Monday, December 21, 2015

If Giants Let Him, Beckham Will Wreck-'em

In what should be as "red a flag" as the color they wear on their white uniforms, the Giants need to get control of an "out of control" Odell Beckham Jr. or both sides will lose.

What went on at Met Life Stadium Sunday is inexcusable, much less tolerable which seems to be the way the coaches are viewing it.

The NFL suspended Beckham for one game for what was an embarrassing scene for the sport. His helmet to helmet hit (that certainly looked deliberate) on Panthers corner Josh Norman could not have come at a worse time for the League with the movie "Concussion" about to make it's debut in theaters on Christmas Day.

During a conference call earlier today, head coach Tom Coughlin was asked about why he didn't sit Beckham as he piled up three personal fouls and acted like a lunatic on the field. Shockingly, Coughlin said, "I don't watch one player throughout the course of the game and I wasn't aware that all of the personal fouls were directed at Odell."

With the penalties and the player's number being announced to the crowd by the referee through the use of a "state of the art" sound system in the Stadium, I find it hard to believe that Coughlin or the other coaches did not know that Beckham was racking up all that penalty yardage.

Beckham's antics may have already sealed Coughlin's fate because the Giants are not making the playoffs, no matter that they're mathematically still alive. If Washington wins Saturday night, then the tally will officially be four years and counting without post season football.

The officials, who have had their fair share of problems this season, did not do Coughlin or the Giants any favors by not ejecting Beckham.

If he gets tossed, then the decision whether to play him or not is taken out of Coughlin's hands and gives the coach plenty of "ammo" to sternly impart his message for his receiver being selfish, right after the game. Once Beckham caught the tying touchdown, the leverage kinda shrunk for the head coach at that moment, although, this suspension restores some of that if Coughlin chooses to go that route. It seems like he will not.

The Giants have to prod him certainly, but they also have to hope that Beckham starts to "get it" as to how he should be acting on the field.

It's looking more and more likely that Coughlin will not return next season. If there is a new head coach, he'll be facing the same hurdle that this one is facing.

A new head coach may not be so tolerant because he can't allow Beckham to ruin his credibility.

With Beckham demonstrating how selfish he can be, he may get turned off by the rigidity of a new head coach and be disruptive. Whoever is doing the hiring will have to take that into account and bring in someone for the good of the team, not someone who is there to placate an immature, but immensely talented wide receiver.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

3 on 3: Three Reasons Giants Win, Three Reasons Giants Lose

3 Reasons why the Giants will win against the Panthers and 3 reasons why they will not.
by Danny Karpin
The Giants go up against the undefeated Panthers on Sunday and it is a game they must win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Here are some reasons why they could win and why they might not
Reasons they will win:
1.     Odell Beckham Jr.
The Giants have one of the best receivers in the game if not thebest in Odell Beckham Jr. The guy can change a game with one play and the only real problem for the Giants is finding other wide-receivers who are good enough to take advantage of the space Beckham Jr creates. The wide out will be facing a tough match-up in this game as he will probably be going against the games' best corner- back, Josh Norman. The Panthers DB is a defensive back equivalent to Odell in the sense that he has absolutely blown onto the scene this year. I mean just look at this play to clinch their win against the Saints.
2.     Eli Manning
The Giants have a decent chance to win this week and every week simply because they have a great leader going onto the field on Sunday. If the Giants had a better defense and a decent record this year, he would be a good candidate for MVP. Coming off what will probably be his best game as a pro, Manning torched the Dolphins for 4 TDs. Now that he has developed rapport with his number one receiver, he looks to end the Panthers perfect season and keep the Giants playoff hopes alive. He is their best shot at doing this.
3.     Giants run the ball effectively
The Giants must must get their running game going if they want to have a shot in the game. Last Monday against the Dolphins it looked as if they would have a bad performance running wise but then it got going and really opened up the passing game for Eli and Odell. It might be an area to exploit because the Panthers have given up 8 TDs on the ground this year and they have had five games where they gave up over 100 rushing yards. Something that might help the Giants are the screen plays they can run with Shane Vereen. The former Patriots back has been a bright spot for "Big Blue" in their backfield. Many feel Vereen has been under-utilized this season. They must get him involved against the Panthers. 

Reasons they will lose:
1.     The Panthers can control the line of scrimmage as good as anyone
The Panthers pride themselves on having a dominant defensive and offensive line. The O-line manhandle the pass rushers to create big holes for their running backs. They also are third in the league in sacks with 40. There is no doubt they can get to the quarterback. The last time Eli Manning could barely step up in the pocket was the game the Giants played against the Redskins and they were shut out until the fourth quarter…
2.     The Panthers can run the ball very well
One of the reasons why the Panthers have not really felt the loss of their talented receiver Kelvin Benjamin is their run game. They have been so effective at keeping the ball on the ground and running up their time of possession that they have not really needed to rely on a passing game that much. Even with Jonathan Stewart out, Carolina has depth at the position and can overcome the loss of their leading rusher. This brings me to the next reason why the Giants will probably not win on Sunday.
3.     The Panthers have an MVP candidate in Cam Newton
      When they had number one overall in the NFL draft five years ago, the Panthers obviously made the right pick in QB Cam Newton. who now is their best offensive weapon. There is nothing he cannot do from the quarterback position. He is on track to have the most rushing touchdowns as a quarterback. Newton is only four rushing touchdowns shy of Hall of Famer Otto Graham’s record. He currently is the only player in the NFL to rush for at least five touchdowns in the each of the last five seasons. It is pretty clear that if the Giants want to win on Sunday they will have to slow down Cam Newton. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Battle of the Rooks, Porzingis vs Towns: Checkmate

It was billed as the first meeting between the #1 and #4 picks in the NBA draft.

So what was the result of Karl-Anthony Towns vs Kristaps Porzingis.

On an individual basis, I'd call it a draw.

Porzingis' Knicks beat Towns' Timberwolves 107-102. As far as the individual battle, I would label that a "wash".

I was working stats for Minnesota radio so I got a first hand look at what transpired last night at MSG.

The career high tying seven blocks was what stood out for Porzingis, while Towns showed his rebounding prowess (10 boards, three offensive) and a nice mid-range shooting touch, particularly in the fourth quarter when he shot 5/6 (the lone miss being a desperation three at the end that ironically was blocked by Porzingis) and scored 11 of his 25 points. Porzingis hauled in six rebounds (2 on the offensive glass)

Both players did not show much of a low post game.

Porzingis in particular. His shot chart (4 of 14 from the floor) shows he took one shot in the paint all game. Almost all of his 13 other shot attempts came from the top of the foul circle and beyond (1 for 6 from "3") and he took only one shot in the fourth quarter. By the way, he entered the game with less than seven minutes left in the fourth.

The Knicks rookie should not be taking that many shots from beyond the arc for two reasons. One, he needs to start incorporating more of a low post game. I cringe when I see the ball go into Robin Lopez for an offensive set. The other reason is that Porzingis is out of position for an offensive rebound when he launches a "3". A by-product of that miss from three point range is a fast break the other way because of the long rebound.

Porzingis does need to add some bulk and get stronger, but he's only 20 so he may naturally fill out some but will probably be put on a program during the off season.

The Knicks should go back to basketball 101 with this kid and incorporate a low post game. Imagine the ball going inside to Porzingis. With a good ol' fashioned hook shot and a couple of fakes every now and then, opponents would have to respect Porzingis' offensive game. Thus, the defenses would start collapsing and double teaming him. The 7'3" Latvian has good hands and would be an effective passer out of the low post, which would enable Carmelo Anthony and Arron Afflalo to get more open looks.

One other note from the game last night.

Jerian Grant was a DNP for the second straight game,

While on the way home, I was listening to Larry Hardesty on ESPN NY and he brought up Grant's absence and touched on some good points.

Two straight games, zero minutes. Sounds like something is going on here. Is that the player's fault or can it be something with the head coach.

Is Grant's work ethic in question? I would think with his dad, Harvey and Uncle Horace, who were both NBA players, lack of work ethic would not sit well in the Grant family.

Has it been Grant's play on the court? At times, he has seemed lost, especially defensively, and he's made some poor decisions but he is a first year player and you have to live with some growing pains.

Does Derek Fisher feel Grant is not up to speed with his grasp of the position because he was an NBA point guard himself?

From the games I've seen, Grant seems to be lacking confidence. I've seen a kid who can penetrate and attack the rim. He has thrown up a couple of "wild shots", but again, he is a first year player.

I cannot accurately say what's going on between head coach and player but if a poor work ethic or lack of effort or something along those lines is the reason for the lack of playing time, then the player doesn't deserve playing time.

The Knicks need to see what they've got in Grant so they can decide how they want to proceed on this player. DNP's are not the way to go.