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A Look Around New York Sports - This Is Sports Zone
 
 

It’s been a while since I’ve been here so for my return, I am going quickly recap some of the goings-on with our New York sports teams, with the NFL Season six weeks in and the NBA season two weeks away. While the New York baseball teams are both absent from meaningful October baseball, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants look to have a World Series for the ages. With that, we begin:

The Giants and Jets through 6 weeks:

The New York Giants are 3-3 and very much a work in progress. The Eagles game last weekend was truly disappointing; not only were the Giants shut out by the rival Eagles but they lost Victor Cruz to a devastating patellar injury and nickel corner Tremaine McBride to a thumb injury, with both of them expected to miss the remainder of the season. The Victor Cruz injury is heart breaking. Victor is a local kid who was undrafted out of UMass whose salsa dancing and charm made him a fan favorite. He was an integral part of the Giants offense and will be missed, but the Giants can overcome this injury. Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. should be able shoulder the load the remainder of the season. This task will be far from easy but if Preston Parker and the newly signed Kevin Ogletree can be serviceable in the slot, the Giants should be able to overcome the loss of Victor Cruz, if Larry Donnell can continue to play well and Rashad Jennings comes back after the bye week. The McBride injury might actually be more concerning because the Giants already lost Walter Thurmond earlier this season and are now down to their third string nickel corner, and with the position becoming one of the most vital on defense, the Giants need to be able to contain the other teams slot receives. The Giants secondary started out as a strength but injuries are slowly making it a weakness. Hopefully a veteran like Zachary Bowman still has something left in the tank, and Jayron Hosely can step up and not be a liability. The Giants have a brutal schedule coming up with the 5-1 Cowboys next followed by a bye week and then they face the Seahawks, Colts, and 49ers then followed by the Cowboys again. They need to go at least 2-3 in those five games in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. That brutal stretch is followed by a fairly easy string of games to close out the season; they face the Jaguars, Titans, Rams and Redskins. All four of those teams will most likely be playing spoiler in the latter part of the season and if the Giants can win the games they are supposed then the week 17 showdown with the Eagles in MetLife stadium may actually be a very important game.

The Jets lost a close game to the New England Patriots Thursday night 27-25, as the were a failed two-point conversion and blocked field goal away from tying or actually beating the rival Patriots. Geno Smith had his first game of the season without an interception, and Chris Ivory steamrolled New England on the ground for 107 yards and a touchdown as the Jets were able to recover from falling behind 7-0 mere seconds into the game. One way or another, it looks like my preseason prediction is coming true, as the Chris Johnson was an unnecessary signing because Ivory is a more effective back at this point in his career. Injuries and a frugal GM ultimately are the reason the Jets are regressing this season, with $20 million in cap space not helping them win games, and the injuries in the secondary to Dee Milliner and Dex McDougal having sealed the Jets fate, and possibly the head coach’s too. It looks like the Rex Ryan era might come to an un-climatic end, which is a shame because he is a defensive mastermind, but never really had the quarterback or offensive weapons to complement his more than adequate defenses. All 32 teams in the NFL would be lucky to have him as a defensive coordinator and I don’t think Rex will be unemployed too long.

Knick Notes:

The Knicks are taking their time adjusting to the Triangle offense but I have faith in what rookie coach Derek Fisher is doing with this squad. They should be a playoff contender this year if the team can stay healthy and keep focused on implementing the triangle offense. Amar’e Stoudamire looks more explosive in the pre-season and if he and Carmelo Anthony can team up in the Triangle offense properly, this can be a dangerous team. The Triangle offense usually requires two star players and if they can both play at a high level, Phil Jackson’s system will be a success.

I respect Phil Jackson’s opinion immensely but J.R. Smith is no Dennis Rodman; he may be more talented offensively but Rodman was an undersized power forward who was one of the league’s best rebounders, which requires a lot of work ethic and determination. J.R. Smith has coasted on his skills and athleticism throughout his NBA career. While they may both have quirky personalities, that’s where the similarities end. If Smith can put forth the effort that Rodman used to put forth then maybe he can be in the same conversation as a Hall of Famer but thus far he has underachieved, and at this rate will be lucky to be an All Star.

I like the extension that the Knicks gave to Shane Larkin as he could develop into a very good player; he possesses the speed necessary to be an elite point guard, plus he is the son of former Major League Baseball player, which means he has a good pedigree and has the intangibles to be a successful professional athlete.

Finally: I just would like to say that the Kansas City Royals are going to win the World Series because they last won the World Series in 1985, the year I was born, which is a long time ago. Plus they are young and fast, something the rest of Major League baseball sorely lacks. This is a magical run that cannot be stopped, ever since they won the wild-card play-in game against the Athletics in dramatic fashion, I knew that the Royals would go all the way.

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