TOJ Weekend Poll & Other Jets Notes

Click here to vote if you are happy with the Jets moving training camp from Cortland to Florham Park

Personally, I am…only because it is a substantially easier commute, which I am guessing is the case for the majority of Jets fans. However as Rex Ryan always says, there is a benefit to getting the entire team away for a few weeks where they can only focus on football. We will have to see if it impacts how the Jets start the season.

Mark Sanchez is being politically correct by saying he wants all the Jets free agents back but you have to think the young quarterback is prioritizing Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards well above anyone else. Perhaps he could restructure his contract to help make that happen.

In case you were wondering, I still rank the Jets top FA priorities in the following order: Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards. You can’t sign two receivers before a corner on a defensive minded team and Holmes should be the priority over Edwards. After those three, I would focus on getting Brodney Pool back to solidify the secondary, Damien Woody to secure right tackle, and Shaun Ellis to mentor Muhammad Wilkerson. I have already resigned myself to Brad Smith leaving.

The Abyss Of The NBA Lockout

TOJ at SB Nation New York on the just how ugly the NBA Lockout could get

A few other NBA notes…

1. Yao Ming announced his retirement today. It is shame he could never reach his potential in the NBA because of health concerns. He still was an important international figure for the league but we will always have to wonder how good he could have been at 100 percent. Let’s hope another big man, Greg Oden, can eventually find a way to stay healthy on the court.

2. I love this quote from Knicks second round pick Josh Harrellson “I’m gonna protect our star players. Amare, Melo, and everyone. I will be there and have their back.” … that is the type of attitude this team needs.

3. It has been exactly a year since LeBron made “The Decision”…you have wonder what would happen if he could do it all over again.

NBA Draft Reaction: Knicks Surprise, Nets Get Steal, Kemba Hungry

TOJ at SB Nation NY with an interview with Kemba Walker on his thoughts on going to Charlotte and being passed over by 8 teams.

A closer look at Knicks picks Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson

Thoughts on the Nets trading for Marshon Brooks

Shumpert wasn’t initially a popular pick because he isn’t a big name guy and it seemed like a reach considering where he was being projected to be drafted. However, considering he won’t have the pressure to come in and immediately start, there is no reason he can’t develop properly behind Chauncey Billups while competing with Toney Douglas and Landry Fields for minutes. Shumpert has plenty of potential, especially to develop into a quality defender at 6-6 and with a 42 inch vertical.

Harrellson provides some much needed size at 6-10, 275 pounds. He doesn’t exactly have the strongest competition to make the roster, as the Knicks are thin on big men, so he may have a chance to stick.

Personally, I loved the Nets trade to get Brooks. They needed to provide a scorer in the backcourt with DeRon Williams and Brooks has a high ceiling, with the potential to develop in a star as the Nets move to Brooklyn.

NBA Draft: Where Will Kemba Walker End Up? Other Draft Rumors

TOJ at SB Nation NY on where local product Kemba Walker could end up in tonight’s draft.

The draft rumor mill is in full swing —

  • Walker could go anywhere from the Raptors at number 5 all the way to the Pacers at 15.
  • Despite Cleveland having the 1 and 4 pick, they are expected to be active for a third lottery pick. Good for them attempting to expedite their rebuilding process.
  • Tony Parker, Steve Nash, George Hill, Jonny Flynn, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, and Eric Maynor are all names being thrown in around in trade rumors. However, I don’t expect the Knicks to make a move for a veteran.
  • There is such a wide range of players the Knicks could end up with at #17, it is hard to project. I wouldn’t be shocked if somebody like Jimmer Fredette or Walker fell to around 14 or 15, if they made a splash by moving up. However, I’d personally rather see them trade up to get Chris Singleton, who will probably be off the board by number 9.
  • It sounds like Cleveland is just about locked into Kyrie Irving with the first pick but Minnesota with the 2nd pick? Well, that is anybody’s guess…could be Derrick Williams, could be Enes Kanter, or they could trade out.

NBA Draft Preview: Will Knicks Make A Major Move?

A whole mess of NBA Draft Coverage

TOJ at SB Nation NY on why the lack of elite talent should make for an eventful night tomorrow

The Knicks plans for the 17 pick remain up in the air

Could the Knicks deal for a veteran point guard?

Personally, I don’t think the Knicks will make a move for a veteran point guard. I am not crazy about the thought of trading Toney Douglas for Jonny Flynn, as I think Douglas is already comfortable with the system and can the hold the fort better for another year as Chauncey Billups’ backup. Flynn has injury concerns and hasn’t been anywhere near as productive the past two years as Douglas.

Even though his scoring would be exciting, the Knicks can’t be giving up assets to move up to obtain Jimmer Fredette. They can’t afford another major defensive liability. If they are adamant about going with a scorer, I’d rather see them go with Marshon Brooks who has more potential to develop into a somewhat decent defender.

Considering their need and who will likely be available, Chris Singleton out of Florida State probably makes the most sense for the Knicks. If he is gone, I don’t have a problem with them looking to Alec Burks or Josh Selby, who Carmelo Anthony is apparently pushing very hard for as fall-backs.

The Problem With LeBron…

TOJ at SB Nation NY on the frustration of watching LeBron James waste his talent so far in the NBA Finals

Other thoughts on what is now a best of three series…

1. I can’t imagine there isn’t some type of divide in the Miami locker room. There is no way LeBron James liked hearing Dwyane Wade repeatedly calling the Heat “his” team after game three and there is no way Wade liked LeBron doing nothing to help him down the stretch last night. Dallas has no business having this series tied at 2 right now but somehow Miami has let the inferior Mavericks stick around.

2. Even though his supporting cast finally showed up last night, Dirk Nowitzki is still doing it all in the final minutes of all these games. Their entire offense in crunch time is predicated on Dirk making something happen and he is handling that pressure well. He wasn’t deterred at all by his early game struggles and still found a way to do enough in the fourth quarter to make sure this series is tied up.

3. It is about time Dallas gave a solid all-around effort to support Nowitzki. DeShawn Stevenson is giving them more quality minutes than expected. Jason Terry has been inconsistent but when he is on, Dallas is very tough to beat. I’d like to see Tyson Chandler finish at the rim more, but his rebounding and presence around the basket was huge last night.

4. The Mavericks have to take game five. You can’t bank on taking two straight in Miami, even after stealing one in their building in game two. I originally picked Dallas in seven and I think if they take game five, I will end up being right with a prediction…for once.

Six Pack Of NBA Thoughts: What Is Wrong With The Knicks?

1. Of course since Donnie Walsh dug the Knicks out of one of the worst financial holes in NBA history and turned them into a contender again, it made sense to push him out the door so Isiah Thomas, the man who dug the financial hole could have more influence. It is hard to believe that whoever the Knicks name the new GM, still won’t have as much power as Thomas regardless of what his official title is. In this city, James Dolan needs to go as bad as the Wilpons need to go.

2. You can’t think this move bodes well for Mike D’Antoni’s future with the Knicks. It also doesn’t help with the rapidly approaching draft. The Knicks can’t afford to miss with the number 17 pick, as they don’t have a first round pick next year. As of now it is up in the air who is ultimately making the final call, which is never good thing.

3. If you aren’t a D’Antoni fan…remember the Knicks could have had Rick Carlisle as their head coach once upon a time.

4. More quotes and fallout from Walsh “stepping down”

5. You think the NFL Lockout is bad? Wait until both the NFL and NBA are locked out this fall and baseball is over…time to dust off my old Rangers jersey and start liking hockey again.

6. How about that game last night? The entire world was ready to hand over the next five NBA titles to the Miami Heat with about 7 minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, Dallas showed Miami is far from invincible and if you punch them in the mouth, there is a good chance they will back down. Perhaps the Heat should have finished the game before prematurely starting their celebration. Dirk Nowitzki gave us all a performance for the ages and now we have a series again.

Thoughts On Ongoing Jets Off-Season Workouts

Click here for more coverage of the New York Jets off-season workouts

1. Great work by Sione Pouha organizing the Jets defensive lineman for workouts in North Jersey. This is a group that will have some new pieces in the rotation with draft picks Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, along with Ropati Pitoitua coming off season ending surgery now in the mix. It is also encouraging to hear that Shaun Ellis will join the workouts later in the week, considering his status with the team is up in the air. Let’s hope any work Wilkerson gets in the off-season will contribute to him making some type of immediate impact whenever the season starts.

2. It is encouraging to hear Mark Sanchez talk about putting together full team workouts, if the lockout continues to carry on. He stated he thinks somewhere around 50 players would show up, which would be great since New England only has around 40…every victory counts, right?

3. Speaking of New England, what is with the paranoia of keeping the media away from your team workouts? Did the secrecy pay off last year in January? Nobody is stealing the information about what routes you are running on air.

4. Jamaal Westerman is taking part in the defensive line workouts and had also worked out with Bart Scott and a few other Jets at the TEST facility in Martinsville, New Jersey earlier in the off-season. It is good to see Westerman getting after it, as he will have a chance to maybe contribute in some of the Jets defensive packages this season considering their depth chart at linebacker.

Click here for more coverage of the New York Jets off-season workouts

Thoughts On NBA Finals Game 1/New York Knicks Draft

TOJ at SB Nation New York on why the Knicks should pass on Jimmer Fredette in the NBA Draft

1. Do any of you Knicks fans out there disagree about Fredette? Forgot about the big name, it is time to realize the Knicks can’t outscore everybody on their way to a NBA title. The reason Miami is probably going to win it all this year is because of how they have dedicated themselves to playing elite level, high energy defense these past few months. It is time for the Knicks to surround their two stars with the proper role players, who can rebound and defend…and then of course hope for Dwight Howard or Chris Paul in 2012.

2. Dallas had a great opportunity last night to steal game one and they let it get away. There were too many missed open shots by Dirk’s supporting cast, most notably Jason Terry. Now Dirk will be dealing with a torn tendon in his finger, which is only going to make the uphill climb Dallas has now that much harder. The role players need to do more for the Mavericks, especially when it comes to rebounding and hitting open threes or this will be a short series.

3. Amazing how out of it Dwyane Wade could look in the first half and then completely hit the switch in the fourth quarter. This is LeBron’s show now but Wade was the key player down the stretch last night, with his block of Shawn Marion followed by a back breaking three.

4. I can’t help but think Udonis Haslem is in Dirk’s head…at least just a little bit.

5. How in the hell is Juwan Howard playing fourth quarter minutes in a NBA Finals game?

NBA Finals coverage at SB Nation

New York Jets Free Agency Rumor Round-Up

Track all of the latest New York Jets free agency updates on TOJ’s stream at SB Nation NY

A few comments on how the New York Jets will approach free agency…

1. Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t going to happen…so get the dreams of the two best corners in the NFL being on a single team out of your head. The Jets aren’t going to break the bank for him with so many free agents of their own, including a cheaper option than Asomugha at corner in Antonio Cromartie.

2. Regardless of Asomugha not happening, the Jets still need to address their cornerback position either by bringing back Cromartie or by signing somebody else like Ike Taylor or Jonathan Joseph. They didn’t draft a pass rusher and it is doubtful they will find a high impact player in free agency, hence they need as much coverage as they can get. Other corners they could look at include Carlos Rogers, Richard Marshall, Chris Carr, and Fabian Washington.

3. If I had to guess today, I would still say it is more likely that Santonio Holmes comes back before Braylon Edwards. However, I am more confident today than I was when the season ended about both of them coming back. Edwards has already gone on record saying he would offer some type of a hometown discount and if Holmes does the same, you never know what could happen. I don’t see any way Brad Smith ends up coming back. Another team will give him more money than the Jets will be willing to offer along with a bigger role on offense.

4. If the Jets lose Braylon Edwards, I am not against giving Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress a shot (no pun intended). Chad Ochocinco or Steve Smith is going to command too much money, yet the Jets should be able to get Moss or Burress on a cheap, short-term deal. The recent talk makes Moss sound like more of a possibility and I might be crazy but I think he could be productive for the Jets on the outside, especially with the attention Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, and Jerricho Cotchery need to receive in the slot.

5. In the less likely case that Edwards returns and Santonio Holmes leaves. I think the team should focus on signing Green Bay’s James Jones. Edwards is going to cost less money than Holmes so if he leaves, the Jets would have more money to invest in a longer contract to a younger player with more upside, like Jones.

6. Outside of Croamrtie in the secondary, I think the Jets will focus on getting Brodney Pool back to start at safety and then work towards getting either Eric Smith or James Ihedigbo back as a reserve. Drew Coleman is very up in the air. It depends on how they decide to handle Cromartie.