Dr. Les on what ails NY teams
He addresses the problems going on in New York sports.
The losing continues to ail New York-New Jersey sports. Seton Hall goes one and down against Wofford in its lone NCAA tournament appearance, the Nets showed they did not belong in the same court with the Philadelphia 76ers by losing in five games, including four blowout losses in a row, St. John’s not showing up in a play-in game against Arizona State and while the Islanders started the Stanley Cup playoffs with a thud by sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, they followed it up with a dud by getting swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round. This combined with the Yankees being outclassed by the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series, Jets and Giants stinking and Rangers and Knicks bombing does not make any joy in Loserville.
It’s been seven years since we celebrated a championship, and right now, it does not seem like it’s getting better anytime soon. Only good thing going for us is that the Boston Celtics went belly-up against the Milwaukee Bucks by losing in five games after a 116-91 loss on Wednesday night, so we get to avoid seeing Boston celebrate “Grand Slam of Bling”.
Still we are dying to celebrate a championship. Seven-year drought is too long for a proud sports area in New York-New Jersey. So who else but the man with all the answers to cure New York-New Jersey’s problems than Dr. Les.
Here are the questions:
Doctor Les, is it time for the Mets to fire Mickey Callaway before the season gets out of hand?
Firing the manager or head coach is the fans’ diagnosis when things go bad for their team. The Wilpons love to make the manager as a scapegoat for the team’s problems. Just ask Bobby Valentine, Art Howe and Willie Randolph. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Yes, Mickey Callaway is not qualified to be the Mets manager, and he should never have been hired in the first place being that New York is not the place for anyone to learn on the job.
Still, firing Callaway won’t make the Mets play any better or be any better. Mets bench coach Jim Riggleman or whoever manages the Mets won’t make it better since the Mets bullpen lacks depth along with the starting rotation. Steven Matz is capable of getting hurt anytime, and it happened again when he could not make his start Wednesday afternoon because he had a nerve irritation in his left forearm on Sunday that had him go back to New York to get it checked out. Fortunately, it wasn’t serious to the point he won’t be on the injured list, but he will miss another start. But it’s hard to think Matz can ever stay healthy.
Even a healthy Matz wouldn’t make a difference since he is so consistent of being inconsistent. The Mets are somehow getting something out of Jason Vargas, but he can’t be relied on. If any of the Mets starters are hurt, they are screwed because there is no depth in the minors that would have them replace a starter.
Outside of Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz, it’s hard to trust anyone in the bullpen.
The lineup should be fine despite struggling to score runs lately.
No manager will make a difference if he does not have pitching depth or a reliable starting rotation bullpen.
It’s pointless to fire Callaway this season.
What can the Mets do to rebound?
Honestly, nothing. This is what they are. A .500 team. It’s Jacob deGrom and hope for the best when Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Vargas and Matz are out on the mound. The bullpen is hard to trust.
It was hard to take them seriously when the season started since this was the same team as last year. The Mets cosmetically improved by acquiring Robinson Cano and Diaz and signing Jed Lowrie, Jeurys Familia and Wilson Ramos, but they did not add depth in the starting rotation and in the bullpen this offseason. It’s not surprising they are what their record is at 17-20 after a 1-5 road trip.
Is Kyrie Irving the be-all, end-all for Knicks’ point guard woes?
The Knicks and their fans salivate at the imagination of Kyrie Irving in a Knicks uniform. From the outside, he is a talented player that can change the complexion of the game. Therein lies the rub: He can shoot his team out of the game when he struggles. He is such an erratic shooter. When things don’t go his way, he tends to be frustrated and mail it in. We saw that in full display when he struggled in the Celtics’ playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks. He attempted more shots at 104 than scored more points at 102 against the Bucks.
Here’s how bad Irving was in the second round of the playoffs: He missed 14 shots in Game 2, another 14 in Game 3 and 15 in Game 4. He took 15 shots and shot under 40% in four straight playoff games.
Irving did not do much leading this season. He played like he was disinterested the entire season, and it was obvious against the Bucks in the playoffs. He looks at basketball as work rather than playing for the love of the game.
Oh, and he is moody and insecure. This does not look like a New York type of player to me.
The Celtics point guard played his way out of Boston with his poor performance against the Bucks in the playoffs. The Celtics don’t want him back now because if he comes back, fans will boo him and not let him forget about his awful playoff performance in a year fans expected him to lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals. It would be awkward for him to come back after this.
This should serve as a cautionary tale here. Irving’s best days are behind him. He is not suited to be a lead dog, and it’s hard to believe he would click with Kevin Durant if both somehow sign with the Knicks. He is not suited to play in a big-market like New York, even though he is from New Jersey.
It would be Stephon Marbury all over again if the Knicks sign Irving.
They are better off finding a point guard who can play like a point guard instead of being a shoot-first point guard.
Does playing in Brooklyn help Nets’ chances of getting a free agent star?
Maybe if they moved to Seattle, it would be better.
What can the Giants and Jets do to make the playoffs?
Nothing at this point. The Giants are better off being the worst team in the NFL, and getting the No. 1 pick, so that they can draft Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm or Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa rather than actually try to see if Daniel Jones was worth the No. 6 pick in the draft.
As for the Jets, they spent money and they improved the defense, but they are just not good enough.
How far away Rangers, Islanders and Devils are from hoisting the Lord Stanley?
Very far away. Ask me in 2025.
Will Rutgers football ever be a player in the Big 10?
Will St. John’s, Seton Hall or Rutgers go as far as the first weekend of March Madness?
Maybe in 2030.