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Coaches Corner – 4/18/12

18 Apr

By Yankee Todd

For about 44 minutes, Carmelo Anthony was the best player on the court against the Miami Heat. Yes, I said it. He was the best player on the court. Even though the Knicks lost, I still think he is as good, if not better right now than D Wade or Lebron.

Playing in what could be a playoff matchup, the Knicks battled the Heat to the very end. The Knicks home winning streak was snapped and the Heat’s Big Three played good enough to win.

The game was like a roller coaster.

Melo brought the Knicks back with his jump shot and quick first step and drives to the hoop.

Landry Fields tossed up brick after brick and got hurt on the defensive end.

Baron Davis thought he was back at UCLA but his body was in Manhattan.

Both Fields and Davis took bad shots offensively instead of getting the ball to the best player on the court.

I sent @Stephenasmith a tweet that Melo was the best player on the floor during the game.

His response was classic Stephen A – “Hell No.”

(Well, I am going to say that the only player better than Melo is Steve Novak)

I was a 7th grade basketball coach. Some games we were good and some games I trailed 28-0 to at the end of a quarter.

But the one thing I would do as a coach is not leave Steve Novak open.

If you do, you might as well hustle down the court and try to get ready to score. Mr. Novak is the Jason Bourne of the NBA.

According to @davechazzer “I’m convinced that Novak needs his own shoe. Preferably LA Gear catapults. My man needs another inch on that sweet jumper.”

There has been lots of talk on NY Sports radio if Coach Mike Woodson had done enough to get the job for next year.

Unless Phil Jackson wants the job, for me, Mike Woodson has done enough to get another shot next year.

Unless . . . .

He allows Landry Fields and Baron Davis to take shots away from Melo.

During the Friday night blowout of the Washington Wizards, I tweeted the Wizard’s beat writer Mr. Michael Lee. While I reached out to him and said I was sorry he had to cover such a sorry franchise I was able to pick his brain regarding the Knicks.

@MrMichaelLee believes the Knicks can compete against the Bulls and Heat in the playoffs but won’t win either series.

Lots have been made about the return of Amare Stoudemire and how it will affect the play of Melo. Can they get along? ESPN radio host and Sports writer, Ian O’Connor believes Amare should come off the bench upon his return.

I asked @Mr.MichaelLee what he thought about the two superstars getting along together.

He said that it hasn’t happened yet and he didn’t know if it ever will. The beat writer went on to say that they were bad pairing from the start.

My last question to Mr. Lee was if he felt Mike Woodson had done enough to get the job next season.

He felt the only way he wouldn’t have the job was if a bigger name wanted it.

I suggest you follow @Mr.MichaelLee. He’s a good guy and took time to speak with me about our Knicks.

I have to admit I was really wrong with my comments about Iman Shumpert from earlier in the season.

Shumpert is a beast on the defensive side of the game. One day, Shumpert will win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

I always thought that a New York City kid played the game with a swag and attitude that separated NYC kids from others.

Somehow, Tyson Chandler plays like a kid from NYC.

The Knicks continued their fine play against the Celtics. Their play actually makes you think that they can do some damage in the playoffs.

And if JR Smith and Steve Novak are left open to shoot from three point land and Melo is playing like the McDonald’s All American he was, the Knicks are dangerous.

Over the last 8-10 games, Carmelo is consistently knocking down his jump shot but also driving to the hoop with an unbelievable first step.

Melo had a triple double in the victory over the Celtics and Tyson Chandler continued to play like a beast.

A lot has been made about the return of Amare Stoudemire. Should he come off the bench like @Ian Oconnor believes? Or with a back injury is the best thing for Amare to play so his back doesn’t tighten up like @stephenasmith believes?

Watching the Heat game, the Knicks got killed on the boards. Amare will contend and battle for rebounds along with Tyson Chandler.

Are they a better team with him on the floor?

Of course they are.

Is this Melo’s team and will Amare will have to find how he fits into the new and improved Knicks? Of course.

If the Knicks think they have a chance against the Bulls or Heat, they need a healthy Amare.

I asked @LoHudKnicks the same question I asked @stephenasmith. Was anyone playing better currently than Carmelo Anthony?

@LoHudKnicks felt the only player playing better in the NBA at this time was Lebron James.

Through his first two starts, Ivan Nova is the Yankees best pitcher. Even though he did not feel well, he battled through and gutted out a victory against the playoff-bound Angels.

Derek Jeter continues to turn back the clock with his outstanding play early in the season. For all the haters that said that the Yanks made a mistake in signing him to a three year deal last year, how do you like Mr. Jeter now?

Entering play against the Twins, Jeter was hitting .366.

I love looking at the three ESPN broadcasters that called the Yankee and Twins game Monday evening. Aaron Boone, Rick Sutcliff, and Sean McDonough.

I have never been mistaken for a good looking man but the three that called the game, while talented in their field, remind of three guys you might have seen in the club trying to pick up women.

Michael Pineda looked good in a bullpen session on Monday. It is optimistic that he could pitch this weekend. After two terrible performances by Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia, Pineda could solidify the rotation.

While Hughes’ velocity was up in the mid 90’s in his loss to the Angels, Garcia gave up a quick lead to the Twins and then couldn’t hold the lead the Yankees gave right back to them.

CC Sabiatha battled and gave the Yankees a true number one pitcher’s performance. Yankee Land, I think we can rest assured that CC is back.

Let’s retire #19 in honor of Chris Stewart and his performance against the Twins.

Good thing baseball isn’t a sprint; it is longer than a marathon . . . . because the Yankees need to hammer out some kinks.

Speaking of running races . . . . my buddies One Office Down, “Rubio” and Michelle teamed up to run in an 8k Muddy Mayhem race this past weekend. Through mud pits and over hay bales, through more mud and jumping over fire, we raced through the cow pastures (careful not to step in cow patties) and had an excellent time.

After the race, they had 15 kegs of Dos XX, almost enough to make Coach Woods come out to participate.

Now back to baseball.

I absolutely love the fact that Bobby Valentine questioned Kevin Youkilis commitment to the team.

Curt Schilling, who hates Bobby Valentine, came out and ripped Bobby V in a radio interview.

The Red Sox are a very good team. As they proved last year, their worst enemy is themselves. If they implode this year, they can blame Blobby V.

Raise your hand Red Sox Nation if you want to bring Francona back? I never liked the Sox, never will, but I always had respected Tito. He was a class act as a manager and the Sox made a mistake moving to the Jerry Springer-type approach to managing with Bobby V.

Down on the farm –

Andy Pettitte will make his next scheduled start on Friday in Single A ball. Pettitte thinks he will need three more starts after to be ready. That should put him back in the Bronx in mid-May. Mr. Hughes needs to step up his game or he will be replaced by Andy Pettitte.

So far… my early picks in the AL West seem to be correct. The Rangers have the best record in the American League.

The Giants made a trade for former first round draft pick and Bengals linebacker, Keith Rivers. Rivers was acquired for a 5th round draft pick. The low risk and high reward trade could be a steal for the Giants. The only question about Rivers is his health. He missed all of the 2011 season. If healthy, he can help solidify an area of their defense that had holes last year.

And oh yeah, everyone is a little better if they have guys like JPP and Osi playing in front of them. Mark my words, this is going to be a great addition for the Giants.

I had a bet that Dwayne Wade, who was fresh off his win over the Knicks and went to the Yankees game, didn’t recognize Tim Tebow who was sitting in front of him.

Tebow, wearing a Yankee hat, was booed by the fans when his picture was shown on the jumbotron. Hey, Tim …. This is Eli’s town. Don’t forget it.

Hats off to former San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson.

While at a recent South Texas High School all-star game, at which my man Tim Woods had the honor of being the head coach, Robinson took time and signed an autograph for my son and his friend. The Admiral also snapped a picture and gave the boys attention that made them feel like a million dollars.

This is the second time the greatest Spur has taken the time with me or my family. While grocery shopping, he took time to snap a picture with my family.

In a day and age with entourages and body guards, David Robinson is in a league all his own as far as class and dignity.

He truly is a role model for young people to look up to.

I read an interesting blog by Katie Hairopoulos about former University of Texas QB Garrett Gilbert who lost his job as the starting QB.

Gilbert, who guided his high school team to three straight state championships, would have to sit out a year if he were to transfer to another Division 1 school.

He was set to go to SMU in Dallas and play for June Jones in his run and shoot.

But according to Hairopoulos, Gilbert is taking 27 hours this semester in order to graduate in May from Texas. By doing this, he will be eligible to play immediately at SMU.

If you are looking for the next Case Keenum – Gilbert has all the tools to be one of the best quarterbacks in the county. Couple that with June Jones’ pass happy offense and SMU could be a top 25 team next year.

I love the Celebrity Apprentice.

When Lou Ferrigno told Lisa Lampanelli that if she wasn’t a woman he would throw her through a wall – I was hooked.

Follow me on twitter at yankeetodd1 (please)

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