This was a pretty good week for New York Sports, as all four teams in action were .500 or better, the Knicks won back to back games, and the Rangers made a flurry of moves to bolster their team for a Cup run this season. Unfortunately, we also lost a great Knick in Anthony Mason, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 48. He’ll be dearly missed by all of basketball, and especially Knicks fans as he was born and raised a New York kid.
Team of the Week: New York Rangers
For the third week in a row, the Rangers take home the crown. They finished their blazing month of February with a 10-2-2 record overall, and they found themselves at a tie atop the Metropolitan Division late last week. The loss on Saturday night to Philadelphia was quite disappointing, as the Rangers made a few costly mistakes and were ultimately felled by great goaltending by Steve Mason, but they pulled out close victories over both Calgary and Arizona earlier in the week, so it won’t hurt the Rangers too much.
On Sunday, the team of the week were probably the biggest story of the league, without playing a game. We’ll get to that later, though.
Player of the Week: Andrea Bargnani (!)
No this is not a joke nor is it an alternate reality. Andrea Bargnani arguably actually delivered his best three game spell as a New York Knick as he posted solid numbers in three games against the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Toronto Raptors this past week. Against the Celtics, he posted 17 points (5/13 shooting), to go along with 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks. His game of the week came against the Pistons as he managed to put up a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds alongside 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. He then closed out the week on a high note as he delivered a vital performance in the Knicks’ win over the Raptors. Bargnani scored 19 points on 6/12 shooting as he contributed significantly to the Knicks second win of the week.
Play of the Week: Markel Brown dunk
In-game 360. ‘Nuff said.
Worst Play of the Week: Alexey Shved
Game of the Week: New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons
Any time a basketball game goes into double overtime, it’s going to be tough to beat for that week. This was a game dominated by big men, as Andrea Bargnani registered 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Lou Amundson put up 17 and 14 for the Knicks. On the other side, Greg Monroe put up 28-13, while Andre Drummond had 21-15 of his own. Even though the Knicks are terrible, and the Pistons aren’t juggernauts in their own right, this was one of the best NBA games this week.
Worst Player of the Week: Tanner Glass
Any time this man breathes he’s in contention for the worst player of the week. He didn’t do anything particularly bad this week, but he’s still Tanner Glass, so he gets this one.
Transaction of the Week: Keith Yandle acquired by the New York Rangers.
Glen Sather is at it again. On Sunday afternoon, the longtime Rangers general manager made a blockbuster trade at the deadline yet again, this time snagging All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle, defenseman Chris Summer, and a fourth round pick, in exchange for defenseman John Moore, winger Anthony Duclair, one of the team’s top prospects, as well as a first round pick in 2016, and a 2015 second rounder. He also managed to coerce the Coyotes into retaining half of Yandle’s cap hit.
I love Duclair, and I’m upset to see him go, because I believe he has the potential to take over New York, but this was a great trade for the immediate future of the team. Now, the Rangers boast one of the best defensive lineups in the league, with Matt Hunwick and Chris Summers as healthy scratches in case of emergency. Slather is going for it this season, and this trade certainly makes the Rangers one of the most complete teams in the league. Now it’s just time to wait for Henrik Lundqvist to return.