I’m More Of A Rhombus Guy Myself, Phil

phil

Well, the New York Knicks lost again on Tuesday. The Knicks lost?? But I thought their season was over?? Oh, they might not be playing games anymore, but that hasn’t kept them from being losers. I bet you didn’t realize Squints from The Sandlot was actually talking about the Knicks….

l7

 

But seriously, the Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves finished tied this season with a record of 31-51 (stellar I know). And two days ago, the Knicks lost a ping pong ball tiebreaker (those are 4 words I didn’t think I was going to say today), leaving them 7th in the draft order, 1 spot behind the Timberwolves. This is assuming neither team lands a top 3 pick when they select the draft lottery on May 16th. But Dave, it’s only 1 spot, why are you making a big deal about it? First, 1 spot can mean the difference between Stephen Curry and Jordan Hill. Second, it represents the Knicks’ culture. The Knicks are, for lack of a better term, ‘stuck in the mud’.

This losing culture starts and ends with Knicks’ Owner, James Dolan. Little Jimmy Dolan, as I like to call him, inherited the Knicks from his daddy, Charles Dolan. And despite biting the hand that feeds him, Little Jimmy is still The Chairman of Madison Square Garden Company. This means he is only in charge of the things he couldn’t screw up if he tried (financially speaking that is). However, he has screwed up the Knicks’ franchise, mightily.

Dolan hired Phil Jackson to be President of the Knicks 3 years ago. Let me start by saying, I don’t care who you are or what you say, no one in the world thought this was a bad hire. But after 3 looooooooong years, there is only 1 header that can rest atop Phil Jacksons’ performance review; DUMPSTER FIRE!! Phil Jackson is regarded as one of the best coaches in NBA history, but unless he plans to scale down the 8,490 foot ladder from his golden pedestal to start coaching again, it’s time for him to pack his bags. Only problem there is, James Dolan refuses to fire him. Dolan, aka Einstein, has repeatedly stated he must honor his contract with Phil for 5 years. Yeah that’s great, but you had an opt-out written into the contract. This gives either side the legal right to part ways after 3 years (which last time I checked is NOW). Sooooooooooooo Jimmy, what are we waiting for? What if Phil literally set fire to the Garden? Would that be a fireable offense? Well, let me run through the things I call fireable offenses:

  • Don’t address the media for 2 and 3/4 years and when you finally do state the obvious that your best player would probably be better off elsewhere
  • Hire “your guy” Derek Fisher, and then unceremoniously fire him a year and a half into a 5-year contract even though you were clearly tanking
  • Everything you have done, said, or thought about saying as it pertains to Carmelo Anthony (Melo’ is who he is – a great scorer who gets rebounds by default because he’s 6’8″ and has no interest in playing defense; whatsoever)
  • Insane stubbornness to run a wildly out of date system known as “the triangle” even though numerous NBA players have publicly stated they have zero interest in playing it
  • Attending Shaq’s statue unveiling (even though I’m a big fan of The Diesel) while he should have been attending the Kentucky/UCLA Sweet Sixteen match-up. I mean, it’s not like there were 11 NBA prospects in that game….
  • And last but not least, signing Joakim Noah to an obscene 4-year, $72 million contract. Need I say more?!

 

 

 

There are way more things Phil Jackson has done wrong in the past 3 years, but I ran out of paper. The solution to this problem is simple: Fire Phil, hire someone competent (like me), collect draft picks rather than give them away, build through the draft, and once you have a base of 2 or 3 solid players attract free agents. Period, end of story.

Have a solution to the Knicks’ problems? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One-Liner Fridays

lebron haters

 

Helllllooooo sports fans!!  It’s Friday again.  I know you thought it would never get here, but the weekend is right around the corner.  I will get your weekend started a little early with a weekly segment I like to call: One-Liner Fridays.  You know how it goes.  Today, I will wrap up the past week in sports in One Line and One Line only.  Enjoy!!

 

You know the dog days of summer have hit you square in the face when GOLF is the most exciting thing on TV.

 

Oh no wait, I forgot, you can always turn on some WNBA action……

 

So I heard some clown on ESPN radio last night talking about how betting on the Mets to win the World Series this year (at 200 to 1 odds) wouldn’t be the dumbest thing that has ever happened before…….NO????

 

I mean I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure laying that bet would put you in the running for dumbest person ever.

 

So Chad Johnson (yes Ochocinco), is playing in the CFL now, and he just scored his first touchdown the other day, but if you haven’t seen it check out the ref who is clearly not the hugger Derek Jeter is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EGDt07j7sA

 

I know I know, everybody just LOVES Lebron James again, but as you know from my article I know everyone read (https://davetalkssports.com/2014/07/11/lebron-james-returns-to-cleveland/), I’m not buying the bullcrap salad that he’s selling.

 

But seriously, Lebron just placed first in the Harris Poll, which determines the most popular athlete in the United States, I bet The Joker wishes he could figure out how to go from the villain to everyone’s hero in just 1 year.

 

Which brings me to another basketball player, Carmelo Anthony, also known as the most generous and most selfless man in the world.

 

He’s not in it for the money man, he’s all about pay cuts.

 

This man took $7 million less on a 5-year, $129 million contract, if that is not a sacrifice that screams TEAM than I don’t know what is.

 

More basketball??

 

Okay.

 

I only have one thing to say to the Los Angeles Lakers: “HAHAHAHAHAHA….Carlos Boozer….HAHAHAHAHAHA….Jeremy Lin….HAHAHAHAHAHA….okay maybe that was more than one thing, but you get the point.

 

When Tracy McGrady got signed by the Sugar Land Skeeters (insert immature laughter here), I figured he would have a long, illustrious career….and I was right, he pitched 6 and 2/3 innings, recorded 1 strikeout, and then said I think I’ve had enough.

 

So he retired.

 

Major League Baseball definitely handled Derek Jeter’s final All-Star Game very tastefully, but man is that game terrible.

 

If it wasn’t for Derek Jeter, I think there would have been 4 viewers of that game (yea, I said 4).

 

The only thing worse than the All-Star Game itself is the Home Run Derby, that right there is 4 hours of my life that I can NEVER get back again.

 

Here is a simple formula of how to fix the Home Run Derby: you give Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa a bunch of steroids and give them each their own personalized club (you know like a caveman club) and watch them bash 600 foot home runs for an hour, this way everyone’s happy and these clowns get 15 more minutes of fame….oh, and feel free to throw Jose Canseco in there if you want.

BarryBonds

 

Tiger Tiger Woods y’all is back, it’s crazy how much one man can effect an entire sport.

 

So now that the worst time of the year in sports is upon us is it too early to ask everyone’s favorite question: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!?! 

 

 

This has been another edition of One-Liner Fridays.  I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have a One-Liner of your own please post it in the comment section below.

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!  

 

Melo Takes Paycut to Return to Knicks

carmelo-anthony

After weeks of deliberation, Carmelo Anthony has finally decided to return to the New York Knicks.  Anthony made the announcement Saturday (even though he had probably made up his mind by Friday) that he would be re-signing with the Knickerbockers.  The deal will be worth $122 million over the next 5 years.  Who said Melo wasn’t a team player??  This guy just made the ultimate sacrifice by taking a whopping $7 million less than the max deal over 5 years.  He just saved the franchise $1.4 million per year over the next 5 years.  What a guy!  Now the Knicks have the cap space to sign Kurt Thomas.  Can you say game changer?!?!  In all seriousness, the Knicks did what they had to do and so did Carmelo Anthony.  The Knicks, as much as they didn’t want to, had to throw the whole bag of cash at him, because if they missed out on Melo, where would they be?  And Melo actually wanted to leave for a better, more championship ready situation.  The only problem was that option didn’t exist in this years free agency.  The Chicago Bulls were only a better option if Derrick Rose is healthy, and at this point I’d say that is an enormous if.  I don’t believe the Lakers were ever a real option seeing as they don’t have a coach, and they actually have a worse roster than the Knicks.  And as good as the Houston Rockets would have become with the addition of Melo, who wants to live in Houston?? 

 

As for the Knicks, in the horrid eastern Conference, they shouldn’t fare too badly this upcoming season.  They are no championship contender, don’t get me wrong, but don’t be surprised if they creep up to the 4 or 5 seed.  Yes, Derek Fisher is a wild card in this equation, but I have the utmost confidence that Phil Jackson will steer him in the right direction.  Now, I need to say something to all of the Carmelo Anthony haters of the world.  Y’all are out of your damn minds!!  As much as critics and fans alike enjoy picking Anthony’s game apart, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA.  He may not be the best defender in the NBA, but does defense really exist in the NBA??  And the notion that a team can not win with Carmelo Anthony on its roster; is ludicrous.  Carmelo Anthony is what he is.  He is one of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen who also happens to grab 8 -10 rebounds a night.  Everyone is trying to turn him in to a player that he simply will never be.  You know what Melo’s biggest mistake is?  That he isn’t Lebron James.  Ever since high school, the two have been linked.  Their head-to-head matchups in high school were televised, they came out of the same NBA draft class, and most recently they shared the same free agency spot light.  Melo is not the passer Lebron is, he’s not the defender Lebron is, and he simply is not the all around player Lebron is.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t win a championship with Carmelo Anthony on your roster.   Phil Jackson will put a roster in place that highlights the strengths of everyone on it, and most importantly, Carmelo Anthony will be utilized correctly for the first time in his career.  Just watch for Anthony’s 4th quarter contributions under Phil Jackson opposed to the tired, wobbly legged Anthony we’ve grown accustom to seeing under the likes of Mike and Mike (no not that Mike and Mike); Woodson and D’Antoni.  Anthony has always been asked to do too much.  With a real point guard and a proper system in place, don’t be surprised to see Anthony thrive as a member of the new look Knicks.    

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!         

Any Day Now……

NBA: All Star Game

 

It’s funny how in the world of Social Media and the instantaneous reaction it feels like we’ve been enduring the process of NBA Free Agency for forever now, but in reality, teams have only legally been allowed to talk to players for 9 days.  And players are only allowed to officially ink deals as of today, July 10th at 12:01 a.m.  It only seems like forever since Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James opted out of their contracts because we talk about it every second of every day.  Between sports talk radio, twitter, and the nonstop “updates” from Chris Broussard, Brian Windhorst, and Marc Stein on ESPN every 4 minutes, we have had Lebron speculation shoved down our throats all day long.  And that’s all this is; speculation.  Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of this years free agents are taking their time with their decisions, and rightfully so, as this is potentially the biggest decision of their lives. 

 

We all know the rumors swirling around Lebron, Melo, and Chris Bosh:  Lebron could return “home”  to Cleveland (believe it or not Akron and Cleveland are not the same place), Chris Bosh could return “home” by going to the Houston Rockets (he’s actually from Dallas), and Melo can do the only thing he was ever going to do and stay in NY.   There are many other outside possibilities of what is going to transpire, but I unlike the rest of the world, am going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.  That show should start today when Melo re-signs with the Knicks.  I mean, cbssports.com already prematurely broke the story that Melo will be re-signing with the Knicks, but hey maybe he’ll go play for the coach-less Lakers (because that’s a real option).

 

The most unfortunate part in all of this is that when someone wins (as in winning their free agent of choice), someone else has to lose.  And this is the part where you can bust out your violin for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Cleveland is probably being duped once again.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice……you know how the rest of that one goes.  Not only is Cleveland banking on Lebron’s desire to return home, but they are clearing cap space to ensure that they have enough money to sign Lebron James.  Let me just say that the only way Lebron is going back to Cleveland is if Kevin Love somehow gets traded there this week and agrees to sign a long term deal.  Good luck.  As much fun as all this speculation is, we are just going to have to take a chill pill and wait out these decisions.  Once again, if you actually pull out the calendar, we haven’t been waiting that long.  The funniest part to all this is we are most likely going to watch all of this hype suddenly fizzle out when every major free agent ends up staying put.  That would be funny wouldn’t it?   

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!     

 

One Liner Friday’s

20130719-054755.jpg

Hello and welcome to another edition of One Liner Friday’s. Here you will find the past week in sports wrapped up in one line and one line only. Enjoy!!

Mark my words: Everyone at the Open Championship needs to watch out for Tiger Woods.

I know I know, that’s a really hard prediction to make, but I’m making it because he has found a nice rhythm and he’s got the putter working (he doesn’t lose when he putts well).

That’s a scientific fact!

Anchorman anyone?

The MLB All-Star Game is the only one of the major sports that I look forward to not watching.

It can’t be an exhibition and mean something at the SAME TIME!!

The HomeRun Derby is still cool though.

Watching human beings (albeit human beings on massive amounts of growth hormones) hit baseballs 500 feet never gets old.

Yoenis Cespedes is a beast!!

For those of who didn’t watch the ESPY’S (like me), you need to check out Lebron James’ outfit:

20130719-053946.jpg

Umm excuse me Mr. usher, can you help me find my seat?

Whatever happened to the regular old black tux?

So little Johnny Manziel is getting drunk, getting arrested, and is in the process of ruining his future, it sounds like he’ll fit right in in the NFL.

But, whatever you do John, just remember that NOBODY CARES!!

A-Rod says he’ll be back on the Yankees on Monday, I want to believe him, I just don’t.

Oh you want a $25 million dollar contract?

But you don’t have any major injuries?

Oh no I’m sorry I can’t give you a contract unless at least one of your body parts is falling apart.

What’s that, you do have knees that are deteriorating, by all means then J.R. Smith, please sign right here.

Jaws must have been smoking that good stuff when he made is QB list because there is no way in hell that Matt Ryan is better than Drew Brees.

Lebron, Kobe, and Melo are not going to wind up on the same team.

That’s crazy, that would be like Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk all teaming up to……..ahhh or maybe it could happen.

Does Kevin Garnett know that he’s going to have to coach the Nets while Jason Kidd is in jail??

I’d like to end on a serious note.

This year is the 20th anniversary of Jimmy V’s famous “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” speech.

I’d just like to say that we should never take anything, anyone, or any day we have for granted because you never know when it’ll all be gone.

Cherish your lives every day, and appreciate the life that you have.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

1 Down 2 To Go

I’m glad I was wrong about the New York Knicks (for game 5 at least). The Knicks handled their business by beating the Indiana Pacers by a score of 85-75 Thursday night, at Madison Square Garden. They stared elimination in the face and came out on top with a solid team effort. Now, they will travel back to Indiana for game 6 where they’ll look to extend the series to a decisive game 7. In order to do that they will need to duplicate their effort from game 5. And what did they do in game 5 to earn a victory you ask? I’ll tell you, just calm yourself please.

There were multiple reasons that contributed to the Knicks win Thursday night, but one sticks out above all the rest. And that reason is……Ah, I’ll give you a hint: What wins championships? Ah yes, Defense. The Knicks swarming team defense remains the most important aspect of this series. And last night the Knicks showed the energy required to hold the Pacers to 75 points, and to force 19 turnovers. Those are the numbers they’ll need to see night in and night out if they are going to win this series. The Pacers are inept offensively to begin with so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Plus, George Hill will most likely not play in game 6 due to the concussion he suffered in game 4. The NBA has strict policies when it comes to concussions, and it seems that the process of getting Hill back on the floor could take at least a week. As for the Knicks offense (which has seemed rather inept itself as of late), they showed a balanced attack that found 4 players in double figures. It wasn’t so much the scoring that was so key (considering they only scored 85 points themselves), it was the fact that more than Carmelo Anthony was taking and hitting shots. Raymond Felton hit some timely jump shots, and he also remembered that he is allowed to drive into the paint and force the defense to make quick decisions. J.R. Smith decided to hit a couple of shots as well (which was really nice of him don’t ya think? Thanks J.R.), but he still needs to play better. He needs to take the ball to the basket, period. It was also the fact that Jason Kidd and Amar’e Stoudemire were left on the bench while Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland actually saw some playing time. Playing Prigioni is smart because he is truly a team player. He is a pass first point guard who can also hit an open shot when asked. More importantly he infuses the kind of energy that I’d love to see from everyone on the roster. Playing Copeland stretches the floor in a good way because he’s big and he can shoot the three ball. Coach Mike Woodson tried going big in game 4 and that backfired because Kenyon Martin is useless offensively unless he’s catching a pass off of a high pick and roll going toward the basket. Woodson needs to stick with what works for game 6, and implore his team to give it their all. If they do that and show the kind of urgency necessary for another elimination game, than they just might force a game 7.

I’m not going to lie to you; I thought I was watching a team that was going to throw in the towel last night. After their game 4 performance, the lifelong Knicks fan part of me said, “hey I’ve seen this before; they are going to give up now”. But, to their credit, they didn’t. They fought through game 5, and I think they are capable of fighting through game 6. I am still skeptical of the Knicks though, seeing as they haven’t strung 2 solid performances together in about 14 years. Plus, don’t forget game 6 will be played in Indiana. However, I believe the absence of George Hill and the pressure that is mounting in the Pacers heads will prove to be too much or them to overcome. This will be no easy feat for the Knicks, but I think they can pull out a gritty win on the road and force game 7 back home. Tune in to ESPN on Saturday night @ 8:00 P.M. to watch the Knicks and Pacers battle it out in game 6. 89-87, Knicks.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Who Is This Team And Where Did The Knicks Go??

Where do I begin? I guess I’ll start from the very beginning and try to work my way through this tragedy without feeling sick to my stomach. Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was played Tuesday evening. The New York Knicks played the Indiana Pacers in Indiana with the Pacers leading the series 2 games to 1. The Knicks being the higher seed in the playoffs started the series with home court advantage. However, with the beat down they took from the Pacers in Game 1 in New York, the home court advantage shifted to Indiana. The Knicks could have stolen back their home court advantage with a win last night and evened up the series at 2 games apiece. Instead, as I’m sure you all know by now, the Knicks put forth a lackluster performance (again) and lost by the score of 93-82. That final score, if you ask me, did not accurately depict the way this game was played. The Knicks were outplayed in every aspect of the game, and very easily could have been run right off the court. The series is now lopsided at 3 games to 1 in favor of the Indiana Pacers. While game 5 will be played in New York, that fact is completely insignificant to the outcome of this series. The New York Knicks do not look like the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference. Right now they don’t look like they deserve to even be in the playoffs. We all know that the regular season determines who makes the playoffs. However, we also know that the regular season means absolutely nothing compared to the postseason. The focus and the mentality of every team in the playoffs should shift to one centralized goal: Win The Championship! This is the part that I am having a hard time understanding. Doesn’t every player in professional sports work their butts off for a chance to win a Championship? And wouldn’t you think that you would see every last ounce of energy poured out and left on the floor night in and night out? So why is it that the New York Knicks look like they’re simply going through the motions right now? Last night’s game in Indiana was hands down the BIGGEST game of the year for the Knicks. And, I didn’t see the urgency that such a situation should have warranted. Everyone can talk about J.R. Smith’s struggles, the elderly members of this roster, and how Carmelo Anthony is too selfish, but I don’t see any of these issues as the biggest problem for the Knicks. What I see is a team that lacks the heart, and the desire, and the balls to the wall effort that is necessary to win. What I see is a team that is being outhustled, outworked, and outeverythinged right now. Yes, I made up a word, live with it.

As I mentioned last week and every week of the regular season, the Knicks blueprint for success starts with their defense. I have seen their defensive efficiency and energy in spurts this postseason, but I haven’t seen sustained effort for an entire game or series. The Knicks don’t seem like a team that wants to win a game 79-76, and that needs to change. A W is a W no matter the score. It doesn’t matter what the games look like as long as you come away with a win. Sure, it’s more appealing for fans to watch Melo and J.R. Smith jack up outside shots all day, but that is not how you are going to win this series, or a Championship for that matter. And if, and that is a big IF, they can get their defense to the place it needs to be, then they can figure out their offense (and that is very easy if you ask me). Everyone and their mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and cousin know that Carmelo Anthony is going to shoot the ball once it lands in his hands. All he has to do is make a move toward the basket, draw some form of a double team and pass the ball (if they don’t double we all know he is capable of putting the ball in the basket). Yes, I know it’s a lot to ask the Knicks roster to hit open shots from a Carmelo Anthony pass (ahem, Jason Kidd), but if it happened more often maybe they would start knocking down open shots (ahem, Jason Kidd). Side note: Jason Kidd should retire. He can talk all he wants about his intangibles, but I don’t care one iota about that. He Sucks with a capital s. Anyway, J.R. Smith’s offensive struggles are the easiest to figure out. I know I sound like a broken record, but if Smith takes the ball to the basket he scores. If he shoots it from the outside, he makes 1 out of every 7 shots. Next question. Oh, and Smith is a moron. Last but not least, is the mental state of the New York Knicks. I love the Knicks, and I always have, but have you ever seen a bigger bunch of crybabies in your life?? Yes, the referees are not perfect, in fact they are pretty bad, but after every single foul call Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, or whoever it is throws their hands in the air and cries to the heavens about the horrible call. To that I say, “GROW UP!!” You need to recognize that there are always going to be bad calls throughout every game, but the quicker you move on to the next play the better off you’ll be. If the Knicks could stop complaining and keep their composure, maybe they would be up 3 games to 1 instead of down 3 games to 1. And that’s all I have to say about that!

Do the Knicks bounce back and win game 5 on their home court? Even if they lose do they go down swinging? My heart certainly hopes so, but my brain is telling me something different. The Knicks will go down in 5 games on Thursday night on their own court. This season will become an enormous disappointment, and we can all enjoy a long and arduous offseason. It’s that simple. Enjoy golf season J.R. Smith!

Now That’s More Like It!!

The Knicks entered Tuesday’s game 2 with their backs against the wall. This game was being looked at like a game 7 for the Knicks, and not too many people were giving them much of a chance after their performance in game 1. Everyone (well almost everyone) was talking about the Knicks possibly being swept by the Indiana Pacers and how bad of a matchup they are for the Knicks. Yes, the Pacers are tall, defensive minded, and physical, but there’s a reason they are the 3 seed and not the 1 seed. They struggle to score the basketball, and anyone with a brain should have realized that D.J. Augustin and Lance Stephenson aren’t going to score a combined 27 points every night. The game 1 loss was also more on the Knicks and their lack of effort than anything else. Now, some of what we saw may never happen again, statistically speaking. I mean 30-2 runs don’t happen everyday. However, it is the style of play and the desire to win we saw in game 2 that the Knicks can duplicate going forward. Let’s breakdown what transpired at Madison Square Garden last night.

The Knicks jumped out of the gate to an early lead last night. They got the crowd involved in the game, and it seemed as if they had a definite game plan and they stuck to it. Or, they finally read my last post about what they need to do in order to beat the Pacers. They did just about everything I said they needed to do. They pushed the pace, they played great defense, and their offense was efficient (except for J.R.). He has been beyond awful. Why he stopped taking the ball to the basket I’ll never understand. I must put some of his poor decision making on Coach Woodson. If I were Woodson, I would sit Smith down and say, “Son, you don’t shoot from outside of 15 feet unless you are WIDE OPEN or the shot clock is under 2 seconds!” If he doesn’t listen then you sit his ass on the bench for Iman Shumpert. Speaking of Iman Shumpert, let me just say ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh babyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! Was that dunk awesome or was that dunk awesome? His ferocious dunk from last night was filthy, dirty, and it was disgusting! For those of you who missed it, click below to check out Iman Shumpert’s sick one handed put back:

His athleticism is outstanding and he’s a special talent when he’s 100% healthy (as you can see he now is). Now if you go back to that video and pause it at 12 seconds you can actually see his hair hit the ceiling. It’s pretty cool. Anyway, there was 1 component to the Knicks victory that stuck out above the rest; their swarming help defense. Any success the Knicks have had or are going to have starts with their defense. As for last night they helped each other, they rotated to the ball, and they forced numerous turnovers. They won the turnover battle 21-6. Without that same defensive intensity throughout the rest of the series, the Knicks will not advance to the next round. Solid defense is also so important because it turns into easy offense. The Knicks scored 32 points off of turnovers, making life a whole lot easier. As for their offense, like I said earlier, they pushed the pace, they swung the ball, and they made quick decisions. Most importantly Carmelo Anthony let the game come to him instead of forcing the issue. It’s no secret formula, but when you normally shoot the ball a million times and then one day you decide to pass the ball and wait for it to cycle back to you, you find yourself OPEN, magically. It’s shocking I know. Melo didn’t get to the free throw line as often as you’d like to see, but he was 50% from the field going 13 for 26. He finished with 32 points and 9 rebounds, which was clearly his best game of the playoffs so far. I would be committing a crime though if I didn’t give credit to Iman Shumpert. He played a fantastic all around game, and maybe now Woodson will leave him on the floor down the stretch.

Now the run in the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th quarter was impressive, but don’t forget that the score of this game at one point was 64-62, Pacers. The Knicks after jumping out to an early lead, slowly regressed back to their usual selves. There was a stretch toward the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half where they looked like they were going to let a victory slip through their fingers. As I’ve been saying all year, they lack a killer instinct. In the playoffs that’s one attribute you’d love to have in your back pocket. But in the end we must give them credit for their resiliency. They fought back and went on that historic run to not just close the door on this game but slam it. I think we will see the Knicks carry this momentum to Indiana. I think they will take the Pacers down in game 3 on Saturday. To watch all the action tune in to ABC @ 8:00 p.m. I see another low scoring affair in the Pacers future. 94-89, Knicks. You can book this one too.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Okay We Are Going To Start Trying….Ummm…..Starting Now!

Can the Indiana Pacers play any better, and can the New York Knicks possibly play any worse? I don’t think so. I’m not trying to make any excuses for the Knicks. Trust me, I watched that entire game and let me be the first person to say that the Knicks made me throw up in my mouth; twice. Now, I’m also not trying to take anything away from the Pacers victory, but everyone needs to hop off that panic button once again. Let me shed some light on what the Knicks have done and what they need to do to make it past the Pacers.

If J.R. Smith can remember that he is allowed to take the ball to the basket, they might fare better in the rest of the series. And Mr. Anthony is not getting let off the hook so easily either. Since the end of game 3 against the Boston Celtics, he has been downright awful! We all know the statistics, so I’m not going to bore you with those. He, and the rest of the Knicks, are a jack up shots and hope they go in team right now. Despite what everyone thinks, their best recipe for success is not to live and die by the 3. Yes, they succeed when they hit OPEN 3-pointers at a high percentage, but they really work best off of dribble penetration by Raymond Felton or Carmelo Anthony. This either leads to a bucket or trip to the foul line for Anthony, or an open shot for Felton or Iman Shumpert. Their other best offensive option is the high pick and roll involving any combination of Felton/Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin/Tyson Chandler. This has led to the best offensive possessions the Knicks have seen all year. For some reason Mike Woodson doesn’t stick with what works. No matter how good the Knicks look at times they always revert back to their old habits (Iso-Melo). What Woodson needs to preach is sound defense first and smart offense second. They also need to recognize that the pace of play from game 1 completely favors the Pacers. The Pacers want to slow the ball down and work the ball through the low post (because they have a clear size advantage). The Knicks should look to push the pace at all times and take Roy Hibbert and their other big men out of play. And for the love of god, Coach, please leave Jason Kidd at the hotel napping next time you head over to the arena. He is god awful. Even when he’s wide open he doesn’t shoot the ball, so what’s the point of having him out there anyway? I’ve been screaming this from the hill tops all season, but Woodson has this secret love affair with Kidd that no one else is talking about. And at the same time, he has this odd hatred for Iman Shumpert that I can’t seem to figure out. Shumpert, especially against a defensive minded team is one of your most valuable weapons. They need Shumpert’s young legs and energy on both ends of the floor. And think about any of the Knicks fast breaks that aren’t being led by Raymond Felton. They’re being led by Shumpert aren’t they? Chew on that thought for a minute while I delve into what occurred on the Knicks home court Sunday afternoon.

As I stated before, the Pacers played a very solid game on Sunday, especially their role players. Now if Lance Stephenson is going to have a double double every night and D.J. Augustin is going to hit 45 three pointers than the Knicks have no chance in this series. However, if you want me to realistically believe that that’s going to happen, that also is not going to happen. I just can’t see the Knicks rolling over and dying in this series. Maybe I’m telling you what I want to see more than what I think, but for everyone’s sake they better show a better effort than they did in game 1. I think we will all see what this team is made of in game 2. At this point in the season, they need to lay it all on the line and leave every ounce of energy on that floor Tuesday night. I think they’ll stand up to the challenge and win what is without a doubt their biggest game of the year. It’s playoffs time baby! It’s do or die! 99-88 Knicks. Book it.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

Every Friday, I will be writing a new installment of One Liner Friday’s. This will wrap up the week in sports in one line and one line only. Enjoy!

Hey Derrick Rose, if Nate Robinson can puke on the bench and then go back in the game I think you can give it a shot (I mean you are 100% healthy, lol).

The New York Knicks are class personified.

Ron Burgundy agrees.

Ah Eureka! I figured it out, Carmelo Anthony must want to be home for Mother’s Day every year and that’s why he can’t move on past the 1st round.

Are we really still in the 1st round?

Has there ever been a slower more un athletic all star than Paul Pierce?

Hey Mark Sanchez, nice headband!

Does Mark Sanchez know he’s not good at football?

Somebody should tell him.

Apparently Robert Guerrero’s father doesn’t like women beaters, who knew?

Why is it that Guerrero’s father was at the podium in the first place?

And did anyone see Oscar DeLa Hoya’s face immediately following Guerrero’s removal from the stage???

He looked like a deer in head lights, hahaha.

People are saying Tim Tebow isn’t good enough to play in the CFL.

You know you’re in trouble when Canada doesn’t even want you.

Stephen Curry is good at basketball.

The Miami Heat have been resting for so long that Shane Battier has actually grown a full on mustache (can I get a little Fu Manchu here?).

Yay, A-Rod has been cleared for baseball activities so now he can go back to not earning his contract.

I’m glad I’m not Mike Greenberg right now.

He just had mud, whipped cream, eggs, bacon, cereal, and syrup dumped on him…..mmmmm fun!

That’s what you get for sucking at picking sports games.

Did I mention that Stephen Curry is good at basketball?

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!