TJV NEWS: NY Sports Report 11/23

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Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, left, strips the ball from Brooklyn Nets' Joe Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
By Marvin A Azrak
NY sports winter edition are officially in full swing and things are looking up for some, while others are in for a long and unutterable holiday season.

KNICKS: 9-8
If the win in Philly a coupes weeks ago against a depleted 76ers squad was any indication, the Knicks need to find a way to control the flow of the game for 48 minutes, and not blow 19 point leads time and time again. They were then reminded of that when they rallied from a 24 point deficit two nights later, only to fall to a Bucks team that nailed and MSG visiting record 26 three pointers 112-100. The bench players then became the ones playing like starters while the fabulous five weren’t proficient enough to keep pace with the Hornets in a 104-96 loss in Charlotte, dropping the group to 7-6.
Coach Thibodeau made the switch and it worked despite yet another sluggish third quarter performance in a 92-84 win over the Pacers, before immediately crashing at the hands of the conference-worst Magic 104-98 to drop to 3-5 at home. On Saturday night, you were more relived than happy when Alex Burks knocked down five three pointers in the last stanza to lead the Knicks to a 106-99 win over the 1-15 Rockets because you knew what was on the other side of the ledger in a 109-103 pathetic road loss to the 12-5 Bulls as good as they are. The problem runs deeper than just a simple tweak. The league has caught up to New York who are now 4-7 in their past 11 games and it starts at the top with Tom Thibodeau not giving high-flying Obi Toppin more minutes to Julius Randle and RJ Barret refusing to use their right hand when driving to the hoop. The Knicks said take notice and the league has. When will the readjustments appear?

NETS: 12-5
The winning streak was stopped with a 118-95 loss to the Bulls, but victories over the Magic, Pelicans, and Thunder brought Brooklyn to first place in the Eastern Conference. It was then that they were battle tested and given a gut punch by the white-hot now 15-2 Klay Thomson-less Golden State Warriors 117-99 at home with Stephen Curry outclassing Kevin Durant with 37 points in the beatdown. Luckily for Brookwin(Thats a motto) they posted victories over the Cavaliers(109-99) and Magic once again 115-113 in a contest they rallied down 19 points and experienced a 44-17 clip in the third quarter led by James Harden. Most of his 36 points were during that stretch with Lamarcus Aldridge scoring 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to keep Brooklyn afloat. In the waning moments, Harden swished four three throws to clinch the victory.

RANGERS 11-4-3
The team returned home from a disappointing road trip and battled the then 10-0-1 Florida Panthers. Luckily, the team came to play and led 4-0 In an eyeblink. Florida would rally with three third period goals, but Igor Shesterkin would make the lead stand up with 42 saves for his fifth “Stolen” win of the season. A few days later(11/13) , Artemi Panarin stole the show in his return to Columbus with two goals as the Rangers socked three in 63 seconds to turn in a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead and eventually a 5-3 victory.
Just 12 hours later, the Blueshirts ran their win streak to three games with an exhilirating 4-3 shootout win over the Devils, with Chris Kreider netting the winner.
The vibes would roll into the next Tuesday night at MSG, with Ryan Reaves pulverizing a Hab in a fist fight, while Igor backstopped the team with 31 saves in the chippy 3-2 victory. The winning streak would end with a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto, but the team would rebound with one of the most epic finishes to a game in recent memory.
Tied at four in the waning seconds if regulation, Kreider dug the puck of the scramble by the boards, fed Adam Fox who fed Mika Zibanejad, who then sent a touch pass to Ryan Lindgren who put it into the yawning cage with 0.4 seconds remaining to lift the team to a thrilling buzzer-beating victory. At 11-4-3, the Rangers sit in third in the gauntlet that is the Metropolitan division, and are just five points behind the first place Hurricanes. This has been an unexpected beginning to the season to say the least.

ISLANDERS 5-8-2
New York ended their 13 game road trip on a four game swoon with losses to the Wild(5-2), Devils(4-0), Lighting(4-1), and Panthers(6-1), but were now at long last home.
Back in 2015, the Islanders lease for Nassau Collisuem wasn’t renewed due to budget concerns leaving them with no arena before the Barclays Center welcomed them with open arms. But that was a rotten experience for both sides as attendance numbers dipped, and the obstructed views in a place clearly not built for hockey had Brooklyn wanting to dump the Isles when their contract expired at the end of 2019 once again leaving the Isles without a long-term arena. Relocation plans to cities such as Hartford and Quebec we’re discussed, but those were put to rest on December 19th 2017, when it was announced that the team had outbid NYCFC for the new land in Belmont Park that would be called UBS arena, and finish construction in time for the 2021-2022 season.
Shortly thereafter, Governor Andrew Cumo sat down with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss the short-term home plans for the Isles. Bettman didn’t believe the recently renovated colllisuem met modern standards for a hockey arena, and the prospect of calling two arenas home was unfair on both ends to the players and staff of both teams on game night, but new owner John Ledecky was willing to milk the leaking revenue in his Islanders funds and schedule 12 games on Long Island for the 2018-2019 season. The team ran with that opportunity reaching the playoffs with 103 points to which the fans were rewarded for with the NHL granting the team permission to use Nassau county as the site for its home games during their first round series against the Panthers. That decision would evolve into a magnitude of sorts for the fanbase and the franchise, as a John Tavares OT winner in game six clinched the Islanders first series win since 1993, and they got it done in the place homeboys call “Fort Never lose”.
The experiment was such a smashing success, that the teams home games for the next two seasons were played at the “Old Barn”, before the team entrenched themselves in their new palace on November 20th, 2021 against the Calgary Flames.

But the ceremonies in UBS arena would highlight the weekend, for the play on the ice resulted in a truckload full of jeers as despite two Brock Nelson goals, New York would fall 5-2, before being booed off the ice and seeing
the skid hit six with a 3-0 loss to Toronto.
The reeling, beleaguered and COVID snakebitten will now tumble into Wednesday’s rivalry matchup against the surging Rangers in desperate need of a spark

SABRES: 7-9-2
Remember when they were 5-1-1? Yes well Buffalo has gone 2-8-2 since that time span have come down to earth.
One bright spot? The offense is averaging three goals per game over the last seven contests.

BILLS: 6-4
Nobody will give you a pay on the back for thrashing the Jets 45-17, but many will give you attention after being exposed in a 41-15 beatdown in your backyard at the hands of the mediocre Indianapolis Colts. To make matters worse, they have now lost their grip on first place in the AFC East, which now belongs to the white-hot Néw England Patriots, who led by rookie QB Mac Jones, have won five straight games.

JETS: 2-8
They can make all the QB switches they want, but it won’t escape them sporting the title of the NFL laughingstock. Two more home L’s at the hands of Buffalo(45-17) and Miami (27-24) has pushed the group 4.5 games back of the Wildcard, ending any ounce of playoff hope Gang Green nation had left.

GIANTS: 3-7
They were humbled 30-10 by the Bucs and I don’t think anyone is surprised. Up next? A clash against the Eagles to realistically keep their season alive.

NYCFC:
Hurrah! They’re headed to the MLS quarterfinals after they dispatched Atlanta 2-0 at a raucous Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Up next, the NO 1 seed and winners of the “Support let’s shield” for best record in the league in the New England Revolution.

YU:
It’s now at 42. This winning streak keeps growing and growing and if you haven’t hopped on the Yeshivah University Macs train yet, you better do it before its too late! This is some sensational stuff.

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