The weather outside in New York City and the surrounding area this weekend gave us a preview of what the winter could bring, with temperatures in the 20s and wind chills in the teens and single digits. Unfortunately for the New York Jets, New York Giants, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, the play on the court has been just as chilly, and could lead to a cruel winter.
The New York Jets are the one team in the area, despite a losing record of 5-6, that could be considered a bright spot. Gang Green was picked to be one of the worse, if not the worst team in the entire National Football League coming into the season. The Jets have surprised many, and, despite their first two-game losing streak, they still have a realistic shot of making the playoffs, tied with five other teams in the American Football Conference.
Simply contending with rookie quarterback Geno Smith is positive, and if he plays well toward the end of the season, then the Jets have their quarterback for of the future. If, however, he continues to turn the ball over at an alarming rate, the franchise may be looking for yet another signal caller in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Jets have more wins than the Giants, Knicks and Nets, which only says how bad those teams are.
The New York Knicks are 3-10, and after a season in which they won the Atlantic Division, the team was expected to compete for a division title for a second season, and, perhaps more. Unfortunately, the Knicks have played poor, particularly at home, where they have lost six straight at Madison Square Garden. By contrast, the Knicks didn’t lose their sixth game at home last season until January 11. There are some in the Knicks fan base that feel head coach Mike Woodson is the blame, but the Knicks have a flawed roster, which, coupled with suspensions and injuries, make an underperforming product.
After losing their first six games of the season, Eli Manning and the New York Giants won four in a row to set up a battle against their division rivals, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, the Giants lost a close 24-21 game to America’s Team at frigid Met Life Stadium Sunday, essentially ending their chances of making the playoffs. Even if they won their final five games, (which is a long shot if you have seen them play) they would need a monumental amount of help to make the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets may be perhaps the biggest disappointment in New York. After executing the most talked about trade in the National Basketball Association during the off-season, acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics, the Nets, who were picked by many pundits, including myself, to be contenders for a championship, have started the season with an embarrassing record of 3-10. “I think everybody in here is embarrassed. You definitely don’t want that at home. Like I’ve been saying, we’re going to continue to work to try to change this as best we can,” Kevin Garnett said after the loss to the Detroit Pistons Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center. Joe Johnson had similar sentiments. “We do a lot of talking but it doesn’t translate when we get on the court and it’s very embarrassing.”
With four teams in the NBA and NFL, New Yorkers usually have at least one contender to root for. With the slow starts of the Knicks and Nets, and downhill tumbles of both the Jets and Giants, this year may not produce any contender. Unless one of the four turn around, New Yorkers will have to switch to the most popular reality television shows, or wait for the winter to end and pray the New York Yankees and New York Mets play well in the spring. New York sports fans, get prepared, we may have a cruel winter ahead.