Lebron James Is A Punk!!

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There they are!!

The Knicks I’ve known and loved for so many years.

After holding a 22-point lead, at home, with 1:39 left to play in the 3rd quarter, the New York Knicks set their vehicle to cruise control. That may work against the Sacramento Kings, but not the Cleveland Cavaliers. When rookie, Frank Ntilikina, hit a driving layup to put the Knicks up 75-53, Lebron and Co. flipped a switch. The Cavs would go on an 8-1 run to close the quarter, carrying momentum into the 4th quarter.

A wise man, formerly employed by the Knicks, once told me, “You need 8, and you have to win the 4th quarter. It’s as simple as that.”

Well, 8 they had. As for the 4th quarter….not so much. The Knicks gave up 43 points in the 4th quarter. THE KNICKS GAVE UP 43 POINTS IN THE 4TH QUARTER!! My defeatist, Knicks fan attitude knew the game was lost when the Cavs cut the lead from 14 to 4 over a 2 minute and 25 second stretch. That was about the time Kyle Korver caught fire. Korver would drain five 3-pointers last night, all in the 4th quarter. Side note: Korver scored more points in the 4th quarter (19) than the Cavs scored in the 2nd quarter (13).

With 90 seconds left and counting, and the game tied at 97, Lebron James did what Lebron James does. On the grand stage at Madison Square Garden (superstars always show out at the Garden), Lebron drove a dagger through the heart of the Knicks.

Click here to see my pain in motion. Nothing like a step-back, 27-foot 3-pointer right in Porzingis’ face, right??

So, the Cavs won, 104-101, exacting revenge from the Knicks win in Cleveland just 10 days earlier. Lebron James continues to dominate the NBA 48 minutes at a time. However, Lebron James, should be ashamed of his actions over the past few days.

Lebron made some off-beat comments about the Knicks’ decision to draft Frank Ntilikina over Dennis Smith Jr.:

“The Knicks passed on a really good one, and Dallas got the diamond in the rough. He should be a Knick. That’s going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick.”

In other words, the Knicks made the wrong decision drafting Ntilikina. It doesn’t matter who the other player (Smith Jr.) is, this is a shot at Ntilikina. Lebron can say this was one last parting shot at Phil Jackson all he wants — that’s bull****!! Hey Lebron, newsflash, Phil’s been gone for quite some time now. There’s no reason to take parting shots at a guy who already got run out of town.

And then, Lebron put his pathetic words into action, showing Ntilikina whose space, and league, he’s in. Click here to see Lebron’s punk move. Watch until the end.

LEBRON JAMES IS A PUNK!!

A 19-year old rookie, who hasn’t opened his mouth once, shouldn’t be on a list of concerns for a player like Lebron James. He should be more concerned with staying above .500 in a weak Eastern Conference.

Conversely, I have earned A LOT of respect for Enes Kanter this week. First, he responds to Lebron’s comments: “Nope!! We love what we got..Thanks!!!” Then he gets right in Lebron’s face, in defense of his teammate. AND THEN, after last night’s game, he makes a sports journalists’ dream come true:

“I don’t care who you are. What do you call yourself? King, Queen, Princess. Whatever you are. We’re going to fight. Nobody out there is going to punk us.”

Good for you Enes Kanter, good for you!!

Stay tuned. I have a feeling this story isn’t over yet….

 

What do you think of Lebron James’ actions over the past few days?? Is last night’s game a sign of things to come for the Knicks?? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Knicks Hire Life-Size Marionette

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They’ve done it. They’ve finally done it. The New York Knicks actually found someone who wants to work for them. It’s a Christmas Miracle in July!! And even though you’ve never heard of him he actually has NBA front office experience. Crazy right?! Knicks fans..meet Scott Perry.

Before I introduce Scott Perry, we must fully understand this hiring. Scott Perry might be the Knicks’ general manager, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be making decisions. Oh sure, he’ll make suggestions, but they may be acknowledged, or ignored, depending on what side of the bed Steve Mills and James Dolan wake up on. That sounds empowering to me!! Essentially, Scott Perry is a life-size puppet. So why would Perry take the job you ask?? Because he gets to put Knicks general manager on his resume, and his pay will increase — a lot. Now let’s meet the poor bastard.

Scott Perry has over a decade of experience, working for 5 different franchises. He has worked for Seattle, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Orlando, and Sacramento. His most successful tenure was in Detroit. Perry was the Pistons’ director of player personnel when they reached 6 consecutive Eastern Conference Finals, including 1 championship (2004). The past 4 months of his career haven’t been quite as stable. Perry was fired by the Orlando Magic (uhhh, hi red flag) in April. He wasn’t a bachelor for long though, as the Sacramento Kings hired him later that month to be vice president of basketball operations.

Okay, so he showed some resiliency in getting hired quickly, however, the Kings are letting him walk away after only 4 months on the job. What does it say when the Kings don’t want you?! Nothin’ good.

I’m not going to sit here and completely bash this move, but there are moving parts that make me slightly uncomfortable. The first is Steve Mills. Upon hiring Perry, Mills will be promoted to president of basketball operations. So Perry will have to report to Mills. Enjoy that!! Second, the Knicks will be required to give some form of compensation to the Kings in exchange for Perry. This compensation better be money, because if the Knicks just TRADED A DRAFT PICK TO BRING IN SCOTT FREAKIN’ PERRY, I’M GOING TO LOSE MY MIND!!!!

There goes another blood vessel. Oh well.

Once the dust settles on this sand storm, the attention will revert back to Carmelo Anthony. As his first order of business, what will Scott Perry “do” with Carmelo Anthony?? Trade him, keep him, or buy him out?? As of now, trade talks between the Knicks and Houston Rockets have been put on hold.

And now, it’s opening night. The theater is sold out, and the stage is yours (as Mills lowers Perry onto the stage). It’s time to start the show Pinoch….I mean Steve Perry. Break a leg!!

 

What do you think of this hiring?? What do you think of Scott Perry?? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M EST.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

The New York Knicks Can’t Give Jobs Away

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Who am I?? What am I doing?? Where am I going?? How am I going to get there?? These questions are normal — standard — when you are 18. Those seeking direction in life will pose such questions. These questions, however, are not normal when you are a sports franchise in the biggest marketplace in the world. The door opens..and the New York Knicks enter.

The Knicks are a mess. They lack the basic skills a teenager would need to bathe themselves, dress themselves, and feed themselves. Which brings us to today. The Knicks are sitting in their own filth, trying to figure out how to work the microwave. They have, however, figured out how, in New York City, to become the least attractive destination in the NBA. Oh no, I’m not talking about attracting players anymore. Clearly that ship has sailed. I’m talking about employees. Imagine a world, where people get a job offer from the Knicks, and they say, “Naaa, I’m good, this sidewalk is comfy.”

That’s what David Griffin did yesterday. Griffin, the former General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, removed himself from the running for the Knicks’ General Manager position. And I don’t blame him. He probably got about 30 feet into Madison Square Garden before making a U-turn and sprinting toward the exit. Following his meeting with James Dolan, Griffin said, “the Knicks couldn’t make it work.” MAKE WHAT WORK?!?! The pen to sign on the dotted line?! Did it run out of ink?? All Dolan had to do was give Griffin control of player personnel. Ya know..let him make decisions. Apparently, that’s asking too much.

James Dolan is a moron. He continues to employ Steve Mills, who is clearly not qualified to make sound personnel decisions (hi Tim Hardway Jr.). And for those who are planning to wait out Dolan until he sells the team, don’t hold your breath. I’ve yet to meet a multi-millionaire who dislikes money. Allow me to repeat myself. The New York Knicks can’t find someone who wants to be their General Manager. I mean, I would take the job, so they can call me if they want…

But that’s the point. The Knicks will not sign an experienced General Manager. They will be forced to sign someone with minimal or no experience. In other words, they will hire someone who is desperate for work. Then, we will collectively cross our fingers and hope this mystery GM turns into the next Tom Brady (6th round draft pick turned greatest of all-time).

Oh boy, we’re crossing fingers now….

 

I want to hear from my Knicks fans. How much longer will you put up with this ineptitude?? Will you be a loyal Knicks fan for life, no matter the level of dysfunction?? Please help me understand in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

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!

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!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Do you know that expression, “Act like you’ve been there before, and act like you’re going there again”? Obviously the New York Knicks have never heard that one before. Now let me just say that I am so angry/frustrated/upset with the Knicks performance Wednesday night that I almost didn’t write this article. However, I need to get my point across to express just how PITIFUL they were last night. Im going to very briefly start with the positives from last night: The MVP of the Knicks roster so far in this series has without question been Raymond Felton. Felton needs to stop complaining to the ref’s every time he’s called for a foul or doesn’t get a foul call, but other than that he’s been great. Last night Iman Shumpert played a nice game as well, but he is still young and raw and gets ahead of himself too often. However, his defensive intensity is unmatched and should be utilized as a weapon for the Knicks (ahem, Coach Woodson, that message is for you). Shumpert was clearly the only person who could slow down or agitate Paul Pierce last night, but somehow I kept watching Raymond Felton or Old Man River (Jason Kidd) try to guard him. Positives, check. Let’s move on to the negatives. This may take a while so get comfortable.

The negatives for the Knicks started well before the opening tip of game 5 in Madison Square Garden. They started with the insanely moronic and boneheaded elbow thrown by J.R. Smith to Jason Terry’s face. This action as we all know resulted in a flagrant 2 foul, an immediate ejection from game 3, and ultimately a suspension for game 4. We also all know that the Knicks despite their best comeback efforts dropped game 4 in overtime. Now there is almost no way, on paper, for you to comprehend the hatred I have for the way the Knicks have carried themselves as of late. Forget the on court ineptitude, I’m speaking to their off court behavior. First, J.R. Smith decides to open his big ol’ mouth after the game 4 loss. He said that the Knicks would have won if he had played, and he would be spending his day off playing golf somewhere instead of preparing for game 6. Oh yeah??? That’s what WOULD have happened IF you played? That’s nice, and if the queen had balls she’d be the king. How about you (J.R.) shut your stupid mouth and apologize for your senseless actions that ultimately hurt your team. How about you say that you have grown on and off the court this season and you feel horrible that you let your emotions get the best of you in a game that was already out of reach. And lastly, how about you assure your teammates, organization, and fans alike that you will not allow anything like this to happen ever again. This is the playoffs! You need to keep your composure and stay focused on the task at hand at all times. I guess these things would have been too much to ask for huh? Silly me. Second, the Knicks decide that there is no chance on this heavenly earth that they could lose game 5 on their home court. So what do they do? They all decide to dress in all black as if they are attending a funeral for the Boston Celtics. YOU STAY CLASSY SAN DIEGO!! How are you going to act this immaturely in the midst of the 1st round of the playoffs and think it’s okay?? Plus, can anybody say bad timing? I’m sure the Einstein’s behind this idea didn’t have any real malice behind this stunt, but following the tragedy in Boston you’d think New Yorker’s would be a little more sensitive to any inclination toward death. News flash: This is the 1st round and you are the 2 seed. They are the 7 seed. You are supposed to win this series handily. So win it already. As for their lackluster play on the court, what is the main reason for Knicks losses this season?

Is it:

A.) They get early leads and don’t know how to blow team’s out?

B.) They play lazy defense with no intensity or purpose?

C.) Coach Woodson doesn’t utilize his roster effectively?

D.) They turn into a one on one isolation team that stands around and watches Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith jack up bad shots?

While most of you would pick D, the answer is actually secret option E, all of the above. These are the main reasons that the Knicks lose. This is why they lost game 5, and this is how they will lose this series if they don’t give themselves a serious wake up call. Whenever they wake up and answer that call, let me provide you with a little insight into what they need to do. Even when Melo looks to pass first he still get’s his 25-30 shots, simply because he’s Melo and that’s what he does, he shoots. The defense from the 2nd half of game 2 is what they need to copy going forward. And lastly it would be nice to see Coach Woodson get passed his hatred for Shumpert, and let him play extended minutes. He appears to be 100% and needs to put Paul Pierce on lockdown. I don’t know if the Knicks will solve all of these problems all at once, but they are an enigma sometimes. One day they will play like the Charlotte Bobcats and the next day they will play like the best team in the league. That is why the Knicks will turn right around and close out this series Friday night in Boston. It might have a little to do with an aging Celtics team playing on short rest as well, who knows? Tune in to ESPN on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. to watch the drama unfold. And ah hell, Let’s Go 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!

Knicks Defense Stifles Celtics

The atmosphere inside the World’s Most Famous Arena Tuesday night was electrifying. The crowd was in the game from start to finish, and the Knicks were able to match the fans intensity. That intensity really showed itself on the defensive end. Let me just say that if the Knicks play defense the way they did in the 2nd half, they will give Miami a run for their money. This game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Celtics played efficiently on the offensive end and they applied solid pressure on the defensive end. The first quarter was back and forth until J.R. Smith took over. His pure athleticism coupled with his acrobatic shots put the Knicks on top heading to the 2nd quarter. Smith was able to score 5 points inside the final 7 seconds of the 1st quarter to leave the Knicks ahead by 6. His final shot at the buzzer was a step back 3-pointer from about 40 feet. The Garden erupted, and it looked like the Knicks were going to cruise to an easy victory. The Celtics, however, had other plans. The Celtics turned up their defense and started pushing the ball up the floor off of turnovers. With the pace of play being turned up a notch, this created open shots for Jason Terry. Terry finally found his range as he hit three consecutive three pointers and helped the Celtics grab a six point advantage heading into halftime. The 2nd half did not exactly go as well as the 1st for the Celtics. The 3rd quarter of Tuesday night’s game was an exact blueprint of what the Knicks need to do to win. The Knicks energy and defensive intensity was phenomenal. They forced numerous turnovers and their defensive pressure stifled the old men in green. Paul Pierce has always looked like he’s running in quicksand, but I think it’s safe to say he’s nearing the bottom of the hill. Kevin Garnett on the other hand never got anything going due to early foul trouble. This time it seemed that he was the one frustrated by his opposition (and Carmelo didn’t even have to say anything about his wife, hmm go figure). The Knicks defense was intense, it was swarming, it was physical, and best of all it sent a message to the rest of the league. The Knicks in 2 straight games have held the Celtics to 24 and 23 2nd half points; respectively. Thats insane! Now all they need to do is commit themselves completely to that hard nose style of play, and they’ll be all set. And let me branch off here for a second to spend a little time to give credit where credit is due. Kenyon Martin is the man! I love Kenyon Martin’s game (and if you don’t you need to have your head examined). My favorite part of any game is when a player drives down the middle of the lane thinking he has a free path to the basket for a dunk. Little does he know that Kenyon Martin is not just waiting, he’s salivating for such an opportunity. What comes next is the best part. Kenyon either takes the player down in a way that the player says to himself, “I better not try that again”, or he comes away with a monster block. Either way Kenyon Martin is sending this message: (which I approve) Don’t you bring that weak stuff up in here boy! (And then he screams at the crowd which is awesome!). And that right there is what you should love about Kenyon Martin and the dynamic he brings to this roster. Plus, his wry smile at the ref every time he commits a ‘foul’ is pretty amusing too. Anyway, let’s get back to the matter at hand. We know what Melo brings to the table, and we think we know what J.R. Smith brings as well. But what we don’t know is how consistently Raymond Felton can play with the aggressive nature we saw Tuesday night. Felton was by far the player of the game last night. I know I know, Melo had all those points, but without Felton’s contributions that game would have ended differently. So, if Chandler, Shumpert, and Martin bring the defense while Melo and Melo Jr. bring the offense, all we need is little Raymond Felton to penetrate the defense and either dish or attack the basket. With Felton as a viable 3rd offensive weapon the Knicks stand a serious chance in the Eastern Conference. All the Knicks need to do now is not have a let down like we’ve all grown accustom to. They can’t get comfortable with a 2 game lead (especially with those 2 wins coming at home). They need to stay focused as
they enter the hostile environment that will be the TD Garden in Boston. Even with the declining play from Boston’s stars, Boston is going to be the toughest place to play for the foreseeable future, trust me. The Knicks need to keep their defensive intensity up and win game 3. Then they’ll be in the drivers seat. You can catch game 3 of the New York Knicks vs. the Boston Celtics on Friday night @ 8:00 p.m. Tune into ESPN to catch all the action. Enjoy the rest of the series 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!

The End Of An Era

Saturday night at Madison Square Garden marked the end of an era in Men’s College Basketball. In case you missed it, Louisville beat Syracuse by a score of 78-61 to capture their 2nd straight Big East Conference Tournament Championship. That final score is not exactly an indication of the way the game went, but I’ll get into that in a minute. This is meant as a tribute to the Big East, in my estimation the best conference in Men’s basketball for the past 15 years. Some can argue for the ACC, but after Duke and North Carolina that Conference isn’t made od much. Year after year we have seen 7 or 8 teams enter the NCAA tournament from the Big East. And as for the Big East tournament, there has been no other place to find more thrilling games (thanks Madison Square Garden). If you think college players don’t get up for a game on Madison Square Garden’s floor, than you are crazy. We have had the privilege of watching Uconn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia, Providence, St. John’s, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers, Villanova, and Seton Hall battle it out on the hardwood for years. And now sadly, thanks to the all mighty dollar, the Big East will be disbanding in the coming months.

The final game for the Big East was not the overtime thriller we’ve grown accustom to, but it certainly had it’s own type of drama. Syracuse looked like they were cruising to a victory and the Big East Conference title. However, Louisville had something else to say about that. With 15:34 left to play in the 2nd half, Syracuse held a 16 point lead (45-29). What happened next was epic. Louisville turned up the volume on every aspect of the game. They proceeded to go on a 49-16 run to close the game, winning by 17 points!! The comeback was truly a team effort, but the Cardinals were led by Montrezl Harrell, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the 2nd half. With their Championship victory, Louisville has most likely planted themselves firmly as the #1 overall seed of the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is awesome, but it has definitely lost some of it’s flare. There is a significant amount of parody in Men’s College Basketball these days. Parody is not a good thing for this tournament. People want to watch great teams dominate, just as they want to watch history unfold right before their eyes. Do you honestly feel confident in picking the winner of the tournament this year? I know I don’t. Indiana??? Maybe??? I have no clue, and that’s why I might as well let my cat Precious fill out my bracket by scratching the team she likes on the paper. Ah, I suppose I’ll watch anyway, but this whole one and done stuff is ruining college basketball (thanks David Stern). I digress. I’ll get back to my problems with Men’s College Basketball another time. For now, let’s get back to remembering the big East for the good times they gave us, and wondering what the landscape of Men’s College Basketball will look like for years to come. It is a shame that the Big East will be splitting up, but time goes on I guess. We will just have to man up and get over it, because what other choice do we have, right?

NCAA Men’s College Basketball has many problems that I will cover in a future article. These problems include players being forced to enter College for at least one year before entering the NBA draft. If you can’t force a student-athlete to complete all 4 years in college in order to receive a degree, than they should be left to decide their own future. David Stern shouldn’t be the one to come up with such a foolish rule just to save his reputation. Another problem is money of course. What else is new right? If these schools and organizations can profit so much from the hard work and dedication of these players, who is to say that the players don’t deserve a fair share of the profits? I am in favor of players being on a pay scale while they are in school. I’ll see if I can fully tackle these major issues in the near future. For now, enjoy selection Sunday which is coming up momentarily. Check back to find my predictions for the free for all that is the NCAA Tournament.

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 athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

There’s A Professional Hockey League????????

In case you’ve missed it (and I’m pretty sure you did), The Chicago Blackhawks are doing something we’ve never seen before.  They have scored at least one point in every game so far this season.  They have a total of 41 points through their first 22 games (a record of 19-0-3).  What the Blackhawks are doing is amazing.  The Blackhawks have set a new record for the most consecutive games with a point to start a season.  They surpassed the ’06-’07 Anaheim Ducks by winning their game on February 22nd.  Hockey, in its lockout shortened season, has become mostly an afterthought to most people.  Can the Blackhawks amazing performance singlehandedly revive the sport of hockey?  I think it can.  I find more and more people are tuning in to see how many games they can win in a row.  People love watching history, and that’s exactly what this is.

As for New York hockey, it’s not going quite as well.  The New York Islanders and the New York Rangers are both currently sitting outside of the playoff picture.  The Rangers rank last in goals scored in the Eastern Conference and sit in 9th place (1 point behind the Philadelhpia Flyers for the final playoff spot).  The Islanders on the other hand rank last in goals against, which doesn’t bode well for their playoff chances.  However, they are only 3 points behind those Flyers, so nothing is out of the realm of possibilities.  You can watch both the Rangers and Islanders in action Tuesday night.  The Rangers have a big game against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden (@ 7:30 P.M.), while the Islanders have the 1st place Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum (@ 7:00 P.M.).  See, I didn’t forget about you hockey fans.  Enjoy!

 

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!

So Close But Yet So far

Lebron James is better than Carmelo Anthony.  It is as simple as that (it also doesn’t hurt to have Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on your team too).  Sunday afternoon, Lebron showcased his all around skills and proved why the Heat are the team to beat in the NBA.  This basketball game was a tale of two halves, and it took a turn when the best player in the world took the game over.  The Knicks opened the game with loads of energy, and Madison Square Garden seemed to be filled with that “playoff” electricity.  The Knicks played a nearly perfect first half and at one point had a 16 point lead over the Heat.  Carmelo Anthony came out on fire and hit 4 out of his first 5 shots.  He also got to the free throw line 4 times in the first quarter, hitting 8 out of 9 free throws.  Jason Kidd finally woke from his slumber and decided to hit 4 three-pointers in the first half.  As a Knicks fan I loved what I saw in the first half, but I had this sneaking suspicion that the Heat weren’t down for the count.  A 14 point halftime lead was cut to only 4 with 6:52 still left in the third quarter.  How did that happen you say?  Well, Chris Bosh came out of the locker room like a bat out of hell, scoring 7 points in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter.  Now, the Knicks showed great perseverance stretching the lead back out to 11 points with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  And from there it was the Lebron James show.  Lebron took the responsibility of guarding Carmelo Anthony for the entire 2nd half.  Lebron shut him down, limiting Melo to only 8 2nd half points.  He also helped the Heat close the 3rd quarter on an 8-1 run, cutting the lead back down to 4.  Melo did start the 4th quarter with a quick basket, but Lebron came right back and hit the two biggest shots of the game.  He nailed back to back three-pointers tying the game at 79.  Both teams traded baskets over the next couple minutes, but when the Heat took the lead with 4:28 to go, they wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.  The Knicks still had a chance when they were down 4, with the ball, and 30 seconds to play, however what transpired next became the nail in the coffin for the Knicks.  J.R. Smith threw a lazy pass across the top of the key toward Carmelo Anthony.  Lebron jumped the passing lane, stole the ball, and threw down a ferocious dunk.  This put the game out of reach, and the Heat won 99-93.  This has also officially put the Eastern Conference out of reach.

The name of this game was defense.  The Knicks started the game with great intensity.  They were playing solid team defense.  They were doubling, and switching, and rotating perfectly in their defensive assignments.  This kept the Heat’s offense at bay and allowed them to sustain a lead throughout the entire 1st half.  Lebron though, headlined the defensive attack for the Heat in the 2nd half.  Like I mentioned earlier, he completely shut down a tired Carmelo Anthony and forced the rest of the Knicks to beat them (that obviously did not happen).  The Heat’s swarming defense forced 18 turnovers by the Knicks.  This is very uncharacteristic for the Knicks who only average just over 11 turnovers per game.  The turnovers were crucial in this game, and they all seemed to come at inopportune times for the Knicks.  On top of his stellar defense, Lebron also added 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists (just another day at the office).  This is clearly Lebron’s team, but everyone needs to realize just how fortunate he is to have such a talented player by his side.  Dwayne Wade had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  Combined they shot over 50% from the field, and were just 2 rebounds and 5 assists away from having 2 TRIPLE DOUBLES.  It’s basically unfair, but I’ll save my excuses for a later date.  We all know how good the Heat are, the story here is the Knicks and their confused lineup.  I like Mike Woodson finally making a move in changing up the starting lineup, but JAMES WHITE?!?!  I know it’s not a real thing, that it’s just a move to bring Kidd off the bench, but JAMES WHITE?!?!  James White shouldn’t be on an NBA roster, and he is starting for the third best team in the Eastern Conference?  Are you serious Mr. Woodson?  You might as well call up the Oklahoma City Thunder and try to get Ronnie Brewer back.  At least when he started games for the Knicks, they were winning.  What the Knicks need to do is insert Amar’e Stoudemire into the starting lineup at the 4, and allow Shumpert and Melo to slide down into their natural positions to the 2 and 3 respectively.  This will allow Melo to roam free offensively and not take on the task of guarding power forwards on the other end of the floor.  Amar’e can still manage to stay under 30 minutes per game, and should keep the Knicks from getting down early in games.  This has been one of the biggest parts of the Knicks downfall over the last two months.  Coach Woodson should also go back to resting Carmelo Anthony at the start of the 4th quarter.  Melo is not a guy who can play 40-plus minutes every night and still remain effective.  No matter what the Knicks do with their lineup going forward, they need to play defense and scale back the amount of three-pointers they shoot.  It makes them too streaky, and streaky in the NBA doesn’t win Championships.

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!