by Yankee Todd
News and Notes from around the world of Sports
Coach’s Corner 6
February 2, 2012
NBA News and Notes
Trailing at the half and playing terrible against the Mavericks, Coach Pop and the Spurs went to a back-up group with three minutes to go in the third quarter. Danny Green, James Anderson, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, and Matt Bonner played the last few minutes of the third quarter, all of the fourth and over time with only rookie Kawhi Leonard spelling that group. The reserves roared back and forced overtime. A jump shot by Danny Green could have won the game but after review by the officials, it was determined that it should not count. The Spurs lost in overtime but the reserve unit continues to give me hope that the Spurs can do some damage in the playoffs. Coach Pop continues to prove why he is one of the best coaches in the NBA. The Spurs also do an excellent job in evaluating talent. Starting center DeJuan Blair was a second round pick. Both Danny Green and Gary Neal were unheralded free agents. Both Coach Schott and Big E need to take another look at Danny Green. Green has developed into a solid back up off the bench. He is an aggressive defender and an excellent shooter from three-point range. With all that said, I would have went with a combination of my starters and reserves in overtime.
Some interesting Spurs facts . . .
They are 10-1 at home only allowing 89.5 points per game. They are now 3-7 on the road allowing 104.4 points per game.
My son and I have excellent tickets to see the Spurs play the Hornets on Thursday and the Knicks on March 7th.
The Orlando Magic can thank the New York Knicks for showing them the blue print on how to fall apart. The Magic currently can’t score, can’t defend, and the team appears to be allowing the Dwight Howard trade situation to destroy a fine team.
A team that at the beginning of the year had aspirations to compete for an Eastern conference championship, now might fall lower than the Knicks. The Magic need to move Dwight Howard and start over before this year is a complete disaster and they lose Howard on top of it.
Speaking of imploding . . . . .
The Knicks continue to implode in front of our eyes. The clock is ticking on Mike D’Antoni. Is it all his fault? Absolutely not. But someone has to pay for the crash and burn. Can the Zen Master turn this around? Phil Jackson, a former player and champion as a Knick, could be the answer to their problems. Will the Knicks make that move this year or next? I fully believe that Jackson will be back next year and on the bench for the Knicks.
Internet rumors have linked the 76ers to looking into the possibility of a trade for A’mare Stoudemire.
Is it time to blow this team up? NO. This team has the talent to pull it together and make a run. Baron Davis will stabilize the point guard position. His role will not be scoring but keeping the ball moving. The Knicks offense is like a black hole. Once it goes to certain players, it never comes back. Davis will be expected to distribute the ball. Hopefully, we will see A’mare return to the low post and dominate like he did last year. I have never lost faith in Melo on the court. He is a scorer and a prime time player. Right now he is in a drought shooting the ball. All coaches tell their scores to keep shooting. Melo is a scorer and he will return to his role as one of the best players in the NBA. If Davis’ back fails to hold up, then this season is over for the Knicks. We could probably pick our basketball up and go home.
Melo is taking a ton of criticism for not playing against the Heat. Melo is a competitor. Would Kobe or MJ have played against the Heat and then sat out against the Rockets? Probably so. Melo should never be questioned for his heart. Maybe in this case, we had . . . some bad timing.
Another reason the Knicks are not successful is their bench is flat-out awful. It is terrible. Tony Douglas, Iman Shumpert, and Landry Fields should be guys coming off the bench to spell starters. They are starters for the Knicks. Instead, Billy Walker and a cast of others who are lucky to have NBA paychecks are coming off the bench. You can’t blame this one on Melo.
For one night, the Knicks righted the ship. Melo looked like the super star that he can be. He shot well from the floor, distributed the ball and the allowed Landry Fields to excel.
Tyson Chandler has continued his fine play.
With that said . . . they beat the Pistons. The Pistons are 4-19 and have a worst team than the Knicks. Man, the Pistons used to be a good team. Remember the “Bad Boys” of Joe Dumars, Isaiah Thomas, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie “the Microwave” Johnson, and Bill Laimbeer? My buddy Derrick Paul (no relation to Chris Paul) used to give me a hard time about liking the Pistons at that time because they beat all his teams! Ha!!
I should have quit watching them after Isaiah Thomas walked off the court and refused to shake Michael Jordan’s hand after they unseeded him in 1991. What I thought was awesome then, should have keyed me into the lack of class that Thomas had. Instead, I was excited when he got involved with the Knicks. Wow, was I wrong. Stevie Wonder could have done a better job of leading the Knicks than Thomas.
How many days did the Grist Mill gang – Coach Schott, the Daddy, Shark Mark, Syracuse Chris and myself – play basketball and think we were the Pistons? The good old days!!!
The sight of him sitting court side when the Knicks played the Heat made my stomach turn. When I see his name linked to anything besides lists of terrible GM’s or Coaches, I want to puke.
I enjoyed the Heat and Bulls game last Sunday. The preview of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals was excellent. LeBron James and Derrick Rose went at it like two prize fighters in a heavy weight contest. I can see these two playing in an epic seven game war in a few months. Lebron’s dunk over John Lucas Jr. – holy cow!!
The only thing more impressive than the dunk by Blake Griffin was the fact that the Clippers defeated the Thunder. In a wide open NBA season, the Clippers continue to prove that they can play with the best.
Super Bowl News and Notes
Giants front four being able to put pressure on Brady and allowing the Giant defense to keep everything in front of them. Their game plan will be to survive to play another day.
Mario Manningham will have a big game.
The Giants key to victory —
The Giants offensive weapons against the New England Patriots defense.
Eli needs to keep the pressure on the Patriots defense. The Patriots defense was TERRRRRRIBLE. (My best Charles Barkley). I could see Eli and the Giants going no huddle at times and looking to really dissect that defense.
The Patriots only defeated one team with a winning record (AFC Championship game against the Ravens)
They lost to the Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Steelers.
I think the Giants offense will be able to score against their defense as needed. Eli will have a field day and I already picked Mario Manningham as the Giant receiver apt to make the biggest difference.
The Rob Gronkowski injury is going to play a factor in the game. He is a key cog in their offensive game plan. He is a difference maker. Taking him out of the equation and it helps the Giants defense immensely. Don’t think the Giants defense won’t test Gronkowski and really get physical with him at the line of scrimmage to test that ankle if he plays.
I see a high scoring game.
#3 A big play by the Giants defense on Tom Brady
In the last Super Bowl, the Giants knocked around Tom Terrific. For the Giants to win, they will need to get to Brady often. A key will be not necessarily sacking Brady, but putting pressure on him. Knocking him down or making him hurry a pass will lead the Giants defense making a big play.
Jason Pierre-Paul believes that the phantom pressure got to Brady in week #9.
If the Giants can get Brady worrying about the pressure . . . .hearing the footsteps… wondering where Jason Pierre-Paul is, then Tom Brady’s effectiveness will be taken down a notch. He will still have a big game but I wouldn’t want the Giants pass rush coming after me.
I can see an interception at a key point or a fumble recovery that turns the tide of the game.
Can’t wait for Opening Day . . . . .
Pat “The Bat” Burrell recently announced his retirement. One of the most feared college baseball players ever, Burrell won two World Series rings. The former number one pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, Burrell had a solid major league career. After further review, his line in World Series games is terrible. One hit and a ton of strike outs. But, at the end of the day . . . two rings.
The Mets have to be happy that Burrell is retiring. In 2007, he hit four home runs in a four game sweep of the Mets. He has hit 42 home runs against the Mets . I love those stats.
Peyton Manning updates . . . The Jets are still not an option to land Manning. No way Peyton takes his considerable talents to play for the Jets.
Could he take his talents Miami? Miami makes sense. A good defense, excellent climate, and playing in the AFC East – doesn’t scare many people with the defenses he will face.
Washington Redskins – They appear a logical choice. Their ownership has demonstrated a willingness to spend money and the Redskins did beat the Giants twice this year.
You would have never thought that Peyton would wear any other jersey, but now it appears that the Manning #18 jerseys will be on sale soon.
My prediction is not really a prediction ….a wild card – someone who we are not talking about – will land Manning.
Good to see Fab Melo is reinstated by Syracuse. Syracuse Chris, working for details, gave me an excellent possibility of why Melo was academically ineligible. English is Melo’s third language that he speaks.
Syracuse has been destroyed on the glass in Big East play. They need to fix this if they want to make a long run in the tourney.
Future items yankeetodd is working on –
Inspired by Big E, I am writing an article on the greatest athletes that are behind bars.
Inspired by my son Andrew, I am writing an article about the relationship a father and son have with sports.
Follow me on twitter @yankeetodd1