Knicks Are a Long Way from Fixed, but David Fizdale Appears to Be a Good Start


NEW YORK — By this point, Knicks fans know the deal. New coach comes in, refers to Madison Square Garden as “The Mecca” and claims working there is a dream come true. He says he’s going to emphasize defense and accountability, that some sort of super-awesome culture is going to be instilled, that he knows it’s been a dark few years but brighter times lay ahead.

Tuesday was no different. The Knicks introduced their new head coach, David Fizdale, the 11th man to hold that position since Jeff Van Gundy left in late 2001 and fifth since 2014 (extra snack for those poor diehards who can name the previous 10). A new head coach, of course, means another introductory press conference, and so here we were again, sitting in a hall at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks’ latest liberator, in this case, Fizdale, took the stage to share the myriad ways he planned to embark on the task that has flummoxed 10 coaches, and even more front office executives, before him:cheap nfl jersey

How to fix the Knicks.

Then again, things are a bit different this time. For one, Fizdale isn’t being billed as some savior; he’s just the latest piece to a puzzle being put together by team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry. He’s also joining a team that, as hapless as things have recently felt, finds itself in decent position moving forward. The Knicks will have cap room next summer. They have a lottery pick this year and likely one next year, too. cheap nfl authentic jerseys Rookie Frank Ntilikina, who won’t turn 20 until late July, is already one of the league’s top defenders.

And there’s Kristaps Porzingis, a talent who has the potential to grow into the type of franchise cornerstone that teams spend years searching for.

“The best way to describe him is he’s the future of the NBA,” Fizdale said Tuesday. “Look around who’s playing right now. They all got guys super-long, super-athletic, super-skilled, super-tough-minded. He fits all of the qualities of a megastar and a guy who can really propel a franchise forward to high places.”cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Which leads us back to Fizdale, and Mills’ and Perry’s decision to entrust him with the team’s future and the question of whether they were smart to do so.

Of course, one press conference, and all the platitudes and performing that come with it, can’t answer this question. And so saying that the Knicks will suddenly morph into a championship-caliber defensive team because Fizdale said he wants a “loud defense that sparks the offense” would be naive.

For one, Fizdale made it clear he is of the modern mindset in basketball, that size should not dictate position. Asked about whether he plans on playing Porzingis predominantly as his lone big man on the floor, or alongside a second one, Fizdale replied:

“Why limit it? Why put a ceiling on it? cheap nfl jerseys from china I just see so many different ways to use him,” Fizdale said. “Obviously, if you play him at some 5, it’s like that super-lineup you’re always seeing from different teams—I don’t even know how you match up with him. He can play some 4. If you have another speed guy at the 4, you might even be able to play positionless.”

This sort of thinking, Perry added later, was one of Fizdale’s attributes that appealed to the Knicks.

“You hear him talk a lot about positionless basketball, not being afraid to try different combinations,” Perry said. “With where the game is going today, that’s a really appealing quality that he nfl cheap jerseys brings.”

Can Rashaad Penny Take the NFL by Storm and Save the Seahawks?


The Seattle Seahawks are coming off their worst season of the Russell Wilson era, and their trajectory appears to be pointing further downward on the surface.

Seattle won fewer than 10 games and missed the playoffs last year for the first time since drafting Wilson in the third round in 2012, while the division-rival Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers emerged as high-buzz current or soon-to-be contenders. The Seahawks then experienced a hellish March, with key veterans such as Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham, Sheldon Richardson and Paul Richardson all hitting the road.

It might be time to prepare a eulogy for the Legion of Boom and to wonder whether a supposed dynasty in the making has already reached its expiration date.

Wilson was an MVP candidate last year, but the four-time Pro Bowler can’t single-handedly carry a team that ranked in the middle of the pack in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), according to Football Outsiders. authentic nfl jerseys cheap

According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson has been pressured more frequently than any quarterback in the NFC over the last three years. That oft-embarrassed offensive line again ranked in the bottom 10 in terms of Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate in 2017.

So, the defense likely won’t rescue Wilson the way it did during the first few years of his career, and the line again might do more harm than good in 2018.

What about the running game? Could Seattle’s savior be a rookie at a non-premium position who few expected to be drafted in the first round?

Most casual football fans still may not know who Rashaad Penny is, but the overlooked 22-year-old running back could be the key to saving the Seahawks in 2018. nfl jerseys for cheap

Seattle’s running game consistently ranked near the top of the league in terms of rushing yards per game and yards per carry during Wilson’s first four seasons, but the Seahawks ranked in the bottom 10 in each of the last two seasons. They’ve been looking for a top-flight back ever since Marshawn Lynch faded in 2015, but they haven’t had a running back rush for 500 yards in either of the last two seasons.

Penny might change that. And the Seahawks know it, which is why they’re going to try to keep him on the field every down.

“We’re gonna work real hard with his pass protection cheap nfl jerseys and make sure that he’s up to speed there,” head coach Pete Carroll said Sunday, per Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. “We’d like to see if we can make him available to us on all three downs.”

Few mock drafts had Penny going in Round 1, but Seahawks general manager John Schneider—who selected him 27th overall in April’s draft—said he would have felt comfortable taking Penny at No. 18 before Seattle traded down, according to PFF’s Scott Barrett.

And it’s not as though the Seahawks are the only team that believes Penny has a bright future. After Seattle took the San Diego State product, Schneider says the team received a trade offer for him, per Barrett. nfl jersey cheap

Yours truly wrote in March that it was “shocking to see how often he’s been ignored in early-round draft analysis and predictions,” because Penny looks and feels like an elite running back in the making.