Playoff Bound for the New York Liberty

The New York Liberty ended the season with a 15-19 record to secure the 4th seed spot in the Eastern Conference to send them to the playoffs. 

The Liberty had it rough throughout the season, resulting in losing records every month.  However the Liberty managed to end their season winning 6 of their 9 games in September to extend their season and play the Connecticut Suns in the 1st round of the playoffs.

The Liberty started off with the first basket but never held a lead throughout the game. They managed to tie the score in the 3rd quarter with a jump shot from Pierson, but the Suns responded back with the last two baskets of the quarter and the Liberty continued to play catch up.

The Suns started the 4th with a 7-0 run, but the Liberty came back with a 5-0 run to keep the game close.  However it just wasn’t good enough and the Liberty fell to the Suns 65-60 to drop Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Cappie Pondexter who led the team with 14 points, and only shooting 3-16 from the field commented on the team’s offensive woes.

"It was just a frustrating night offensively for us, if you’re on a team’s home court and expect to win, you’ve got to shoot better."

Pettitte returns. Double header sweep. Yankees stay in 1st place

40 year old Andy Pettitte stepped on the mound to pitch for the first time since his injury on June 27th, and there was no doubt that vintage Andy was back. Pettitte pitched 5 shutout innings, giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks.

The Yankees gave Andy some cushion room, scoring 3 runs in the 1st inning.  With Andy looking like the gem that he is the Yankees had no worries.  The Blue Jays remained scoreless until the 8th inning when Robertson gave up a single to Johnson and a double to Vizquel to put two runs on the board for Toronto.  Girardi pulled DROB to bring in Soriano for the 4 out save. The Yankees managed to score another run in the 9th, to give the Yankees an afternoon victory.

Double-Header Sweep?

Rookie David Phelps was on the mound for game 2 of the double header. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with Phelps performance as a starter.  He has really stepped up when the Yankees needed him to.  Coming in with a 4-4 record and a 3.39 ERA, the Yankees looked to Phelps for a crucial win to help keep the Bombers in 1st place and he did just that. Phelps pitched 6.2 innings, only giving up 1 run and striking out 6 batters. Both teams scored 1 run in the 2nd, leaving the game tied until Ichiro hit a RBI single in the 8th.  Phelps did not get the win, but the Yankees managed to keep the 1 run lead to win and maintain the lead in the standings.

Joe Girardi on David Phelp’s performance:

"He pitched an outstanding game, the run he gave up was the byproduct of a couple walks, but after that, he settled down extremely well."

New York Liberty start the season off 0-4

I had the pleasure of attending the Liberty’s home opener against the Connecticut Suns and their 2nd home game against the Minnesota Lynx.  They were both terrific games despite the team losing.

After having lost to Connecticut twice, Minnesota, and Atlanta… The Liberty will be looking for their first win in Indiana against the Fever on Saturday.

Coach John Whisenant after the lost against the Minnesota Lynx:

"At times, I saw us play well defensively, but we are still struggling with maintaining a good cohesive movement.”

Cappie Pondexter on her performance in the lost against the Atlanta Dream:

"To be honest, tonight might have been one of the worst performances of my career, but I am staying positive, I am upset inside and I need to do a personal assessment, but we have two days off to come back with a new mindset.”

Mariano Rivera may be down now, but the Sandman plans to return

Mariano Rivera was seen being carried off the field during batting practice on Thursday, after falling to ground holding his knee.  It was later confirmed that Rivera tore his ACL in addition to his meniscus.

The all time saves leader is a CRUCIAL piece to the Yankees bullpen.  Every Yankees fan is used to seeing Mariano coming out in the 9th to close the game.  Now he will most likely be out for the season.  Since the beginning of the season, there have been talks of Rivera’s retirement.  Now Yankees fans can get a glimpse of what it will feel like not having the Sandman in the bullpen.

As a result of Rivera’s injury, Robertson and Soriano who will share the 9th inning role for now must step up.  This will be a test of who will take over Mo’s spot after his retirement, and I said take over not replace.  Mo can’t and will never be replaced.  Girardi wants to take some time on choosing who will be the 9th inning guy, so Robertson and Soriano will be closely watched.  However remember, Rafael Soriano used to be a closer before he came to New York, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Girardi’s decision will be.

Now the 42 year old Mariano Rivera may be out now, but he has vowed to make a comeback.  There is no way he will be ending his career like that.  So Yankees fans now don’t have to pray and hope for Mo to not retire at the end of the season.

Mariano Rivera on his injury:

"I’m coming back, write it down in big letters. I’m not going down like this. God willing and given the strength, I’m coming back."

"I love to play the game, I don’t think, to me, going out like this is the right way. … I don’t think like that. With the strength of the Lord, I have to continue."

Several Yankees players stated that they didn’t believe Mo would retire this year.  However at least we now we have a bit more reassurance of the idea of seeing Mo back on the mound next year.  Rivera plans to work hard to get his knee back to full strength for next season.

Rangers come out on top in Triple Overtime

The Rangers beat the Capitals 2-1 in a looooooong game that lasted until triple overtime.  A game that lasted approximately 5 hours (114 minutes of game time) ended with a goal by Marian Gaborik at 14:41 of the period.

The game started off with a scoreless 1st period.  However The Capitals score first with a goal by John Carlson in the 2nd period.  Rangers scored with a goal by Ryan Callahan later in the 2nd period.  The game went scoreless after that.  The Capitals were able to fight off a power play early in the 3rd OT period before the Rangers scored to end the long game.

Lundqvist had a total of 45 saves.

Playing such a long game, the players were tired, bloody, sweaty, and oh did i say tired.  I think the fans were tired for them as well.

Henrik Lundqvist on the length of the game:

"My entire body is just tired," I just want to lay down and relax and get a massage. My neck is hurting. The toughest thing is it’s in your head. After the fourth period, I think it’s all in your head. It’s not so much your technique or your physique.  It’s just how much can you push yourself."

Rookie David Phelps takes the mound tonight for the Yankees

25 year old David Phelps who was drafted by the Yankees in 2008 will be taking the mound tonight against the Kansas City Royals.  After serving his time in double A and triple A, Phelps made the 2012 Spring Training roster.  After impressing the coaches, David Phelps was added to the roster for the season, to be a key piece for the Yankees bullpen.

David Phelps who has a 3.57 ERA has pitched 17.2 innings in 6 games.  He’s allowed 12 hits, 4 of them which were home-runs.  He’s also given up 7 runs and 7 walks, but has struck out 14 batters.

All eyes will be on David Phelps tonight as he takes the mound.  Can he give the Yankees a good amount of innings for the bullpen? Will he flunk and give up an enormous amount of runs? Or will he make history? The answers will all be answered at 8:10pm.

David Phelps on his first start:

"I’m really excited," Phelps said. "I’m trying as much as I can to take it like it’s any other game, but it’s a big deal for me. It’s going to be awesome. I’m gonna have a lot of family there."

Tyson Chandler wins Defensive Player of the Award

New York Knicks Center Tyson Chandler won the Defensive Player of the Year awards.  He was definitely well deserved for the award.  He took the ranked 22 in defensive efficiency Knicks and changed them to a ranked 5 in defensive efficiency team.  He has been a pivotal player on and off the court for the Knicks.  He led the league in field goal percentage at 68%, in addition to having 9.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg, and11.6 ppg. I am ooh so very happy that Tyson Chandler won this award, and I am very proud of him.  He has helped the Knicks in soooooo many ways!

Tyson Chandler via Twitter:

"Blessed to have won defensive player of the yr & 2 b the first New York Knicks to be bestowed such a prestigious honor!"

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Amare Stoudemire’s Anger Gets the Best of Him

imageAmare Stoudemire was probably on every front page of the paper as a result of his idiotic, selfish actions.  After the Knicks suffered yet another lost to the Miami Heat, Amare Stoudemire decided to take his anger out on a glass case of a fire extinguisher.  Let’s just say the fire extinguisher won in this battle.  Looks like Amare, and the Knicks have lost yet again.  Stoudemire suffered from lacerations and required stitiches on his hand.  He was seen going to the Knicks bus with his hand fully bandaged and his arm into a sling.

Amare via Twitter:

"I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start."

"We all have done thing out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This to shall pass."

I just want to say how selfish Stoudemire’s actions were.  Yes frustration takes over us all the time.  However did for one second did he think about his team.  Amare Stoudemire will most likely not play Game 3, and after losing Iman Shumpert we cannot afford losing another key player to our squad.  This was already a tough but winnable matchup for the Knicks, but now its become even tougher losing Iman Shumpert and now Amare Stoudemire as a result of his SELF-INFLICTING injury!

Tyson states he should be over the flu by the next game.  Thus we are going to have rely on his great defense and Carmelo Anthony’s remarkable offense.  This series literally relies on these two player’s hands.  Carmelo and Tyson must show leadership, keep this team together and get them to all play hard.  The series is still attainable, it just all depends on how much we want it.

Knicks embarrassed in South Beach in Game 1

The Knicks sure do know how to lose in grand fashion.  From the way the game was going in the beginning, I knew for sure that this game would come down to the final seconds.  Boyyyy was I wrong! If the Knicks plan on winning, one person who can’t disappear in the action is Carmelo Anthony.  In the first quarter Carmelo shot 0-7, went to the line 4 times, and ended the quarter with just four points.  However he did manager to grab 5 rebounds and 2 assists.  Now Carmelo wasn’t the only one who was missing, Stoudemire also ended the first quarter with a lousy four points. Our team leader seemed to be Baron Davis with 10 points, and that’s where the Knicks 18 points came from for the 1st quarter.  Somehow the Knicks were able to keep a small 6 point deficit even though the Knicks shot 27% while the Heat shot 57%.

So the second quarter looked even worse.  The Knicks were outscored by 17 points. Lebron seemed to be able to get all his shots down without a problem.  He ended the half with 27 points, shooting 8-9 from the field and 11-14 that the line.  The next person with the second highest points with Wade with 9, so yea you can say Lebron was single handedly destroying the Knicks in this game.

As for the Knicks, they played at an absolute disgrace!!!! The team committed 14 turnovers in the 2nd.  Carmelo and Amare were again absent, with Melo adding 3 points in the 2nd and Amare adding ZERO! I don’t know what was going on in this game.  Chandler and Shumpert were still scoreless, and the bench added just 10 points. I have no idea where the offense went.  The team who were explosive at the 3 point line, with Carmelo being offensive monster did not show up.  I’m thinking none of them decided to board the plane and just all decided to stay in New York.  Also Tyson who was battling the flu, but decided to play seemed out of it the whole game.  He looked tired and just plain ol’ sick.  He committed 7 turnovers in the first half.  He didn’t have any points and just 3 rebounds in the 13 minutes that he played.

Should I even continue…?? I’m only going to continue because the most horrible thing happened for the Knicks in the 3rd quarter.  Six minutes into the third quarter, Rookie Iman Shumpert the Knicks defensive monster fell to the floor grimacing and holding his knee.  After going to the doctor and getting test done, they concluded that Shumpert tore his ACL and will be out for 6-8 months.  This has to be the most devastating news right now for the team.  Iman Shumpert has been an influential player in the team’s defense, and without him it will be very hard to defend against the Heat. 

Well back to the game, so the 3rd and 4th didn’t look any better.  The Heat went on a 34-2 run in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. I don’t even know how I managed to watch the whole game, I just couldn’t give up on my boys! The team had a total of 27 turnovers… TWENTY SEVEN. 7 of them which came from the flu stricken center Tyson Chandler, and Melo and JR had 4 each as well..  Carmelo added just 4 more points in the 3rd and went scoreless after that.  Stoudemire contributed just 9 points, 5 rebounds, oh and 1 assist in the 32 minutes that he played in.  Melo and Amare combined were 5-22 from the field.  If the Knicks intend to win this series, the two superstars must step up!

Knicks face off in Miami for Game 1

The number 7 seed Knicks will be facing off against the number 2 Heat at 3:30pm today for their first game of the playoffs.  The big question of the day is whether or not Tyson Chandler will play today. Tyson has been experiencing flu like symptoms and did not practice with the team on Friday.  Tyson has been a pivotal player for the team on and off the court.  He leads the team with blocks, rebounds, and field goal percentage.  So how will the Knicks battle without him?  Will the Heat destroy the Knicks in the paint as a result of Tyson missing in the action?

The Knicks average just 87.3 points against the Heat.  While the Heat average 98 points against the Knicks.  The Knicks have managed to shoot just 39% against the Heat this season, and the Heat shot 47.3% against the Knicks.

However everyone knows the Knicks are a changed team.  I think the Knicks have had over 10 identities over the season.  However they have finally managed to come together though it took all season to do so.  If Tyson does play he can defend the paint which is where the Heat excel at. Iman Shumpert the defensive monster can defend Wade and keep him from scoring.  We also need JR Smith’s great defense as well as his great offense, plenty of steals and plenty of three pointers.  Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire must perform offensively but keep playing Mike Woodson’s defense is key strategies… and last but not least Steve Novak three point shot making machine must come out and dominate behind the arc.  If everyone shows up and plays the way everyone knows they can play, I don’t see why they can’t beat the Heat!

So I have complete faith in the Knicks. Mike Woodson has really brought this team together making them capable of going deep into the playoffs! SO LETS GO!!! GAME 1; 3:30PM!!!! #RiseUpNYK

THE TIME IS NOW! THE NBA PLAYOFFS HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED!!!

THE TIME IS NOW! THE NBA PLAYOFFS HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED!!!

The New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 to advance to the second round of the playoffs!
I just want to start off by saying how much I hate Game 7s! I hate game 7s in any sport.  It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat the entire game.  Luckily for New York, the Rangers came out on top on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over the Senators.
It was a scoreless 1st period until the Rangers scored a goal by Marc Staal at 4:46 and then Dan Girardi scored his first playoff goal at 9:04 to bring the Rangers up 2-0 over the Senators.  Ottawa responded back with a goal at 11:34 to keep the game close.  However the Rangers awesome defense and Lundqvist’s 26 saves helped secure a win for the Rangers!
This was the first postseason series win for Rangers coach John Tortorella, and so the Rangers move on to round 2 to face the Washington Capitals.  Game 1 of round 2 starts Saturday at 3pm.

The New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 to advance to the second round of the playoffs!

I just want to start off by saying how much I hate Game 7s! I hate game 7s in any sport.  It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat the entire game.  Luckily for New York, the Rangers came out on top on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over the Senators.

It was a scoreless 1st period until the Rangers scored a goal by Marc Staal at 4:46 and then Dan Girardi scored his first playoff goal at 9:04 to bring the Rangers up 2-0 over the Senators.  Ottawa responded back with a goal at 11:34 to keep the game close.  However the Rangers awesome defense and Lundqvist’s 26 saves helped secure a win for the Rangers!

This was the first postseason series win for Rangers coach John Tortorella, and so the Rangers move on to round 2 to face the Washington Capitals.  Game 1 of round 2 starts Saturday at 3pm.

Knicks host Clippers..

Wednesday is a crucial game for the Knicks, especially with the 6th seed still up for grabs.  The Knickerbockers will be hosting their final game of the regular season against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the LA Clippers.  Both teams are playing for something.  The Clippers still have a chance to grabbed the 3rd seed, while the Knicks can snatch away the 6th seed from the Orlando Magic.  So my prediction is that Wednesday’s game will be very intense! Can Iman Shumpert guard one of the best point guards ever?  Can Tyson Chandler block big ol’ Blake Griffin’s shots?  I hope to see some remarkable defense from Shumpert, Chandler,and even Smith, as well as some great offense from Anthony, Stoudemire, and Novak.  This is not going to be an easy win, so the Knicks will have to battle from start to finish.  I can’t wait to see how this game plays out.  Hopefully it will be a positive outcome for my Knickerbockers!

SIXTH SEED HOPES STILL ALIVE: Here is another update on the Eastern Conference standings.  The Knicks have two games left, the Magic have 2 games as well.  If Orlando wins one game or the Knicks lose another game, then the Knick’s hopes for the 6th seed are dead.  The Magic have the Bobcats and the Grizzlies.  The Bobcats have already lost 20 games in a row, what is the possibility of the Magic losing to them? I think I have a better chance of winning the Mega Millions.  However I am going to stay positive in this, and hope and wish for Orlando to lose their last two games, and for the Knicks to win their last two games.  Being in the 6th seed will mean that the Knicks will face the Pacers in the first round.  Though the Pacers have been doing quite good, the Knicks were able to beat them twice out of the three times that they met.  The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed, 1/2 game up from the Sixers.  Which means they could face the Heat in the first round.  Not saying that I dont have faith in my team to beat the Heat, but I would rather face the Pacers.

SIXTH SEED HOPES STILL ALIVE: Here is another update on the Eastern Conference standings.  The Knicks have two games left, the Magic have 2 games as well.  If Orlando wins one game or the Knicks lose another game, then the Knick’s hopes for the 6th seed are dead.  The Magic have the Bobcats and the Grizzlies.  The Bobcats have already lost 20 games in a row, what is the possibility of the Magic losing to them? I think I have a better chance of winning the Mega Millions.  However I am going to stay positive in this, and hope and wish for Orlando to lose their last two games, and for the Knicks to win their last two games.  Being in the 6th seed will mean that the Knicks will face the Pacers in the first round.  Though the Pacers have been doing quite good, the Knicks were able to beat them twice out of the three times that they met.  The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed, 1/2 game up from the Sixers.  Which means they could face the Heat in the first round.  Not saying that I dont have faith in my team to beat the Heat, but I would rather face the Pacers.

REMARKABLE comeback for the Yankees…

Yankees came in for Game 2 of the Yankees and Red Sox series with 6.97 ERA Freddy Garcia on the mound.  Having lost his first two games, you weren’t really sure how he was going to perform.

I think i should start at the turning point of the game.  The Red Sox were up 9-0 going into the 5th inning.  Freddie Garcia lasted all but 1.2 innings giving up 5 runs.  The Yankees finally got on the board in the 6th, with a solo homerun by Mark Teixeira but the Yankees were still down by 8.  Red Sox had a pitching change in the 7th, and thats where the game went a complete 360.

After a strikeout by Andruw Jones, Russell Martin and Eduardo Nunez singled and Derek Jeter walked to get the bases loaded for Nick Swisher.  On the 1st pitch, Nick Swisher connected for a grand slam which was his 1st as a Yankees and 5th in his career. The Yankees were back in the game, being down by only 4.  Red Sox chose to keep Padilla on the mound, but took him out after giving up a double to Robinson Cano.  AROD reached base on an error by Red Sox’s shortsop Aviles, to bring up Mark Teixeira who had already hit a homerun in the previous inning.  With a 2-2 count, and a 92 mph sinker with no surprise Tex was able to connect again for a homerun to bring the Yankees down by only 1. So when all hope was lost for the Bombers, Teixeria helps bring them back into the game.

Rafael Soriano came in to pitch the 7th and retired 3 straight batters after giving up a ground rule double to Saltalamacchia.  After a remarkable 7th inning for the Yankees, it was hoped by all that they would have a great 8th inning to gain the lead. It was now (as well as the 9th inning) or never for the Yankees.  The Red Sox brought in Aceves after Nunez hit a single to left.  Aceves walked Jeter, and gave up a double to Swisher to bring Nunez and J

eter in.. and just like that the Yankees had taken the lead!!!!!! Aceves walked Robbie intentionally to create a force out, but ended up walking AROD on 7 pitches to load the bases and bring up the dangerous hitting Mark Teixeira. Tex hit a ground rule double to bring Swisher and Cano in, giving the Yankees a slightly comfortable lead over the Red Sox. However with a double by Martin and a single by Derek, the Yankees were able to extend their lead by 6.

The game ended in a unbelieveable Yankees victory of course.  Down by 9, and the Bronx Bombers never gave up.

Mark Teixeira speaks on the Yankees performance:

We take every at-bat seriously, whether it’s the first inning or the seventh inning, up nine or down nine. We don’t want to just give away at-bats and go through the motions. Tonight, we just got on a little roll. That was a lot of fun

Bobby Valentine on the devastating lost:

"It all happened pretty quickly, and it’s all kind of confusing right now"

Rafael Soriano who pitched the 7th got the win for the Yankees.  Former Yankee Alfredo Aceves received the loss for the Red Sox. So the Yankees moved on to a 9-4 record while the Red Sox moved to a 4-10 record.