Archive for November, 2011

The State of the Knicks

Posted in Knicks on November 30, 2011 by mwerblin

With the end of the NBA lockout and the eve of a busy but shortened off-season, the NBA is going to have monumental roster changes.  The one thing we know as Knick fans is the fact that the Melo trade last season left the Knicks with major holes and depth in its rotation.  Yes, the Knicks have a dynamic duo but what will be the key factor for the franchise is how the build around these two elite players.  STAT carried the Knicks last year when they were a team of scrappy mix matched players.  Melo only had 17 regular season games and carried the Knicks when Stat went down in the playoffs. Last year’s sweep to the Celtics was a reality check for the Knicks and most importantly for the fans.  We saw that Jared Jefferies is not a viable offensive option since he single handly lost Game 2, even with Melo dropping 41.  The other major hole is the fact the knicks do not have a strong center on the roster.  Billups’ age also proved to take center stage during the playoffs last year.

The Knicks have to find answers fast before the window of opportunitycloses on their two superstars.  The Knicks lost many valuable trade assets when dealing for Melo.  All most every Knicks fan has heard the rumors at Melo’s wedding about how Amare, Melo, and Chris Paul were going to create their own “big three.”  But how can the Knicks trade for CP3?  It is almost impossible to put a trade together.  The only realistic trade that would work would be trading Landry Fields, rookie Iman Shumpart, and Chauncey Billups and a first rounder.  Unfortunately, this gives the Knicks even less options to build.  This would mean they would trade their two prospects and an aging Billups.  Since the Knicks have already traded most of its first rounders for next year, they can’t rely on three players to win a championship.  It’s almost impossible.  The Heat showed us last year that without depth and consistency, three players can’t beat a whole team.  The NBA is a league that over-hypes its superstars so much that fans and followers forget that a team effort is a necessity in basketball. Superstars help win regular season games but teamwork wins hardware.  Did the 1980’s miracle team have a superstar? No.  Did the 1969 Jets have a superstar? No.  Joe Namath is one of the greatest new york sports legends but was a mediocre quarterback for his career.  It is the passion of a team that drives them to win.

The question that has to be answered is will the Knicks sell out and try to bolster an all-star squad, or do they find the right players to build a team.  In the next few weeks we will witness what road the Knicks decide on but until then, all we can do is speculate.  Jim Dolan is known for being an awful owner and right now the Knicks franchise is at a fork in the road.  They have their first opportunity in a decade to build a winning team or go the other way and build an all-star squad.  One thing for certain is that in coming days we will hear many rumors about the Knicks and one might be STAT and others for Dwight Howard.  I personally think that STAT is the heart and emotion of the team and if you trade him, how can a fan follow the franchise?

With the emergence of the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks reign over the city is in jeopardy.  If the Knicks hand out one-year contracts or decide to make a trade, we can imagine that they are going to go down the all-star road.  If they decide to build a team, than they have a shot with destiny.  All of these factors will play a role in which decisions the Knicks make. The bottom line is that this franchise is at a make or break situation.  I just hope the Knicks can be strong and have a few good seasons.

With the Rangers on the upside and the Knicks knocking on the same door, is it too crazy to think of another spring of 94?  The opportunity is there, its just a question if the Knicks have their priorities in order.

Jersey Sports Fan – Thanksgiving Break

Posted in Jets, Mets, Rangers on November 30, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Total Humiliation in New Orleans

Posted in Giants on November 29, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Did Perry Fewell and the Giants coaching staff even prepare for this game? Did they watch any film on Drew Brees? The defense couldn’t do anything right. The Saints rushed for 202 yards and passed for 372 . Coming into the Monday Night showdown, the key to the Giants stopping the high-powered Saints offense was to put pressure on Brees. Not only did they not get to the quarterback, they had no sacks or TFLs. The result: 577 yards of total offense for New Orleans. How could this happen in such an important game?

Here’s a scouting report for the rest of the teams playing the Giants this season: if you want to gain yards on offense, just run a no-huddle. How many times was the defense in complete disarray while Brees was running up to the LOS to hike the ball? There was one play where the Giants only had ten men on the field! I even think Kiwanuka lined up as a safety on one play. Hasn’t this been a problem since the St. Louis game in Week 2 when Deon Grant had to fake an injury to stop the Rams’ offense? Where’s the adjustment? Lack of preparation + lack of execution = complete failure.

Drew Brees was Unstoppable

I’m sick and tired of hearing people say, “The Giants are too injured…the defense is depleted.” Fuck that! It’s Week 12 – every team has injuries. Just look at the Cowboys. They lost their top runningback (Felix Jones) and wide receiver (Miles Austin). How do they respond? DeMarco Murray and Laurent Robinson step up big time. The Giants lost Michael Boley and Terrell Thomas. Who’s stepped up? No one. Successful teams in the NFL are the ones who have depth. In order to have depth, backups must take advantage of their opportunities.  This hasn’t happened for the Giants. This team is soft and scared. Once the Saints went up by two touchdowns, the defense quit. You could see in their body language. Pathetic. I would love to talk about the much the offense improved, but who cares? The defense sucked too much for it to even matter.

If the Giants have another second half collapse, I find it hard to believe Tom Coughlin will return next season. Even though he won the Super Bowl four years ago, it’s hard for a coach to stay after missing the playoffs three years in a row. Coughlin was completely outcoached by Sean Payton tonight and this has been too familiar for Giants fans, and I’m sure for the Mara family as well. In a span of three weeks, the Giants went from being on top of the NFC East to out of the playoff picture. And it’s not looking too bright as the Giants will play host to the undefeated Green Bay Packers next week.

That Sucked

Posted in Giants on November 21, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Stay Classy Desean

Another underachieving performance by the Giants. Last night, the Giants had a chance to put an end to the Eagles season and remain ahead of the Cowboys for the division lead. But with the loss, they fall into second place in division while only leading Philadelphia by two games.

The Giants actually played some good defense last night. With the exception of not being able to stop the Eagles on SIX third down conversions on Philly’s final scoring drive, the defense looked strong. The secondary had three picks against the struggling Vince Young, while the defensive line contained LeSean McCoy. I blame this loss fully on the offensive line. That was one of the worst performances I’ve seen by an O-Line for as long as I can remember. It was their fault the Giants couldn’t run the ball. It was their fault Eli didn’t have time in the pocket to make better passes. Finally, it was their fault Eli fumbled the football on the Giants’ final drive. Cullen Jenkins and Justin Babin abused this line all game. Completely unacceptable, especially if the Giants want to compete against the Saints and the Packers in the next two weeks.

Like I said last week, I hate bashing Kevin Gilbride. But this is the second week in a row where he had horseshit play-calling. When the run isn’t working, don’t run the fucking football. When the offensive line is sucking, don’t call draw plays for the incompetent Brandon Jacobs. Plus, why isn’t Da’Rel Scott getting the ball more? He had two rushes, for 11 yards. To put that in perspective, Jacobs had 12 rushes for 21 yards. Why not create some screen plays for Scott or something? Maybe that work instead of trying to run the ball on first down every single time. Things have to change before next Monday night in New Orleans.

It always sucks losing the Eagles. Given they are such a disgusting organization, I hate losing to them. I mean, seriously, is this team so classless that they try to injure opposing quarterbacks after the whistle? Is this team so disrespectful that they have wide receivers mock opposing coaches right in front of their faces? There is a reason why this franchise doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring. Guys of this kind of douchebag-caliber don’t win and never will. Like I’ve said before, I guess 50 years of losing brings out a lot of anger.

College Football Week 12: National Title Picture becoming clearer

Posted in College Football on November 17, 2011 by sammywestside

Oklahoma State could do the BCS a favor and beat Oklahoma, or else all hell might break loose

This week I’m going to go over how each team still alive in the National Title picture can get a shot at the crystal ball in January.

LSU- The path is clear for the Tigers, they win out and they are in. One wrinkle that could come about is if they lose to Arkansas. That would most likely eliminate them from the SEC Championship and that wouldn’t fare well for the Tigers hopes of backing into the NC Game. They would hope to see Oklahoma beat OK State, and Oregon lose to USC this Saturday. (My thoughts: Pretty Damn Likely)

Oklahoma State- For them I think it is even clearer, win you are in, lose to Oklahoma you are out. I just don’t see how they could overcome a loss to Oklahoma at home. (My Thoughts: I’m pretty torn over the Oklahoma game, so 50/50 at worst)

Oregon- The Ducks obviously have to win out, and hope Oklahoma beat Ok State, but also they might need Alabama to lose. They currently trail them by a significant margin for the #3 spot in the BCS, and would need both the human polls to rank them ahead of Bama to move ahead as the computers might not do it. (My thoughts: They certainly have an argument, and might just get in with OK State losing)

Alabama- If Alabama wins the last two that might be enough coupled with an OK State loss. The question is do the human pollsters really want to see a rematch? It’s possible that Alabama and Oregon get passed up just to avoid such a situation. What is even crazier is, what happens if LSU loses the National Championship to that team? Alabama and Oregon would both have legitimate arguments for having the title as well as they were passed up to avoid a rematch. (My thoughts: OK State loses and Bama is right there, they just need Oregon to struggle a bit, and convince people they are better than the 4 missed FG’s)

Oklahoma- The Sooners can beat OK State in three weeks but it may take more. The loss to Texas Tech looks worse with every week and the Sooners going to need people to jump on board with the idea of no rematch. Otherwise they will want Oregon to lose to USC, and Alabama lose to Auburn. (My thoughts: They are alive, but Texas Tech is killing them, in the end its hard to give them enough credit even with an impressive victory over Ok State)

Clemson- The Tigers are a very long shot at this point, but its actually not that complicated. A loss for Oregon to USC, and Oklahoma to Baylor this weekend would be step 1. Then an Alabama loss to Auburn, and Oklahoma beating OK State would actually get it done. Unfortunately the chance of that happening is like 1 in a million, so we won’t talk about this unless somehow Oregon and Oklahoma lose this weekend. The Tigers are certainly kicking themselves over those turnovers against Georgia Tech a few weeks ago, or they would be right there at #3 today. (Tigers fans should be thrilled about the future, just next year’s team, which should be ranked very high preseason with a favorable schedule)

Arkansas- The Hogs need to win out, and have Alabama lose to Auburn. That would put them in the SEC Championship, and a loss for OK State to OU would add some help as well. No guarantee still but it might be enough as the SEC Champ. Problem is the Hogs have to go to LSU and win. Tough task, but I’ve seen more impossible things. (The Hogs have won a lot of games, but I’m not sure they are good enough to beat LSU, let alone have the domino’s fall in place)

Virginia Tech- The Hokies need to go and beat Clemson in a rematch in the ACC Championship, and then hope for just about everyone to lose as well, like I outlined in the Clemson section. The Hokies have had an impressive season, but they haven’t played a National Championship schedule by any means. They are the lowest ranked one-loss team for a reason. (The Hokies should have played someone out of conference, and beat Clemson at home, cause that’s enough to almost mathematically eliminate them)

Stanford- I guess the Cardinal still have a fighting hope, but they need almost everyone to lose. The loss to Oregon was ugly, and many are surprised they are still as high as they are. (My thoughts: Andrew Luck has another year of eligibility, but he ain’t taking it, so Stanford might be slipping back into reality next year)

My Rankings:

1. LSU

2. Alabama

3. Oklahoma State

4. Oklahoma

5. Oregon

6. Clemson

7. Arkansas

8. Virginia Tech

9. Stanford

10. Nebraska

11. Wisconsin

12. Florida State

13. Boise State

14. Houston

15. South Carolina

16. Kansas State

17. Michigan State

18. Georgia 

19. Georgia Tech

20. USC

21. Notre Dame

22. Texas

23. Penn State

24. Arizona State

25. TCU

Predictions:

Virginia Tech 27, UNC 17

Oklahoma State 42, Iowa State 21

Rutgers 24, Cincinnati 21

Wisconsin 35, Illinois 21

Nebraska 24, Michigan 21

Miami FL 24, USF 17

Ohio State 17, Penn State 14

Clemson 31, NC State 24

Notre Dame 28, Boston College 14

Florida State 28, Virginia 13

Boise State 34, San Diego State 17

Kansas State 31, Texas 28

Oklahoma 49, Baylor 24

Oregon 48, USC 31 

Tough Loss

Posted in Giants on November 15, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Usually when the Giants lose, I’m pissed all week. But after their game in San Francisco on Sunday, I’m not disappointed in this team at all. This wasn’t a typical Giants loss where they would beat themselves. The 49ers simply outplayed them and deserved to win that game. The Giants made some crucial mistakes, but overall they had a strong performance against one of the toughest teams in the league. Plus it’s always tough to win on the west coast, no matter what team you’re playing. Was I upset about this defeat? Of course, but I didn’t lose any sleep because of it.

Even though Eli didn’t lead yet another fourth quarter comeback, he still had a strong performace. His interception late in the game wasn’t his fault (why did Manningham stop running?). Also if Manningham caught the ball in the endzone on the final drive, we would’ve been headed for overtime. With the exception of a few bonehead plays, the defense was exceptionally strong. When Michael Boley went down, the game changed. Since Boley has anchored this defense all season, losing him hurt big time. I love our rookie 6th rounder Greg Jones, but he’s not ready to start (the Vernon Davis and Kendall Hunter touchdowns were technically his fault). I never like to question offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride but I believe he ruined the Giants’ final drive. On 3rd and 2 inside the red zone, Gilbride called for a draw play to D.J Ware. This play didn’t work on the Niners all day, so why would you call this in the most crucial part of the game? Especially when you have the most clutch quarterback in the game? Can’t do anything about it now. Have to look forward to next week as the Giants take on Philly on Sunday Night at Giants Stadium. The Eagles may look like they’re out of it, but crazy things happen when two division rivals meet. The Giants must come prepared, or Philly will beat them once again at home.

Rangers vs Hurricanes

Posted in Rangers on November 11, 2011 by mwerblin

VS. 

When: 7 pm on MSG

Where: Madison Square Garden

Thoughts: Tonight the Rangers will be battling the Carolina Hurricanes.  This is the first time the Rangers are facing the Hurricanes since Eric Staal concussed his brother and New York Ranger Marc Staal.  Marc has not played this season and has been nursing post concussion syndrome for the last few months.  A side note to this game is that since the injury Eric leads the NHL in a minus rating this season.  Look for the Rangers to lay a few hits on Eric.  This game has the chance to be very physical.  The rangers denied the Hurricanes a playoff berth last year.

The GAS line: Since the emergence of Anisomov-Stepan-Gaborik have collaborated on line one the Rangers offense has exploded.  All three players have collected points in the teams last few games and look to continue that tonight.  Anisomov has 6 assists in the last three games played.

Gameplan: The rangers are coming into form.  They have won five straight and are looking to make it six tonight.  The only problem is the Rangers have many off days between games right now.  The team has to make sure to play the way that brings them the most success.  Forecheck and strong defense.  These two aspects of the Rangers style opens up the offense for them later in the game.  With a win tonight the Rangers can join Pittsburgh on top of the Atlantic division.  Lundqvist is getting the start and he desperatly has to improve on his 4-3-3 record.  He has been playing well but the consistency needs to come before december starts.  The biggest concern I have is that in the last game the Rangers had a few days off and started playing Ottawa very flat.  They did not hit their stride until the second period.  The rangers only had 4 shots in the game until halfway through the second.  This can not become a regular routine or the Rangers will start losing.  Luckily, the Rangers are playing at Home tonight and the Garden faithful this year has sparked this teams play.

Prediction: This is going to be a close one.  As much as i would like the Rangers to win I think they’ll end up losing this one 3-2 .  If Gaborik has a strong game and Lundqvist is solid in net the Rangers can pull out the win.