STILL MLS CUP CHAMPIONS!!
They were still reeling after their 73-59 loss to Illinois Wesleyan on December 30th that dropped them down to #5 in the rankings.
Not bad, guys. That win on Wednesday was one of the best of the season. We rallied from 25 down on the back of a career-high 41 point performance by Evan Fournier, who seems only to crush Boston this season, and it capped by an exhilarating RJ Barret buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 108-105 win. However, that euphoria was short-lived as the Knicks dropped a 99-75 decision in TD Garden two nights later without Kemba Walker or Fournier. But on Monday, RJ Barret led the way with 31 points, and Evan added 18, as the Knicks used a big second half to blow past the lowly Spurs 111-96 at MSG for their sixth win in the past seven games. Unfortunately, the schedule reverts to playoff-caliber teams beginning with the Dallas Mavericks(22-18) at home on Wednesday.
Okay, having Kyrie back is tremendous, and he was the reason the Nets edged the Pacers 129-121 on Wednesday night, with his 22 making KD’s 39 points standout in the win. But on Friday, the Nets were Irving-less, but we’re facing a Bucks team basically without their bench, yet still were slain 121-109 at Barclays Center, falling to 0-8 against the league’s top seven teams. They were looking to avoid falling under.500 at home, Cam Thomas knocked down a game-winner to lift Brooklyn over the pitiful Spurs 121-119 in overtime on Sunday. But on Monday, the Nets fell in Portland 114-108 for their first season loss with Irving on the floor. The defeat drops Brooklyn two games back of the 26-11 Bulls for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
COVID hits every team throughout the season, and the NYR was no different.
As of this writing, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Reaves, Julien Gauthier, Barclay Goodrow, and coach Gerald Gallant are all on the COVID list. The Rangers were also without Patrick Nemeth for a while and are now without Dryden Hunt, who sustained a lower-body injury during the Rangers lackluster 5-1 loss in Vegas on Wednesday. The team would rebound on Saturday night in a 4-1 win over the Ducks where Ryan Lindgren had a two-goal contest, and Jared TINORDI(Yes, who? He was an FA acquisition and is a veteran out of Boston) scored his first goal as a Ranger in the game-breaking three-goal third.
But two nights later, the listless Rangers had no Gallant or Goodrow, among others, in addition to a rusty Artemi Panarin who just came off the COVID list and dropped a 3-1 decision in LA to the Kings.
Yes, the team has dropped two of three on this road trip but should be ok once they get everyone back at the end of the week.
GIANTS: 4-13 & cleaning house.
This abysmal era officially ended on Sunday when the team fell 22-7 to Washington, polishing off a woeful 4-13 campaign. They then parted ways with GM Dave Gettelman after four underwhelming seasons and head coach Joe Judge after he went 10-23 the past two seasons. The GM news wasn’t astonishing, but the vacant head coach position was. As bad as the results were, Judge seemingly had a pulse of the team as players were surveyed and reportedly “Loved playing for him.” This was also something that Joe said in his introductory press conference is a process that would take time to work through, and while it was clear the Giants needed to clean house, Judge wasn’t the problem rather the front office above him.
It appeared that Joe would retain his job after he met with ownership on Monday. Still, a disagreement on what type of GM should fill the vacancy left by Gettelman was the nail in the coffin for a coach that went on an 11-minute rant after his team dropped a 29-3 week 17 game in Chicago before enraging fans by calling two QB sneaks when pinned back in his end zone against Washington on Sunday. Judge wanted to go younger to match him being a young coach with a young team. But the Giants said they wanted to move in a different direction, and Joe was stubborn. Judge also fired front office recommended offensive coordinator Jason Garret midseason. Still, the offensive production drastically decreased, which is broad talk with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at QB instead of the injured Daniel Jones.
Overall, the results weren’t there, and as owner, John Mara said, “I can’t say I’m confident in the direction this team is headed,” which led him to part ways with Joe Judge and officially clean house. This does enhance the GM vacancy, as the new leader will inherit the opportunity to pick his coach, two top 10 picks in this year’s draft, and a chance to reconstruct the roster and earn the G-Men more cap space as they look to begin a new rebuild starting this offseason.
The team will be searching for their fifth head coach in eight seasons and are hopeful this will be the one that snaps their five-year dry spell of making the playoff party, let alone having a winning season.
They honestly have a bright future. Zach Wilson finished off an impressive rookie season as QB of the Jets in their 27-10 loss to the Bills. He had 213 completions (55.6%), 2,334 yards on the season(6.1 per game) for nine touchdowns, 11 touchdowns in 13 games.
They now enter the offseason with an abundance of cap space and two first-round picks (4th and 8th).
It’s playoff time!! Bills vs. Pats in the true AFC East championship on Saturday at 8:15 PM from Buffalo. Josh Allen vs. Mac Jones. Sean McDermott vs. Bill Bellichek. The list goes on. Who you got?