Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Some Thoughts

So the Mets actually did sign Pedro Martinez! How about that? My prediction - 17-7, 3.15 ERA. Lot's of strikeouts. Two bench clearing brawls as a result of his beanballing. He gets thrown at a few times while at bat but avoids any serious cranial damage.

The Giants are 5-9, and still in the NFC playoff hunt. How horrible is that? They can finish 7-9 at best and still squeak into the postseason, they are one of many teams in that same boat however. One positive thing that can be drawn from their Saturday afternoon defeat at the hands of the Steelers was the play of Eli Manning. If not for a falling Amani Toomer, who knows how that game would've turned out. Eli played a solid game of football and a performance like that should quiet some of those sour puss critics who said things like 'this experieince will ruin him' and 'it would be nice if they(the Giants) had a quaterback.' ESPN & HBO analyst Peter King said after the game it was clear which one of these two rookie quaterbacks is headed for a more successful NFL career, referring to Eli Manning, not Ben Roethlisberger. Hopefully his prediction holds true. I get the sense he is correct in his assertion, and I'm an NFL genious.

The New York Knicks have the most losses of any first place team in the NBA and currently hold the #3 seed for the playoffs. Their play has ranged from impressive to embarrassingly bad. Currently they are on a 2 game winning streak heading into tonight's game at home against the Dallas Mavericks. If they can beat the Mavs tonight it will turn some heads. They will have beaten the Jazz, the Nuggets and the Mavs, and came within 1 point of beating the defending champion Detroit Pistons. This is a Knicks team that can beat some of the 'elite' teams in the NBA East and West, they just need to play smart every game. Watching Jamal Crawford huck up jump shots in the 4th quater against the Pistons was maddening. If only he had passed the ball around, or drove the lane to create a scoring chance/draw a foul, we'd be looking at a Knicks team that beat all four of those powerhouses leading into tonight. Which is why tonight is so important. I can remember during some of the Riley years, coming up to their Christmas Day games against either the Bulls or the Pacers, when their record would stand at .500! This was unheard of and unacceptable, the NY papers would rip the Knicks for being mediocre when they should've been dominating like their Eastern Conference rivals. That would be when talk of Riley's downfall would start, or that Ewing was too old. It was that Christmas Judgement period that instilled in me the notion that every Christmas time is a time to evaluate the Knicks season so far. Obviously the game and the team has changed a lot since then, but here we are, coming up on Christmas and the Knicks, who are usually mocked by NBA and Sports Talk folk around the nation, are in first place and have a winning record. Tonight the Mavericks game is pivotal. It's one of those games I've referred to in previous posts, it's a game they need to win. If the Knicks hope to change their fortunes and create a new energy this year at MSG, they need to win tonight. They need to show the fans that they can consistently win the statement games. With each big win, the teams confidence will grow, and they will need all the confidence in the world for when they evetually meet the Heat. I'm hoping to see a rebirth to the Knicks/Heat rivalry, then maybe next Christmas Day we can see a competitive rivalry game on TV, not a soap opera mess featuring an accused rapist.


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