Heading into the homestretch of basketball and hockey season, the Knicks, Nets, and Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives, the Islanders are just fighting to stay in existance, and the Devils are fighting to stay awake as they coast into the playoffs.
Down in Florida, the Mets search for a fifth starter is turning into an “ugly competition” (what’Jim McAndrew doing these days?), and the Yankees are standing pat with journeyman Cody Ransom at third (is Mike Pagliarulo still in shape?).
It’s still pretty damn cold outside, so the prize for this week’s Hot Stove Player of the Week is the greatest invention of the 21st century: The Snuggie, so he can keep warm and still have the maneuverability to use the remote control to keep track of the all the games with playoff implications this coming week.
Larry Hughes: He didn’t have the greatest week in Hot Stove Player of the Week history, but he had two monster games, helping the Knicks kick off their road trip with two wins and keep their faint playoff hopes alive. He scored 22 points, while hitting three free throws at the end of regulation to send the game to OT, in the Knicks' victory over Detroit. He also poured in 39 points in the team’s win in Milwaukee.
Kyle Okposo: The 20-year-old right winger scored a goal in all four of the Isles’ games this week, leading the team to a 3-0-1 record. The team may stink and they may move, but they play hard and Okposo is a star in the making.
Nate Robinson: He racked up 20, 17, 32 and 30 points this past week, even though he needed Mike D’Antoni to get in his face to reign in his wild play.
David Lee: 19 points/14 rebounds, 19/18 and 16/18 in his last three games. What else is there to say?
Scott Gomez: The Rangers center compiled two goals and two assists in the team’s three games this week. He’s reborn since John Tortorella brought along his new offensive system.
Henrik Lundqvist: The King notched his 30th win in last night’s victory, making him the first-ever goalie in NHL history to record four-straight 30-win seasons to start a career (with a little help from some shootout wins, of course).
Schmucks of the Week
Dominican Republic Baseball Team: Sure, they didn’t have Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez or Ervin Santana playing, but losing to The Netherlands? And not once, but twice? Yikes.
The losing players may never be able to go back to their home country again.
The Netherlands now moves up on the all-time underdog list, even though the World Baseball Classic is really a batch of glorified exhibition games. Their motto was: “Win one for Vincent van Gogh.”