A quiet Monday follows up a busy weekend on the New York sports scene.
The local NBA teams were out and about over the weekend, but aside from a Knicks rout of the Clippers, it wasn’t a pretty weekend.
As for this week, college basketball conference tournaments are going to heat up. Some of the smaller conferences have already started, but the Big East, MAAC, ACC, Big Ten, SEC, and other conferences are tipping things off this week.
Here’s what we’re watching tonight:
- NBA: Knicks @ Kings — 10:30 PM ET
- NHL: Islanders vs. Avalanche — 7:30 PM ET
Knicks Stumble, Bounce Back
It’s fair to say that this Knicks season is over, for all intents and purposes. They are six games out in the loss column for 10th place in the Eastern Conference. In other words, Knicks fans should start looking at mock drafts instead of playoff tickets.
Friday night was an embarrassing loss for New York. They had a chance to beat the shorthanded Suns, but Julius Randle lost his cool and was ejected.
— Overtime (@overtime) March 5, 2022
Randle’s ejection, combined with some questionable coaching decisions by Tom Thibodeau down the stretch, helped open the door for a Phoenix comeback. It was another bad loss in a year chock full of bad losses.
However, New York bounced back with a runaway victory against the Clippers on Sunday. RJ Barrett led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds, and four boards, but it was a team effort in the win. Mitchell Robinson and Immanuel Quickley added double-doubles with Cam Reddish chipping in with 17 points of his own.
It’s time for the Knicks to let the young guys run for the rest of the season. The playoffs are a pipe dream. The focus should be on development now.
Despite the win, the Knicks are 4-17 in their last 21 games. Ouch.
Nets Can’t Stop Tatum
Kevin Durant is back, but the Nets still need to figure out how to defend. Durant won’t be able to outscore other teams when Brooklyn is allowing guys to put up 50-pieces. That’s exactly what Jayson Tatum did during the Nets-Celtics matinee on Sunday.
Tatum’s 54 points led all scorers and makes Durant’s stat line of 37 points and eight assists look average. Despite scoring 120 points, Brooklyn couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Boston took this game 126-120 and push the Nets even further down in the standings.
Right now, Brooklyn is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. If they finish at that spot, they would need to win two play-in games to secure the eighth seed in the playoffs. It’s getting late early in Brooklyn.
It’s Championship Week
It’s Championship Week in college basketball. Longwood, Loyola-Chicago, and Murray State have already clinched their bids to the NCAA Tournament, but there are still 29 automatic bids left out there.
Monday will be relatively quiet, but things should heat up Tuesday with the MAAC Tournament starting. The Big East will kick things off on Wednesday.
Although the NCAA Tournament is what most people associate with “March Madness,” don’t sleep on Championship Week.