Former beloved shortstop could change team's fortunes
Bio: Howard Megdal is Writer At Large for Capital New York, and currently contributes to USA Today Sports Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Vice Sports. His books include The Baseball Talmud, Taking the Field and Wilpon's Folly. His book on the Cardinals will be published by St. Martin's Press in February 2016. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardMegdal.
The New York Knicks nearly defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the N.B.A., Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. And there's really only one reason why: J.R. Smith.
Losing Mark Teixeira for 8-10 weeks, which is what happened to the Yankees on Wednesday thanks to a wrist injury, would be a pretty big deal regardless of surrounding curcumstances.
For nearly three full quarters on Wednesday night, Raymond Felton almost single-handedly allowed the lowly Detroit Pistons to open up a ten-point lead over the Knicks. Then he went out and won the game.
You've got to hand it to Knicks coach Mike Woodson: when he decides someone isn't a starter, he really sticks to it.
Entering spring training, it was already clear that the Mets hadn't collected enough starting pitching to weather any performance or health hiccups of any kind.
It certainly seemed like the St. John's basketball season, full of promise at one point, all but ended late last week when coach Steve Lavin decided to suspend leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison for the remainder of the season.
The Brooklyn Nets, losers in four of their past five games, are considering a big change.
If Sunday's demoralizing loss to the Miami Heat contained a number of positive trends, it is equally true that Monday night's thrilling comeback win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 102-97, held within it a development that could derail the Knicks' season.
The Madison Square Garden crowd was deflated on Sunday after they watched the Knicks blow a 16-point lead and lose to LeBron James and the Miami Heat, 99-93.