The 2017-18 NY Knicks: 20 Games In

Back in August, Vegas released the over/under for the Knicks total wins, setting the mark at 30.5. I am a betting man, but decided to stay away from this one; there was simply no winning side to pick. On one side of my heart, I never thought this team would eclipse 30 wins. On the other side, when you love a team and root for them night in and night out, you think they will be victorious every game.

20 games in and the Knicks are a .500 team. Porzingis is a budding star, seemingly destined to be an all NBA performer for many years to come, but slumping as of recent. The rest of the team is filled with contracts that will be gone in 1 to 2 years, or potential pieces to hopefully surround another top tier player joining us in free agency.

A title was not expected this season, but after everything Knick fans have been through, this group (KP, Kanter & sometimes Frank/Timmy) feels like a breath of fresh air. The stench of Phil and Carmelo is long gone, taking with them their ball stopping offense and prepubescent verbal spats. The Garden is alive again and not just in the “we sell out every game regardless of who is wearing a jersey,” type of way. You give this fanbase a young star and some semblance of hope past this year that smart front office decisions will be made and they will respond.

I will not get ahead of myself because history has taught me better, but I feel hopeful in a realistic way for the firs time…ever. Here is to more then 10 wins in our next 20 games and getting KP back on track. Playoffs anyone?

 

Knicks & Gers on a Friday Night

Two road games tonight for NYC’s real winter professional sports teams, (we do not acknowledge the existence of the Nets or Islanders) as the Knicks are in Toronto to take on the Raptors and the Gers in beautiful Columbus, Ohio for a tilt with the Jackets.

The Knicks are coming off what feels like their 100th come back win after defeating an undermanned Jazz team the other night at the Garden. ‘Timmy’s Shimmy’ was on full display, as the guard went off for a team high 26 points and a couple clutch shots down the stretch. I came into the season thinking like everyone else, “why the hell did we just pay this guy 70+ million when we had him on his rookie contract just a year ago…” While I still think he jacks up too many awful shots, he is a very productive 2 when he plays within himself and acts as a second fiddle scorer. Go Timmy Go.

The Raptors have turned into the team that you know will be a top 4 seed in the east year in and year out and also know that they will never win anything. Good enough to be good in the east, but never good enough to win it, or come close to competing with the west. With that being said, they did have a suprising win in Houston and return home for two games before coming to the Garden for a rematch next week. The Knicks are covering spreads like its their job this year, give me those points.

Bonus: Got to love Kanter continuing to put Erdogan on blast whenever he can. Dude is an enemy to his native country and gives no fucks. The legend continues to grow.

Turning to the ice, here is a brief blurb from our dudes over at Boyz N Gers. These guys never fail to deliver.

Seems like just yesterday when we were scoring PP goals at will against Torts boys in the 3rd period. That was some wild stuff, some questionable calls by the refs for sure but that has been the norm all season as you could probably now get a penalty for messing up a guy’s tape job.

Blue Jackets were without Scam Atkinson last time they played and he for sure is a difference maker. Was kind of hoping he became a free agent at the end of the year and the Gers got him but the Blue Jackets took that away when they locked him up for 7 more years last night.

A quick scroll down to the Quick Hitters will show you that the Blue Jackets rank dead last on the Power Play this season. No surprise there from a Torts coached team. Those guys get yelled at so much to block shots that you got Foligno and Hartnell blocking shots from Jones and Werenski at the point. Yeah I know that Hartnell is on Smashville now but he is still so rattled that he’s flying in just to eat a few clappers so he doesn’t get bag skated in practice.

Oh yeah and Smitty is free! LFG he is going to play like an absolute goddamn savage tonight. Hacks and crosschecks all night. Don’t be surprised if he rips a G. We did it Tommy G Jr!!! #FreeSmitty

Rangers @ Blackhawks via BOYS N GERS

Subscriber Note of the Game

Boyz, I am fully in camp #FreeSmitty. Not a huge fan of Kampfer….it’s like hey, if I don’t notice you on the ice Stevie, you’re doing fine. But when I do, you’re either getting dusted by 4th liners or taking penalties. #FreeSmitty

– “Thomas”

————————————–

I dunno Tommy, kinda seems like you’re just nitpicking for nitpicking’s sake. We’ve won so many games in a row I didn’t even remember Smitty was on the team. LFG Kampfer.

– The Boyz (that was Jim, I am full #TeamSmitty LFG)

 Game 19/82
New York Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
United Center | Chicago, Illinois
11.15.17 | 8:00 PM

THE SKINNY DIP

LET’S DIVE HEADFIRST INTO THIS TILT. TRUNKS OPTIONAL, SNORKELS MANDATORY

[1994]

If you missed the Subscriber Note of the Game, I’m being serious when I say we’ve won so many games in a row that I forgot Smitty was even on the team. We’ve won so many games in a row I don’t even know how many games in a row we’ve won. 6, 7?Either way, the Gers hit the Windy City firing on all cylinders in hopes of taking down a good – but not great – Chicago Blackhawks team. To be fair, though, a lot of teams have only been good so far in The National (btw “the National” is the new nickname for the NHL per Kevin Weekes. LFG Savage! Huge thanks to loyal subscriber, “Nano Heilbron”, for this astute observation).Let’s keep an eye out tonight for Buch, Zibby, and Zucc to keep cruising in the points column. Obviously it appears as if Slick Rick has been spending time near the fireplace ’cause he is for sure HEATING up, which is just every team’s worst nightmare. 

QUICK HITTERS

Team Records

NYR

9-7-2 (20 pts)

PP: 25.76% (3rd)

PK: 81.36% (12th

CHI 

 8-8-2 (18 pts)

PP: 14.29% (28th)

PK: 83.58% (10th)

Team Leaders

NYR 

G: Three Tied (8)

A: Three Tied (12)

Pts: Zibanejad (18)

CHI 

G: Saad (7) 

A: Kane (11)

Pts: Kane (17)

GUEST TAKE

A lot of my readers have been asking me this year if this is the beginning of the end of Blackhawks dynasty. I have been reluctant to answer affirmatively but I am starting to think that it just might be. Look I am huge fan of Schemin’ Stan Bowman, but some of his recent moves have been head scratching.What was he thinking with this blueline? While successful in the past rolling 4 dmen while Rozsival roamed around for about 10 minutes per night, he has out-done himself this year by trying to roll 2 dmen and let guys named Rutta, Forsling and Kempny. Would definitely not hate bringing the Czech Crusher back though, I loved Rozsival.They don’t call Rozsival the Czech Crusher because of his hits, I don’t think I ever saw him lay the body once. But every roadtrip he would bring 3 bags of BBQ Lays chips, stomp on all of them until the chips were sufficiently crushed, and then consolidate them in to one bag. He would then proceed to dump the chips in his mouth straight out of the side of the bag, he said he hated getting the excess BBQ dust on his hands. Wild stuff.

“WASHED UP” WEDNESDAY

This Wednesday we will focus on former NHL goalie Arturs Irbe. Some of you might remember him as the tendy who wore a players helmet and flopped all over the crease (think Hasek but not as good), other may know him as Kevin Weekes once crowned him the fastest goalie he has ever seen when it came to getting his pads on.What you might not know though is that, even though he retired from the NHL in 2004, he last suited up for an NHL team in 2015, when he was 47 years old. While he was the goalie coach for the Sabres, their starting goalie was once injured early in a game, leaving the team with no backup. True to form, Irbe changed from his suit to full gear before the next whistle. He did not get in the game, but continued to coach while serving as the backup tendy.Now a coach for the Latvian Men’s National team, do not be surprised if a couple Latvian goalies start going down with mysterious illnesses during these next Olympics. Next thing you know Irbe will be stacking the pads against the pride of USA Hockey, Matt Gilroy.

Halftime

We love sports. It is why we started this site and why we will continue to write each and every day. We also love many other things – music, tv, politics (sometimes) and the internet in general.

Every Wednesday we will be taking a step back from our normal NYC/BOS sports coverage to bring you Halftime. A column encapsulates everything else we love, hate or just find interesting and want to share. Here is to diversifying the portfolio.

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Anderson East – All On My Mind

I am a music guy. Listen to it, see live shows, might have even worked/still work in the industry depending on who you talk to. It is only right I start off this non sports post with my current favorite tune, Anderson East’s, “All On My Mind.” The Alabama native is gearing up to release his second LP and the debut single does not disappoint. If you are a fan of rock music that has some soul in it, this one is for you.

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John Oliver’s on Net Neutrality

Whether you love or hate John Oliver’s show, or simply don’t know who he is and have never watched it, his segment on net neutrality is important viewing material for anyone who enjoys using the internet as they please. With the season finale of ‘Last Week Tonight’ airing this past Sunday, I felt it necessary to highlight a piece from this run that targets an issue both sides of the political spectrum SHOULD agree on. No religion, no guns, no emails, no taxes, just access to viewing your favorite websites.

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The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Though this book came out in 2011, it felt just as relevant to read the past few months. I am not hear to claim I am the worlds best reader, I am not. But simply put, this book was worth it. It had a bit of everything to grasp onto: college life, sports, unusual relationships, an unfamiliar setting (for myself) and plenty of momentous occurrences that somehow tied it all together. It was reported this year that the book would be adopted into a movie, so if you aren’t the type to read 544 pages, a visual solution is on the way.

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Ping Pong

Great game, love it, been playing a lot lately, highly recommend.

NYC Monday Morning Hangover: Knicks host the Cavs; Giants embarrassment continues, the Rangers are back

Mondays suck. 44 degree cloudy Mondays are even worse. The Giants suck. Cold, cloudy Monday’s + The Giants = Fire McAdoo. Just do it. Those are all the words that need to be spent today on the Giants.

Lebron James and his opinions on everything that have nothing to do with him return to the Garden tonight to face our Latvian prince. The Knicks destroyed the Cavs in Cleveland just over two weeks ago and will look to follow up that win with a statement game tonight. The Cavs have looked less interested in playing regular season games this year then Roy Moore is in women over 18, while the Knicks have shown a new found grit and determination to prove that this team is the starting pieces of a new beginning. B2B will be in the house for this one and expect the Knicks to play with a little extra fire after James’ comments about Frank.

We will have a new installment from our good friends over at the BOYZ N GERS on Wednesday, but in the mean time, could not leave out that the blue shirts are winners of six in a row and Jimmy Vesey is the newest member of the #hockeyguy club. What started out as a disaster of a year has quickly taken a turn in the right direction and put all immediate questions aside regarding this teams ability to stay near the top of the East.

Clear a Roster Spot! Joakim Returns Monday

Joakim Noah and his decrepit knees will make their return to the Knicks on Monday following his 20 game suspension for smoking trees. This leaves the roster with one too many mediocre players at the end of their bench, the worst of them all, Noah, unfortunately making the most cash. Rumors have circulated as to which player will be on their way out of town, Kuz, with his expiring contract and ability to be a solid role player has been the most talked about name. In a perfect world, the amnesty clause was still around and we could send Joakim out to pasture. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option until the new CBA is completed. Here are other possible scenarios if Kuz isn’t the pick to create room for Noah.

Kyle O’Quinn                                                                                                                                         

Even though he looks like he is 43, O’Quinn is just 27 and playing the best ball of his career (7ppg, 6rpb & 1.2 bpg). He has been a reliable big off the bench and proved over the course of 11 games why Hornacek has placed him in front of Willy on the depth chart. Slated to make 4 million this year, with a player option for 18′-19′, O’Quinn could be a valuable asset for a contender looking to shore up its front-court. That is, if they are willing to part with a pick…

Ramon Sessions                                                                                                                            

After starting the first three games of the season at PG, all three losses, Sessions has only seen the floor during garbage time minutes vs. the Rockets since. In his 11 seasons, Sessions has always been a part of the rotation and could serve as a solid backup guard elsewhere. The Knicks feel comfortable with Jack running the show and need to continue to give Frank every other pg minute avail. Sessions is on a veterans minimum contract this year and would be a small risk for a team seeking guard help (the Thunder come to mind…).

Ron Baker                                                                    

Just cut the guy, he is not an NBA player. Oh wait, you gave him a guaranteed 4 million contract for this year with a player option for the next. Nice.           

Willy Hernangomez        

I was sold on Willy after his performance last season. He was a great compliment to KP and with some seasoning, looked like he could be a formidable center for many years to come. We now find ourselves three weeks into the season and he has only played in 6 games, while Kanter has shown he is a force down low and is a lot better of a KP front court mate then we originally thought. If someone is dangling a pick or a solid young guard for Willy, I am taking it.

 

 

Bruins at Rangers (NBCSN) – via BOYZ N GERS

Night 1 and we already have our good friends over at the BOYZ N GERS bringing you everything you need to know about tonight’s game at the Garden. Enjoy their coverage below and be sure to send them fan mail at boyzngers@gmail.com.

Subscriber Note of the Game
“Panarin/Jones each have 11 points, not 10. Idiots. Can we trust anything you say in the future?”
– Conor (Connor?…joke B’s fan)
Conor, we appreciate you reading so closely. However, you are in fact the idiot, idiot. Not just for being a B’s fan, but for thinking that we would give Panarin and Jones apples on this bullshit goal:
Besides Panarin’s obvious hook 6 seconds into the clip, this is a JOKE that they allowed this goal. Wennberg clearly punches the puck in. Even if the Wild didn’t protest the game, the least we can do is take those assists away from both Panarin and Jones. So…they did have 10 points at the time, idiot.
Game 17/82
New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
MSG | NYC, NY
11/8/17 | 8:00 PM (standard Rivalry Night puck drop time)

THE SKINNY DIP

LET’S DIVE HEADFIRST INTO THIS TILT. TRUNKS OPTIONAL, SNORKELS MANDATORY
[1994]
 
First order of business is officially declaring that the NEW YORK RANGERS ARE FUCKIN’ BACK – LFG BOYS. Holy hell I was sweatin’ in my mom’s garage for the first 12 games but goddamn all of the sudden I am so fired up for the Cup parade in June.
 
Seriously, is Brady Skjei the best d-man in the Eastern Conference? He’s a one-man breakout every time he has the puck behind his own net. And how about Miller, Zibanejad, and Buchnevich? Those three are on their way to becoming untouchable in this organization.
 
The only thing you can really ask for now is for SMITTY and HANK to wake up and start playing like the SAVIGÉS we know they are. 
 
By the way, we are going to run over the Bruins. They are really bad. 

QUICK HITTERS

Team Records

NYR7-7-2 (16 pts)

PP: 24.2% PK: 81.1%

BOS 

6-4-3 (15 pts)

PP:25.5% PK: 87.2%

GUEST TAKE

CATCH THE BUZZ ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BEEHIVE
[1994]
It’s been a lackluster season for Cassidy’s Causeway Kids thus far. Plagued by injuries (add Marchy to the list that already includes Krejci, Backes, Spooner and Darth Quaider) and an absurd October schedule that saw them play once a week, the B’s haven’t been able to build any real momentum and sit on 15 points through 13 games. (2-1-2 last 5). 
 
I don’t hate what I see out there, but I certainly don’t love it. Some of the young guys looks good. Tuukka remains a mystery. McAvoidagoal has been a letdown. Is Chara back?!? I’ve accepted the fact that mid-season games against the Hurricanes are now must win, and that’s it’s gonna be a gritty, blue-collar season. But B’s fans are blue collar guys and gals. Gimme that 7 seed and let’s make an epic cup run…
 
Oh and that momentum I was talking about? What better way to build some then by chasing Hank after the 1st period and laying a good old fashioned Big Bad Bruins beat down on the Rags at The (fake) Garden!!
 
Good luck tonight @boyz. Go B’s.
– “Bandy’s B’s Guest Take” by Jack Bandera (loyal subscriber)

“WASHED UP” WEDNESDAY

NO MATTER THE DAY OF THE WEEK, WE GOT YOU COVERED
[1994]
Pretty obvious alliteration to go with when you’re playing against the Boston Bruins. So, here it goes…
 
The B’s are so washed up they’re hosting a charity car wash where Krejci, Bergeron, Chara, and McQuaid are gonna scrub people’s cars all day long – not for money, but for forgiveness.
 
The B’s are so washed up I heard Charlie McAvoy was mistaken for a dead whale on the Cape over the summer. #Fatso
 
The B’s are so washed up that Jack Bandera was the “most dedicated B’s fan” we could think of to write the Guest Take today.
 
The B’s are so washed up Tanner Glass turned down a contract offer last night.
 
The B’s are so washed up “Ian” and “Conor” are fans.
 
The B’s are so washed up half of their “fanbase” subscribes to Boyz ‘N Gers.
 
The B’s stink.