factor in the great start to the season is the play of J.R. Smith.  Throughout his career, Smith has been looked at as an enigma, someone with all the potential in the world but never mature enough to harness his ability.  Smith admittedly has said he has never missed a shot he has disliked, is known for outbursts and chucking up bad shots whenever he pleases, driving coaches nuts; thus far through this season none of those negatives are showing.
Smith seems to have been harnessed by head coach Mike Woodson, as Woodson allows Smith to be himself but is very hard on him at the same time.  Smith respects Woodson and plays hard for him every night.  Smith is more under control this season and it has shown, as he is the second most efficient player on the Knicks with a Player Efficiency Rating, a metric used by ESPN’s John Hollinger to measure players efficiency on a per-minute basis, with a 20.3 behind only Carmelo Anthony’s 24.0.

Anthony is another player who has set the tone for the Knicks, as he finally looks comfortable in his role with the team.  Anthony has always been looked at as a one-dimensional player, only showing up on the offensive end of the court, but thus far this season that is not true.  He leads the Knicks in scoring, like he should, but he also leads the team in rebounding and blocks.  He has also shown an improved effort on defense, going toe-to-toe with Lebron James in the first game of the season and guarding Thaddeus Young both nights against Philadelphia.
Anthony also looks more comfortable as the whole burden of leading the team no longer falls upon only his shoulders as the veteran presence of Kidd, Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas has really helped Anthony.  All of those players bring loads of experience and a wealth of knowledge for not only Anthony but the rest of the team to benefit from. 

The Knicks cannot get full of themselves though, as they are still only three games into the season with a long way to go. Felton put it in perspective saying, “We can’t be satisfied right now.  We’re not going to lay it down like ‘We’ve got everything figured out.’ We still got a long way to go.  We still got to get better on defense, we still got to execute better on offense.  We still got a lot of things we got to do.  We’ve got to rebound better.”

Felton is 100 percent right with what he said; the Knicks cannot get comfortable because they have had a successful first week.  They have a great opportunity to build on this early success though, as a banged up Mavericks squad visits Madison Square Garden Friday night and a game in Orlando against an inferior Magic team next Tuesday. No one will remember this start if the Knicks begin to struggle or they have another early exit in the playoffs, so it is imperative to just keep building off of this and make this into something special.