by Yankee Todd
Coach’s Corner 7
Tony Parker dropped 42 points on the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night. As you faithful readers know, I think Tony Parker is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Is that because he plays in a small market in South Texas? That could be the case. What if Tony Parker played in New York City or Chicago? Would his name be in the discussion with Chris Paul and Derrick Rose for the best point guards in the league? Tony Parker deserves to be an all-star. There are times in games where Tony Parker is un-guardable. . . . Speaking of great point guard play, Jeremy Lin, for one night, was better than Deron Williams. Lin, who signed as a free agent in December after being waived by Golden State, provided a spark that the Knicks have not had all year. Mike Bibby was signed and couldn’t do it. He can be waived at any time now. Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert are not point guards. With all the talk about Baron Davis being the answer, give credit to Mike D’Antoni for pushing the right button. Jeremy Lin might have parlayed his career night into a starting job for the New York Knicks. The more I watch Tyson Chandler play, the more I love his game. He dunks the ball with authority, plays good defense, rebounds the ball well, and his emotion is something the team needs. He is developing into a true leader.
Lighting in a bottle – Jeremy Lin Update
Every once and a while, an opportunity is seized by a player and it works. In two games, Jeremy Lin has seized that opportunity and electrified the Garden crowd.
Without A’mare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and with Tyson Chandler in foul trouble, the Knicks defeated the Utah Jazz. Jeremy Lin led the team with 28 points and brought the crowd to their feet, including numerous New York Giants that were in attendance.
My buddy Columbus Chris Chase sent me atext me during the Knicks game. He let me know that his brother was looking for a Jeremy Lin jersey to add to his Ryan Fitzpatrick jersey. He called those jerseys his “smart people gear.”
Columbus Chris also loves Steve Novak. Once he gets in a rhythm, Novak is lights out. The former Spurs cast off played his own personal game of HORSE against Utah on Monday night. If he keeps playing like that, we will all love him.
Who would have thought that the answer to turning the Knicks season around would have been a guy from Harvard?
Who is the biggest fan of Jeremy Lin? Tyson Chandler and A’mare Stoudemire will fight it out for that honor. They both will benefit greatly from Lin running the pick and roll.
Kevin Durant could possibly go down as one of the best scorers to ever play in the NBA. At 23 years old and 6’11, Durant is un-guardable. The former University of Texas Longhorn will win an NBA championship and many MVP awards before his career ends. If I were a general manager and had to start a team, it would be very difficult not to select Durant.
Tiago Splitter. Remember the name. He is quietly becoming an excellent basketball player. The 7 footer from Brazil has been gaining more and more confidence on the court. Splitter is a key reason that the Spurs have the best home record in basketball at 13-1.
The Daddy, aka Big Game Philip James, is a huge Buffalo Bills fan. I recently picked his brain for what the Bills need to do to become a contender again. Last season, before the injury to Fred Jackson, the Bills actually defeated the Patriots and had a 21-0 lead over them late in the year before being pummeled 49-21 by the Patriots.
Big Game Philip James, who once hosted a sports call in show called Philly on Sports, believes that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the real deal at QB. They Daddy likes Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller as a one-two punch in the backfield. Stevie Johnson is an adequate deep threat and tight end David Nelson is reliable. Big Game would like to see the Bills add depth on offense and defense. He was extremely disappointed with the defensive side of the ball. He hopes to target free agents and work through the draft to develop a defense that can keep the Bills in the AFC East race next year. The Daddy is concerned that if the Bills were ever to leave Western New York, the impact economically would destroy Buffalo. Next year, the Daddy feels the Bills will make the playoffs.
It’s estimated that 1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed on Super Bowl Sunday. With all that said, why the hell isn’t the Super Bowl played on Saturday? If we could measure the productivity of individuals at work on the Monday after the Super Bowl, it would have to be terrible. Why can’t we move the biggest game of the year to Saturday? In a year of political primaries and campaigns, my man C Rob promised that if he ran for President his platform would be that the Super Bowl would be moved to Saturday. C Rob, you have my vote.
How does Bill Parcells not make the Hall of Fame? If you asked me to start a team from scratch and I could hire any coach – I would hire Bill Parcells. He won two Super Bowl rings, his players respect him, and he does an incredible job of evaluating talent. He deserves to be in Canton.
Thoughts after the Super Bowl
Jason Pierre Paul will win the defensive player of the year award next year. At age 23, Pierre-Paul could be the most physically gifted defensive line man ever to play the game.
Justin Tuck made his presence known in the Super Bowl. My son and I were bowing with him as he made a huge sack on Brady in the fourth quarter.
My bet is Osi Umenyiora does not leave New York. That doesn’t mean he necessarily will be a Giant next year. Rex Ryan would love to have his experience and speed playing for him next year.
Mario Manningham is the free agent at the end of the year. My bet is he comes back. With Eli Manning and the offense clicking, unless Manningham gets a big contract offer by another team, he would be foolish to leave that offense. He will be able to put up big numbers behind Cruz and Nicks. Manningham is not a number one receiver. His catch will go down in New York sports history but Manningham needs to realize what he has in New York.
It broke my heart to see Jake Ballard try to run on the sideline and then collapsed in pain. As I talk to my son Andrew about playing through injuries, you could tell that Ballard was attempting play through a torn ACL. Early indications are that Ballard will miss about 8 months while rehabbing the injury.
Travis Beckum, who had become a reliable target for Manning in the playoffs, also suffered a knee injury earlier in the game. That injury could prevent him from playing next season.
Expect GM Jerry Reese to look for another late round tight end or a free agent to fill the need.
Chase Blackburn . . . . an interception in the Super Bowl helps complete a roller coaster of a year for the Giants linebacker. From not having a job and substitute teaching to helping secure a championship ring, his story is amazing.
My thoughts and prayers are with A’mare Stoudemire and his family in this time of sadness.
Follow me on Twitter – @YankeeTodd1