Saturday, September 8, 2012

Knicks Loss Ronnie Brewer for 6 Weeks

Knicks Loss Shooting Guard for 6 Weeks

On Friday, the New York Knicks announced that newly acquired shooting guard Ronnie Brewer underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery and will be out for six weeks.  The procedure was done by Knicks orthopedic surgeon Dr. Answorth Allen.

Brewer was in high spirits though after the surgery Friday, as he was able to send out a tweet to his followers, “If y’all haven’t already heard I had successful meniscus surgery.  Started rehab this morning.  Minor setback for a major comeback.  I appreciate the prayers and get well soons from everyone.  Much appreciated.  Will for sure be 100 (percent) for season opener.”

The time table given by the doctors is right in line with Brewers tweet, as the Knicks start camp in 25 days and have their regular season opener in 8 weeks, meaning the 6 week timetable will give Brewer two weeks of preseason to get into shape.

The Knicks say that Brewer suffered the medial meniscus tear in the past two weeks, but cannot pinpoint a specific incident that caused the injury.  Brewer’s agent, Henry Thomas, gives some insight saying that the injury occurred from “wear and tear over time.”

Shooting guard Iman Shumpert is still recovering from his own devastating knee injury that he suffered in the first game of the playoff series against the Miami Heat this past season.  J.R. Smith could be called upon to be the starter initially at shooting guard for the Knicks, even though his skill set is better for coming off the bench.  This injury does open up minutes though, which could mean we see what James White can do in extended playing time; it is a good opportunity for him to show that he belongs not only in the NBA but in an NBA rotation.

Injuries were a problem for the Knicks last season and played a big part in the outcome of the year.  Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin, Baron Davis and Jared Jeffries all missed time during the regular season with moderate to significant set backs.  Davis, Shumpert, Stoudemire also missed time during the playoffs, as Lin missed the series all together.  Staying healthy will be a deciding factor to just how deep this Knicks team can go in the playoffs.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Knicks Unveil New Uniforms

Today the New York Knicks officially unveiled their new jerseys for the upcoming 2012-2013 NBA season.  The new jerseys give a nod to the Knicks glorious championship years, and personally, I really like the new look and am glad the changes were made.

The most notable change that fans will notice was the removing of the side piping on both the jerseys and shorts.  The jersey and shorts are both solid one color now.  There was also a solid color waistband added, blue for home and orange for away jerseys, and the Knicks logo is now on the left leg.

There were more subtle changes made as well, including a more rounded neckline.  On the inside of the collar, there is also a message written that says, “Once a Knick, always a Knick”.

The quote is something that center Tyson Chandler really appreciates.  “This city embraces us,” said the defending Defensive Player of the Year award winner.  “That’s what New York is about.”

The color for the neckline was also changed to a trimmer gray, which stops at the neckline.  The team says it stops at the neckline to accentuate the “New York” across the front of the jersey.
The fonts for the “New York” across the chest and numbers were tweaked as well.  The arch in “New York” was lessened, while the numbers were elongated.  The token logo that used to reside on the back of the jersey has also been replaced in favor of the Knicks “roundball” logo.
 “I love them,” said power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who was part of the showcase with center Tyson Chandler and former Knicks and hall of famers Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.  “These jerseys are extremely clean.”

“I like them a lot,” Chandler added.  “They’re really comfortable.”

There is some speculation as to why the changes have been made and one common belief is that it is in response to the Nets move to Brooklyn this season.  There is a chance that could be the reasoning behind the Knicks thinking, but it should be noted that the Knicks did not rip off the Nets new old school look.  The Knicks new jerseys have been in the works for months, even before the Nets new look started to become leaked. 

With all of this being said, it really does not matter what the Knicks are wearing and what they look like; what matters more is that they win.  They could run around the court dressed like Dave Chappelle in his Prince Basketball skit and it wouldn’t matter so long they are winning.  Fans should care more about the results on the scoreboard.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What to Watch For: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
What to Watch For

The NFL regular season will be underway Wednesday night when the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants welcomes the Dallas Cowboys to MetLife Stadium.  The division rivals ended the regular season last year with a 31-14 Giants win and will continue the rivalry tonight.  Here are some things to watch out for during tonight’s game.

-Replacement Referees

The NFL and the referees are in a labor dispute, meaning replacement refs will be used tonight.  With it being a primetime game, the best crew of replacement refs will be assigned to the game, but even the best replacement refs are not as good as the worst regular refs.  It will be something to watch for as these replacements will have to show a backbone when faced with adversity like a coach such as Tom Coughlin yelling at them at the sidelines.

Another thing that has a high chance of happening is a lot of calls being made that maybe should not have been.  With being under a microscope and every move them make to be picked apart, the replacement refs are more likely to air on the side of caution then not; this could make for a very choppy game stopped by a lot of penalties as the refs try to keep control over the game.  Also, the replacement refs have had trouble with the pace of the game, placing the ball on the wrong hashes and not being able to figure out first downs.  With the regular season now upon us, this will have to be fixed as teams will be running two-minute drills at the end of halves and games and some teams run a no-huddle offense.

Referee crews and coaching staffs usually build a rapport with each other, something these replacements will not have the luxury of.  When Ed Hochuli’s crew is working a game, you know what to expect from them; the calls they are going to make and the way they go about working the game.  This in turn means you can prepare your players better.  Tonight, each team will go in blind and have to just make adjustments as the game goes on. 

-Giants Left Tackle (Sean Locklear) vs. DeMarcus Ware

Sean Locklear will get the start tonight at left tackle for the Giants after having a solid preseason filling in for the injured Will Beatty who is suffering from a back injury.  Beatty is listed as questionable for the game tonight and could see the field as an extra blocker. 

Locklear will be under the microscope tonight, as left tackle will be a position to watch all season if Beatty can not get healthy.  This could develop into the biggest area of concern for the Giants, especially against someone with the talent of DeMarcus Ware.

Ware averages almost a sack a game in his career against the Giants, so holding him to none tonight would be quite the achievement for Locklear.  The Giants cannot expect that to happen though, so expect the Giants to give Locklear some extra help with the pass rush.  Two tight end sets are an option, as well as Ahmad Bradshaw seeing some third-down duty as he is a good pass protector.

-Giants Pass Rush vs. Cowboys Offensive Line

The Giants have made Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s life miserable when they play on the field.  In two games alone last year, the Giants got to Romo for nine sacks and hitting him on countless other possessions.

Jason Pierre-Paul was a monster against the Cowboys last season, accounting for two sacks, a safety, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal on a potential overtime forcing kick to secure a 37-34 Giants win. 

Pierre-Paul is only one of the players the Cowboys will have to worry about, as the Giants have a three-headed monster at the defensive end position when you add in Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.

Stopping these three will be nearly impossible for the Cowboys, but one way for them to counter it is with a strong running game.  If the Cowboys can get a running game going with Demarco Murray, it will slow down the vaunted Giants pass rush.

-Giants Wide Receivers vs. Cowboys Re-Vamped Defensive Backs

Last season, the defensive backfield for the Cowboys was a mess, so this season they made a point of emphasis to change that.  Welcome in free agent signing Brandon Carr and first round draft pick Morris Claiborne.  They will be tested right out of the gate, as the Giants employ one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL.

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are weapons that Eli Manning will look to get the ball to early and often.  Nicks and Cruz will look to continue their dominance against the Cowboys, as they combined for 25 catches, 491 yards and two touchdowns in two match-ups last season. 

Carr started the trash talking earlier in the year, saying that his arrival in Dallas means there will be no more salsa dancing for Cruz.  That is more bulletin board material for Cruz and the Giants, as if they needed any more of a reason to be fired up for an opening night game against a division rival. 

-Giants Defensive Backs vs. Cowboy Receivers

The Giants defensive secondary suffered major blows during training camp, losing starting corner back after starting corner back.  First, Terrell Thomas was lost for the season after re-aggravating his torn left ACL in the first week of practice.  In the second game of the preseason, rookie Jayron Hosley suffered a turf toe injury and was put in a walking boot.  Game three of the preseason the Giants saw Prince Amukamara, expected to step up this season by Giants personnel, hurt his ankle and be put on the shelf for a few weeks.!/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.JPG

This means that veteran but sparingly used Michael Coe will be starting opposite of Corey Webster.  Coe will be asked to take on the monumental task of slowing down either Dez Bryant or Miles Austin.  Coe will have his hands full, but at the same time as a great opportunity to show the Giants that he is a player worth keeping around. 

All of the injuries also mean that covering the slot could be a potential problem for the Giants.  Safety Antrel Rolle may have to come up in coverage, unless the Giants feel comfortable enough using rookie safety Will Hill or Hosley.  The job of these cornerbacks will become that much easier if the Giants front seven is able to get the pass rush they are capable of getting.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mets Finish Off Sweep of Marlins

Sunday, September 02, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 5 Miami Marlins: 1
Mets Finish Off Sweep of Marlins

With the 5-1 win Sunday afternoon, the Mets won their third straight series and seven of their last eight games.  They have moved to six games under .500 with a record of 64-70.  It was the first series sweep for the Mets since they took three straight from the Orioles June 18-20.  The Mets also swept the Marlins earlier in the season in April, but this is the first sweep on the road of the Marlins since 2007.  The Mets also improved their record in day games to 28-21 on the season.

Jason Bay enjoyed his best day of the season, going 2 for 4, driving in four runs thanks to a first inning grand slam.  The homerun was Bay’s first since August 16th.

It was literally a month’s worth of production for Bay, who accumulated only one homerun and for RBI from August 3rd through September 1st.

A key to the Mets recent success has been how well the bullpen has performed.  Saturday they had a 16 2/3 innings scoreless streak snapped, but got back to building a new one Sunday, as they threw four scoreless innings.  They have allowed one earned run in the past 22 2/3 innings.

The Mets bullpen has been a disaster all season, compiling a 15-25 record with a 4.83 ERA.  The Mets as a team are a disastrous 22-56 when a reliever allows a run.

A reason for the sweep this weekend against the Marlins was the Mets keeping Marlin slugger Giancarlo Stanton in check.  In the first two games of the series, Stanton went 2 for 8 with his only RBI coming on an infield hit.

That was a great success for Stanton compared to Sunday, as the Mets held Stanton hitless.  Stanton went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Sunday afternoon, as the Mets held the Marlins most dangerous power hitter more than in check for the weekend.

Manager Terry Collins gave some insight into the Mets plans coming down the stretch of the season.  Zach Lutz is expected to get a start sometime this week at one of the corner infield spots; he is also being considered for instructional ball this winter to learn a corner outfield spot to increase his value and playing potential in the majors next season.  Collins also said that Matt Harvey will make two or three more starts before being shut down and that Zach Wheeler’s season is done as they do not want to increase his inning total any more.  Jenrry Mejia is expected to make some starts for the major league club in September though Collins said.

Next up for the Mets is a three game series against St. Louis starting Monday.  Collin McHugh (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will return to the team to make the start Monday afternoon against Joe Kelly (4-6, 3.61 ERA).