Bio: I cover the Brooklyn Nets, the St. John's Red Storm men's basketball team, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. I support the Fort Hamilton Tigers football team, a 3-time city champion. I am a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School (2003) and Brooklyn College (2008).
Posts by :
By Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
It is impossible to express one’s love for the woman who raised us and made us who were today through one day of recognition and a gift. Nonetheless we should all put a little thought into a thank you even though mom will probably say that it’s not necessary.
Woodside native Jim McCann started what has become the most famous name in the floral industry, 1800Flowers, in 1971. Back then the idea of purchasing floral arrangements through a toll-free phone call was revolutionary. Over the years, McCann has expanded his business to include all kinds of gift baskets. Nevertheless bouquets remain the company’s bread and butter business with their popular Fields of Europe, Tea Party, and Embrace flower packages running between $60-$70.
Harry & David’s is known for its sweet confection gift baskets but the company also has a fruit-of-the-month club where you can buy a membership for mom.
Chocolates may be caloric but they do contain anti-oxidants. Francois Payard, Ghirardelli, See’s, and Godiva all make premium chocolates in a variety of sizes and price points.
Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian, and Kate Young are celebrities who have lent their names (all claim that they were in on the design process) to clothing and jewelry lines that are on sale at Kohl’s (Lopez and Conrad), K Mart, and Target, respectively.
Tamar Braxton, one of the singing Braxton sisters (the best known is Toni) launched her own line of dresses, pants, tops, tees, and shoes with her online clothing retail company, the Tamar Collection (tamarcollection.com).
There are more options than ever for buying stylish jewelry pieces without breaking the bank. Anny Stern, Freida Rothman, Lia Sophia, Forever Brilliant, Lulu Avenue, Suz Somersall, Satya Jewelry, Cynthia Rybakoff, Annachich Jewelry, Ann Taylor, and Liliro all offer pendants, earrings, and bracelets for every budget. If you want to go online and see a wide array of higher-end jewelry pieces, log onto johnhardy.com
If you are going to buy mom jewelry, be sure to pick up a can of Colle, (colleproducts.com) a cleaning mousse that keeps valuables from getting tarnished by age.
Watches are the most popular form of jewelry and the great news is that companies as Timex, Fossil, Dakota, and Long Island City’s own Armitron produce quality timepieces for under $75 that look as if they cost three times that amount. If you are willing to spend more to get a high quality timepiece, the House of Horology (www.hohwatches.com), founded by Forest Hills High School alum Lawrence Leyderman, has watches that rival Rolex and Tag Heuer but have a price that is not even half of those respected high-end brands but are every bit as good. Another high-end timepiece alternative are the collections from Bulova, a company which for years made its headquarters in Woodside.
Handbags are always popular. Olivia & Joy and Edie Parker both make fine clutches, satchels and totes. Vera Bradley is known for its lively cloth pocketbooks and weekend duffels. Very few of us can afford a Rolls-Royce but the legendary British company makes a number of accessories including sleek leather travel bags. Tutilo, Big Buddha, a division of Steve Madden, and Mackage, a Montreal-based company that started in 1999, offer everything from clutches to cross-body handbags to totes.
There is no shortage of perfumes on the market but choosing the right one is not easy. Sephora has a gift box that the company smartly calls “Favorites” that contains perfumes from Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. Former Jackson Heights resident Tara Durkan started a fragrance company in L.A., Dossage, and Dossage 8 for Her is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Chanel No. 5.
If you have money to burn on perfume, a 100 ml bottle of Bond No. 9 NYC perfume retains in the $500-$600 range.
There was a time when one might feel self-conscious using any kind of skin care product. Not anymore. These days folks of all ages are using anti-wrinkle cremes and anti-aging serums.
There is no shortage of quality producers of these products and that has led to competitive pricing in a very upscale industry. Avon’s ANEW Ultimate Day Multi-Performance Cream, ANEW Ultimate Night Multi-Performance Cream, ANEW Ultimate Multi-Performance, Eye System, Oil, DerMend Alpha+Beta Hydroxy Therapy Body Lotion, DerMend Alpha + Beta Hydroxy Therapy Cream, Molton Brown Hand Creams, Nerium Age-Defying Cream, and CeraVe Hydrating Lotion, and Violets Are Blue Skin Care are mouthfuls to say or write but they all correct a variety of dermatological problems.
For those who find comfort in the term “organic,” an Australian company, Nvey Eco, makes a full line of cosmetics free of any harmful chemicals.
Mineral Fusion is quietly rivaling Avon, Maybelline, and Estee Lauder as a full service manufacturer of beauty products as it makes its own line of lipsticks, eye shadow, mascara, moisturizers, body lotions, and shampoos.
Hair products are a tricky purchase because nearly everyone is particular about they want to use on or for their scalp. Conair, Drybar, and Rusk make hair dryer and curling irons that make hair look fuller as do shampoos as Grande Hair Nutra Peptide, Austin Kyle and Paul Brown. Wet Brush (thewetbrush.com) has all types of hair brushes to make one’s hair less unruly and they are generally in the $10-$20 bracket.
Eyelashes are getting almost as much attention these days as hair is in the beauty industry. Grande Lash and Palladio Beauty’s Lash Obsessed Mascara are sure to bring attention to mom’s eyes.
Summer is coming and that means so is sandals season. Ocean Minded and Havaianas both make sandals that can be worn as part of everyday fashion as well as on the beach. The same can be said for those durable clogs made by Crocs or the stylish, durable as well as American-made spa shoes produced by Oka-B. If mom wants stylish summer dress shoes check out the collection from designer Carolinna Espinosa.
The arrival of warmer days means that the sun is out for more hours and that its rays are quite direct. Coola, Kiss My Face, and Coppertone all make sunscreens with high SPF counts that maximize skin protection.
Sunglasses are also a must to prevent damage ocular damage. Safilo is the leader in the field of fashionable and functional eyewear as they have stylish frames in various price points from ritzy Jimmy Choos that run north of $450 to the surprisingly affordable Marc Jacobs in the $120 neighborhood to their OXYDO and Polaroid lines that run under $100. Safilo’s sister company, Smith Optics, has terrific shades that range from $70 to $210.
If your mother loves to be in the kitchen, Pottery Barn, Sur La Table and Crate & Barrel have every type of cookware imaginable. Kohl’s has exclusive deals with the Food Network and celebrity chef Bobby Flay. All of the aforementioned have a large inventory of art frames and trays and petri dishes in all shapes and sizes as well.
Staying in shape is important for everyone. Gaiam, US Polo Association, Everlast, and Ryka all make quality workout attire that is also very fashionable. Ryka is one of the few athletic shoe companies that makes running shoes and other types of sneakers exclusively for women. Its newest lines of athletic shoes are the Dynamic 2, Vida RZX, and the Devotion Plus.
f you still need more help in looking for a gift the by all means visit the websites of such online retailers as LXR & Company, Charming Charlie, Amazon, HSN, QVC, and Ideeli. You may find better selection and value at lesser known retail websites as bevivi.com, fresh.com, gardenapothecary.com,alekka.com, and calypsostbarth.com. Another valuable resource is to go through the members listing at accessoriescouncil.org.
A lot of older mothers are technophobes and know little or nothing about things that a lot of us take for granted such as the Internet and email. If you’re afraid that your mom would be intimidated by a desktop or laptop computer then start her off with an inexpensive tablet such as those from Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, or the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Every mother deserves pampering combined with a change of scenery. There are a number of spa resorts located within a three-hour drive of Queens. Nearby spa resorts are the Spa at Norwich Inn in Connecticut, and for those in a New York State of mind, the Emerson Spa near Woodstock and the Mohonk House in New Paltz.
The Hope Lake Lodge in the Finger Lakes town of Cortland has the Waterfalls Spa and it is located in the heart of New York State’s winery region. Nearly all of the wineries in the area are discounting their vino in May.
Williamsburg, Virginia is best known for trying to recreate the American Revolution colonial era but it is far more than that these days. The area is home to several wineries as well as Busch Gardens. Williamsburg’s Kingsmill Resort has plenty of good restaurants, a top-notch spa, and a golf course that is home to an annual May LPGA Tournament.
The success of the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct has forced both of Connecticut’s casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to offer better entertainment, restaurants and spas as well as deals on hotel rooms. Mohegan Sun has such fine dining establishments as Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Ballo Italian Restaurant, and Todd English’s Tuscany. A less formal but just as much fun, if not more so restaurant at Mohegan Sun is Hash House A Go Go. If mom is a sports fan then try to catch a Connecticut Sun WNBA game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The same can be said for Atlantic City. While hipster types will want to flock to the Borgata my guess is that mom will feel more at home at the Trump Taj Mahal. The Taj may not have the bells and whistles of its newer rivals but it’s easier to navigate and has terrific amenities such as a rooftop indoor pool with an outdoor deck to catch rays on a warm day. And yes, it has a spa as well. Yes, there was a fear that the Taj would meet the same fate as the Trump Plaza, Showboat, Atlantic Club, and the Revel, but it appears to have staved off the worse and it should offer excellent rates even in the upcoming high summer season.
If you want to give mom a change of scenery a little farther away from these parts after Mother’s Day here are some ideas.
South Florida hotels are heading into their off-season. The Turnberry Isle in Aventura section of Miami-Dade County and the nearby Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Broward County both offer heavily discounted golf, spa, food and room packages compared with the December through early April peak season.
Of course when you think of South Florida you think about its gorgeous beaches. You couldn’t blame mom if she wanted to just wanted to relax on the sands of a luxury property. In the Palm Beach area, you can’t do better than the Eau Palm Beach which is located in the town of Manalapan and was previously the Ritz-Carlton. If mom is a golfer or wants to learn the game, the PGA Resort in Palm Beach Gardens is the place to be. The PGA Resort is also known for its fine restaurants.
If mom wants to be treated like a queen in the heart of the Miami Beach action, she can choose between the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and without argument the most famous hotel name in Miami Beach history, the Fontainebleau. If she wants to be in the heart of the action, the Dream South Beach is a boutique hotel that has gotten good notices.
Downtown Miami used to be quite run down. Things have changed so much that it’s now rivaling Miami Beach for leisure travelers. The Conrad, a Hilton property, is very luxurious yet very affordable as it’s now off-season.
Another alternative to staying in Miami Beach but still having easy access to it, is to try any of the fairly new resorts located five miles north on Collins Avenue in the city of Sunny Isles Beach. Not only is it quieter but it has a neighborhood feel with supermarkets, local stores, restaurants, and public transportation similar to that of Queens. The Aqualina Resort is a top-of-the-line property in Sunny Isles.
Orlando, located 200 miles north of Miami, is best known of course for its big theme parks. The Orlando Hyatt Regency has a spacious pool with a Caribbean-style motif and a highly rated Italian restaurant, the Fiorenzo Steakhouse.
Southern California is a great alternative to Florida and it’s generally not anywhere nearly as humid. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla and the 101 year-old Grande Colonial in the village of La Jolla are two of San Diego’s best hotels. The Grande Colonial offers breathtaking views of the sun setting over the Pacific.
Another good Southern California option is Palm Springs’ Triada Hotel whose bungalows and villas will make mom feel like an old-time movie star.
An even more famous desert town is Las Vegas, Nevada. The Linq has great room rates and it is the home of the town’s largest Ferris Wheel, the High Roller. If you are looking for a full-service resort hotel with fine dining and great house shows try the Wynn Las Vegas whose owner is the very hands-on Steve Wynn.
You can’t enjoy the beach or pool without having quality swimwear. Jantzen and Nautica are great for basic bathing suits but if you want mom to feel like a celebrity at the resort, Marie France van Dame and Sophia Graydon both sell high-end resort apparel and sleepwear as well.
The tradewinds that grace the United States Virgin Islands serve as a buffer against summer heat and humidity. The Caneel Bay Rosewood Resort, the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort and the Westin St. John’s Resort offer have pristine sandy beaches and the sparkling blue water of the Caribbean Sea.
If you want to get the best bang for your buck for a vacation for mom, you can’t go wrong the Grand Palladium Resorts in Punta, Cana Dominican Republic. All meals and beverages are included in the price as is most of the other amenities. Vacations in the Dominican Republic are about half of the cost of neighboring Caribbean getaways. Just as it does with most warm weather spots in our hemisphere, Queens’ own JetBlue offers frequent service to Punta Cana from JFK.
Of course mom can have a lot of fun just staying in our area. The Spirit of New York which docks at Chelsea Piers has a three-hour dinner cruise and cabaret entertainment has made it a popular venue for celebrations of all kinds. World Yacht, located four blocks west of Times Square at Pier 81, also has brunch and dinner cruises. Hornblower has dinner cruises that leave from Pier 40 in SoHo.
The Big Apple has no shortage of spas to help mom unwind. Red Door and Oasis Day Spas offer everything from facials to massages at their various New York area locations. The Waldorf-Astoria Towers has the highly regarded Guerlain Spa while a relative newcomer to Manhattan, the Hyatt Times Square, is home to the Marilyn Monroe Spa. Breathe Easy Salt Therapy Wellness Centers offer spa comfort and will help mom inhale and exhale better.
The warmer weather makes it easier to get around and enjoy New York’s many attractions such as taking a boat ride around town on the Circle Line, going to the Empire State Building Observatory, and visiting our world famous museums as the Metropolitan, Modern Art (MoMA), Natural History, and the Guggenheim. Both CityPASS, and its chief competitor, New York Pass, sell booklets/cards that will allow mom and a guest access to all of the aforementioned for a price far less than paying for each attraction individually. The trick is that you have a limited amount of time, anywhere from three to nine days, once you get started.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins made their season out to be one of the greatest in sports history in his postgame remarks Friday night after Brooklyn was eliminated by the Altanta Hawks in Game 6, 111-87.
Hollins opened his press conference on Friday by saying, “Guys, ladies, I just want to say I’m proud of our team and where we started back in September, the uncertainty, new coach, trying to blend it all together, then injuries, and up and downs. I’m thankful for the players and what they gave. I’m proud of how they stuck with it and stayed with it and were able to secure a playoff spot. Some people would say, ‘hey, we don’t deserve it,’ but that’s their problem.”
The Nets went 38-44, and needed the Indiana Pacers to lose their last game just to make the playoffs. The Pacers played without Paul George for around 70 games of their season, so the fact they were around on the last day was an achievement and a testament to Frank Vogel’s system. The Miami Heat lost Chris Bosh for the season in February, at a time they were well ahead of the Nets. If Bosh played out the rest of the season, they likely would have edged out the Nets.
38 wins for a team with a league-high payroll of $182 million is a failure, not something to be celebrated. Hollins wants to make the Nets out to be this group of plucky, hungry guys, which is far from the reality of a team with guys like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson with bloated contracts who looked like they couldn’t have cared less on many nights in the regular season. The Nets went a dismal 19-22 at home, a lot of tough basketball for their fans to sit through.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished .500 at 41-41, finished 6th, a tremendous achievement for former Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd, who did it with basically the same group that won 15 games the prior season once Jabari Parker went down to injury in December. The Boston Celtics, in full rebuilding mode, finished with 40 wins and the seventh seed, another team that achieved a lot this season.
Hollins continued on this narrative and talked about the Atlanta series, “I think that we battled and fought and overcame and even in this series, we battled and fought. It would have been nice to get another victory and have a chance to go to a seventh game, but it wasn’t to be. They were the better team and they showed it in the last game here. When we were in Atlanta, they started exerting themselves and getting to the paint. Some of their players that we had held out, we held (Jeff) Teague down and out of the paint early, we held (Al) Horford down, but ultimately they rose up and Teague was a huge factor here when it came down to the last couple of games. Kyle Korver had a super series, but I thought the MVP of the series was DeMarre Carroll and if I was picking the second MVP it would have been Paul Millsap. Those two guys burned us every way you could think of, scoring, driving, passing, rebounding, I commend them.
“They have a very, very, very good team and I’m proud of how we battled and took them to a six-game series. We’re going to attend two summer leagues and try to get some of our internal players better, then I’ll get with Billy (King) and our front office and we’ll talk about other needs. I wish no one would ask me a question about who’s going to be here and who’s not going to be here because I have no idea and it’s unfair to try to get me to say something tonight after being disappointed with the loss and the way we lost as well,” said Hollins.
Later on, Hollins deflected a very legitimate question of whether it took too long for the Nets to figure things out this season by sternly stating, “Did we make the playoffs? Well then there’s your answer. If we didn’t make the playoffs then you could ask that question. Right now, my feeling is that we overcame; we got to the playoffs. However long it takes is however long it takes. I’m not in control of however long everybody coming together takes, but we did come together and we had a beautiful run down the stretch and we made the playoffs.”
Hollins makes getting a spot in the playoffs like winning the championship. I don’t know if it’s defiance or the fact he knew he didn’t have a great team despite the high payroll. It took him until about March to be sold on Brook Lopez and re-insert him into the starting lineup after sending him to the bench for the inferior Mason Plumlee. If Brook were made a starter sooner, let’s say around February 1st, they likely would have won more games.
It is unclear what Hollins means by saying “my feeling is that we overcame.” This isn’t exactly New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. This was a bunch of comfortable, overpaid basketball players that didn’t give a damn about the 82-game regular season.
Let’s examine that “beautiful run down the stretch” that Hollins paints as if he were PBS painter Bob Ross. On March 27th, the Nets rose up to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-98, as they played with far more energy than Cleveland, who had a rare off night. Two days later, the Nets sleep walked through their game with the downtrodden Los Angeles Lakers, with the game going down to the wire and holding on for a 107-99 win.
The Nets beat the Indiana Pacers on March 31st 111-106 and nearly choked away a 20-point lead to the Knicks the next night at The Garden, winning on a Brook Lopez jumper with a second left, 100-98.
On April 3rd, the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors, who were resting Kyle Lowry, 114-109. The next night, the Nets did not show up in Atlanta and were routed 131-99.
The Nets beat the Portland Trail Blazers on April 6th 106-96 , largely because Portland did not bring Wes Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicolas Batum east for the make-up game. Two nights later, the Nets lost to the Hawks, 114-111, as Atlanta dealt with Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha being arrested in a Manhattan nightclub incident in the early-morning hours.
The Washington Wizards gave the Nets a gift on April 10th, as they rested John Wall. The Nets took advantage and won 117-80.
The Nets followed that up by getting blown out twice. The first one was on April 12th in Milwaukee as the Bucks blew them out 96-73. The Nets returned home the next night and the Chicago Bulls embarrassed them 113-86.
In the season finale, the Nets needed to win their game with the Orlando Magic and for the Pacers to lose to make the Playoffs. They had real issues in the first three quarters with the Magic, who led most of the way, and the game was tied at 75 entering the fourth. The Magic, who finished 25-57, fell apart in the fourth, as they did numerous times this season. The Nets blew them out 26-13 in the fourth to win 101-88.
For some perspective, P.J. Carlesimo won 35 games in the 56 he served as interim coach in 2012-13 after Avery Johnson was dispatched 28 games into that season. P.J. won just three games less than Hollins’ 38 in the full 82-game season. Carlesimo’s reward for a 35-21 record was being fired the next morning after the Nets lost a classic seven-game series to the Chicago Bulls.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Seattle Sounders beat New York City Football Club 3-1 on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium. This is the latest setback for NYC FC, whose winless streak is now at seven games. NYC has not won since the home opener on March 15th and their record is now 1-5-3, with 6 points.
NYC FC came out firing on offense, and their first big chance came in the sixth minute when Khiry Shelton missed a shot to the left on a fast break. In the 18th minute, Mix Diskerud launched a rocket from the top of the crease that sailed over the crossbar. This started a flurry in which NYC had three great chances over the next five minutes.
At the end of that pressure form NYC, Obafemi Martens of Seattle got an outlet pass and got loose for the first goal of the game in the 23rd minute. Despite NYC having possession for 56.8 percent of the first half, they entered halftime trailing 1-0.
NYC finally broke through in the 54th minute when forward Patrick Mullins dribbled the ball along the left side on a break. He did it deliberately to let his teammates catch up to him. Mullins found Mehdi Ballouchy at the top of the crease, and Bullouchy buried it to tie the game at 1.
David Villa was waiting for a minute or so to enter the game, and the one he would be subbing for was, ironically, Ballouchy. NYC FC Head Coach Jason Kreis said that he was looking for another guy to pull instead of Ballouchy, but the substitution card was already submitted to the referee.
Four minutes later, NYC forward Pablo Alvarez was taken down at midfield, and Seattle slowly started to pass it into NYC territory. Martins took it along the left side, whipped a pass to Marco Pappa on the right side of the crease, and he found Clint Dempsey in the center of the crease and Dempsey slammed it it to give Seattle a 2-1 lead in the 58th minute.
Kreis said of how disappointing it was to concede a goal 4 minutes after NYCFC scored, “Totally disappointing. We need to be better focused. That’s typical, the first 5 minutes after you scored, you get scored on again. We have to do a much better job there.”
Seattle wasn’t done, as they caught the NYC defense asleep at midfield and sprung Martins ahead for a breakaway goal, his second of the game, this one in the 66th minute.
NYC FC defender Chris Wingert said of the Seattle goals all coming off these slow-developing plays and then exploding, “Yeah, they know what they’re doing. They got some serious firepower up top, some clinical finishers and they know that, if we make a couple mistakes in the back, they’re gonna run on that line and they got a couple breakaways off of that and they buried them. So,they know what they’re doing, you know, they tend to play with four, attack with four, who are very, very good players, and then defend with six, and it works for them. It’s kind of what they did tonight, I’m sure they didn’t care what seemed to be more possession, I don’t know what the numbers are. We were creating chances and whatever. Go ahead, knock the ball around and as soon as you give us a chance, we’re gonna bury it.”
Martins had a chance at another one in the 79th minute, but he was taken down in the box by NYC defender Jeb Brovsky. Martins was given a yellow card for taking a dive. NYC had some chances after that, and the referee did not help their cause as David Villa was taken down in the crease in the 88th minute, but their was no call.
Kreis said on how much the team was missing Jason Hernandez and the game, “I think it’s a little too simplistic to look at one player and say if we have that one player we would have been much better. We come up against two of the finest strikers in the league right now and they are killers. They don’t need many chances to score and they took their chances.”
New York City FC Goalkeeper Josh Saunders said of Seattle being the most potent team the team has faced yet, “You have two world-class players [on the Sounders] and when you give them some time and space, they’re going to put the ball away. It’s rough. But again, I thought we played well, we just didn’t execute.”
Wingert said of how deflating it was to give up a goal four minutes after tying the game, “Yeah, that’s a good word, very, you know, and that one wasn’t a break. I mean, it got in the corner, I followed it down into the corner, and then he kind of crossed it, we had time to get back. I gotta watch it again, but it seemed like we had enough time to cover and Clint (Dempsey) knocked the ball into the corner of the net. I don’t know, I gotta watch it again to see what we could have done better. That wasn’t too much of a break, obviously it was in the box at some point, but it wasn’t a breakdown in midfield like the other two. It was very frustrating after we had done so much to tie it, and Mehdi scored a great goal, certainly changed momentum.”
Wingert said of if Seattle was the most potent offense NYC has faced, “I guess it depends how you define it cause, in a sense, yes, but in another sense, I didn’t think they were creating too much. I have to go back and look, but I don’t think they had a ton of chances in the first half. I mean, once we opened up in the second half, they had a few, but don’t think they had much in the first half. So, in a sense, yes in terms of their players, but I don’t think, it wasn’t like they were knocking the ball around and creating a ton of chances.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Nets were eliminated on Friday night by the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6, 111-87, as Atlanta won their first-round series four games to two.
The difference was the third quarter, when Atlanta started it on a 23-3 run, outscored the Nets 41-21 overall in the frame, and took a commanding 92-66 lead into the fourth.
Nets guard Joe Johnson said of what happened on Friday night, “We come in every game, our coaches do a great job of going over the game plan. The thing that’s been killing us is turnovers. Each and every game, no matter what game, and especially again tonight, at the start of the third quarter, we started off with three or four turnovers and they go on a 12-0 run, We never bounced back from that. If every game the coach is telling us to take care of the ball and we still turn it over, that’s on us as players. We’re not doing our job. We made it tough on ourselves this series. Give Atlanta a lot of credit. They’ve been the best team in the East all year, and they fought hard. I knew they wanted to come in here and really put us away, and they were able to do that in the third quarter.”
Johnson said of how far the Nets could have gone, “We definitely felt we had more. We had a good matchup. We never thought that we were going to get swept, even though we didn’t have any success versus Atlanta in the regular season. But during the playoffs, you gewt to game plan each and every player and know what they like and what they dislike. We were able to hone in on that the whole series and we held our own. We just let it get out of hand in the third quarter and never bounced back.”
On losing such an important game, Johnson said, “It was tough. We’ve been in this situation before. Last year, we had Game 6 on our home floor to force a Game 7, and same situation tonight. I thought we would come out with a little bit more intensity and take care of home court like we have all postseason, but we were just flat coming out in the second half and they just took off.”
Nets point guard Deron Williams said of playing poorly in the most important game, “They just came out with an agenda. That first quarter, they came out strong, really all series first quarters have hurt us, and then again in the third, they just came out. We turned the ball over, they capitalized on those and I think (Kyle) Korver hit three threes. DeMarre Carroll hit a three and then got a three-point play off my turnover. (Paul) Millsap hit a couple threes, and you look up and it was 20. It just happened so quick.”
On the third quarter, Williams said, “We’ve talked about it. You can’t get down to a team like this and fight an uphill battle.Tonight was evidence of that. We got down early and were able to come back a little bit, get it to six at half. They just exploded in the third quarter.”
On the difference in the series, Williams said, “They’re a better team than us right now. They’ve been together. They’ve figured out how to play consistently the same way. I think that’s what they’re trying to do. We had moments where we played really well together and we have other moments where we just try to do it on our own, and we’re not very successful when we do that, and tonight was evidence of that.”
Williams said of continuity, “I don’t think Lionel (Hollins) is going anywhere. That’s definitely continuity. You never know what’s going to happen in the offseason. It’s good to know you’re going to have the same coach, and if we keep most of our guys and we’ll have something to build on for once. We’ve had the same core, but semi-been healthy and played together under the same system. Hopefully, we ca build on things.”
Williams said of fighting to get into the playoffs, “A couple weeks, a month ago, it looked like we were out of it, but we hung in there, we fough. We clawed our way into the playoffs with a little bit of help as well. It definitely says a lot about us. We didn’t hang our head. We kept fighting. We wanted to make the playoffs, we did. I thought we put up a great effort against this team, the best in the East.”
Nets forward Bojan Bogdanovic said of the feeling after a loss like tonight, “I can’t believe that5 the season is done for us. I don’t know what to sayabout the game, other than we allowed too many fancy rebounds (never heard of them referred to like that before), many fast breaks. I mean, there’s not much to say, they were better today. We needed better energy and that’s it.”
Bogdanovic on if the Nets were surprised how fast this got out of hand, “It surprised us too, they start to score on their shots in the first quarter and we couldn’t handle them. After that, it was tough to come back in the game.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 Showcase photo – Al Horford and Paul Millsap of the Hawks by @LolitaLens
The Atlanta Hawks finally looked like the top seed in the Eastern Conference as they outscored the Nets 41-21 in the third quarter on their way to a 111-87 win in Game 6 on Friday night at Barclays Center to win the series 4 games to 2.
Hawks guard DeMarre Carroll said of what the difference was between this game and the first five in the series, “I think we came out with a great attitude. I think we came out kind of mad, kind of pissed off, but at the same time, we did what house basketball is supposed to do – that’s move the ball, play in sections, and do it on defense.”
Carroll continued on playing mad and with a chip on their shoulder, “Yeah. We just get mad. When we get mad, we play the right way; and we should be mad more often. Sometimes we get in a good place and get happy, but you always gotta be mad, you always gotta have a point to prove, and I’ve been living like that my whole life – with a chip on my shoulder, so I think this is good for us and I think everybody in the locker room is feeding off Coach (Mike Budenholzer) and his attitude and I think that’s a big thing.”
The Hawks came out firing, as Kyle Korver had 11 points in the first quarter to help give them a 36-23 lead at the end of the opening frame. The Hawks could not keep up the momentum, and theNets pulled to within six points, at 51-45, at halftime.
Then, in the third quarter, the Hawks finally showed why they were the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They came out firing, opening the third on an 8-0 run that turned into a 23-3 run capped by a Korver three-pointer that made it 74-48 Hawks at the 6:39 mark. The Nets only got as close as 21 the rest of the way, and the Hawks closed the third on a Dennis Schroder lay-up in the final second that made it 92-68 Hawks entering the fourth.
Korver said on defense being the key to the 23-3 run, “Totally. I think it all started with Jeff (Teague). I thought his pressuring the ball was amazing. We got some steals, and we got to get out and run. And I don’t think that Jeff scored a point tonight, but his presence and fingerprints were all over the game and I thought it was one of the best games that I’ve ever seen Jeff play. His focus and energy really fueled that third quarter, I thought.”
In the third quarter, Atlanta outscored the Nets 41-21. The Hawks made 16 of 24 baskets, or 66.7 percent of their shots, and 6-for-9 on threes for the same percentage. The Nets shot just 31.8 percent, or 7-for-22, in the third quarter. The Nets also made a costly six turnovers in the third.
In the fourth, the Hawks were maintaining a 25-point edge. the Nets got as close as 18, at 100-82 on a Mason Plumlee dunk with 5:03 left. DeMarre Carroll got to the line on the ensuing possession for Atlanta, and made the first free throw.
At this point, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer went back to Korver and Schroder to try to prevent a Nets comeback. Remarkably, at the same time, Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins pulled Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Mason Plumlee, and Jarrett Jack. and sending in Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris, Earl Clark, and Markel Brown to close out garbage time.
The Hawks were led by Paul Millsap, who had 25 points on 9-for-15 from the field, 2-for-4 on threes, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. DeMarre Carroll had 20 points on 7-for-8 from the field, 3-4 on threes, 5 rebounds, and an assist. Kyle Korver had 20 points on 6-for-10 from the field, and all his attempts were behind the arc, with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Jeff Teague did not score (0-5 FG, 0-1 threes), but he had 13 assists to pace the Hawks.
Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said of the Nets, “I’d just like to say how well overall – over the course of six games – how well Brooklyn has played. What a great job Coach Lionel Hollins has done, not just in this series, but down the stretch of the regular season. They were everything and more than we expected, adding different players and putting the team together – a lot of respect for Coach Hollins and his players, the challenge that our group was able to meet tonight.
Budenholzer said of the series, “I guess overall in the series our defense is what we wanted to make a priority. I think we had four pretty good defensive quarters. The offense kind of comes and goes and that sort of happens in a game, in a series. If we could continue to focus on our defense and be good there. Individually, a lot of guys stepped up and played well. Jeff Teague, without scoring a point, I thought controlled the game, made huge plays to start the third quarter, creating turnovers in transition. Then you go up and down the list of the other four starters: Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll in foul trouble still having a huge contribution, and of course, Kyle Korver and Al Horford. So those five guys were great. We got a little more from the bench tonight.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The New York Red Bulls got their second straight 1-1 draw at home, this time with the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night in Harrison, NJ. The Red Bulls remain undefeated, with 3 wins and 4 draws for 13 points, and they are in third place in the Eastern Conference.
This game had all the makings of a trap game, as the Rapids are last in the Western Conference, and it came three days after the Red Bulls hosted the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy and then a match with the rival New England Revolution on the road this Saturday night.
The Rapids got the scoring started in the 25th minute when Dillon Powers took a free kick and found Gabriel Torres, who slipped past the Red Bulls defense on the right side, for the goal.
Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall said of the goal, “I think it was just, we were a little slow on our reactions, a little disorganized. There were two open men on the back post, it’s just not good enough. We need to be tight on them, and be a little bit physical. It was a soft goal to give up, I think.”
It took the Red Bulls just five minutes to tie it up, as Bradley Wright-Phillips scored on a penalty kick after being taken down in the box in the 30th minute.
The chances kept coming, as Colorado’s Dominique Badji came in on a fast break in the 35th minute. Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles got a hand on it, but it trickled by him and rolled off the post, coming thisclose to getting the one to put them ahead.
The Red Bulls controlled possession for 73,5 percent in the first half, and that momentum continued in the second half when they held the ball for 63.5 percent. Their biggest chance in the second half came when Sacha Kljelstan rifled one from the right side of the crease off the post. Wright-Phillips also had numerous chances in the second half, but just couldn’t find the net.
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of the game, “What was troubling about tonight, I’m not so focused on the first goal part as much as I am just having a really bad start to the game, where we wanted to make sure we had a good start and we’re on top of the match from the beginning. I think maybe that we thought this was going to be an easier game than it was. Credit to Colorado, I think we knew that they were going to come here and fight and battle and make it hard and they did. They definitely earned that draw, and so that was the part that was frustrating a little bit, is that we just didn’t come out and command the game like we need to.”
Marsch said of his centerbacks, including Damien Perrinelle, having trouble with Colorado’s speed and any adjustments they made, “Well, we talked about they were definitely trying to counter us with speed and we talked about making sure the centerbacks, once we lost the ball, didn’t put themselves in one-on-one situations, but that the two of them dealt with it together. I mean, they did a good job and they do have fast guys that made it hard on us, so they certainly now, they tried to put Badji near Damien and try to counter there with speed. In the end, he (Perrinelle) made some plays and prevented them from scoring, Luis came up with a couple big saves.
“To be fair, they did a good job of sitting back, trying to make it hard on us, trying to clog the center of the midfield, winning balls, playing forward quickly, trying to catch us on the counter. That was their game plan, and it almost worked,” said Marsch.
Marsch said to the question of if the Red Bulls looked at the standings and presumed that this team was not that good or would not put up the effort they did, “Yeah, I think probably that’s part of it. We need to make sure that…you guys, everyone in this room’s been pretty kind to us so far and written some nice things, and that’s all great, and maybe we weren’t focused enough, maybe we were ahead of ourselves, right, and looking at the standings, looking at some articles, looking at what people are saying, whatever it is, and thinking that we’re a better team than we are. If we want to be a good team, we have to stick to what we do well, and that is, run hard, press, recover balls, play forward, compete, and I think that in a lot of those categories, we were second-best tonight, so credit to Colorado.”
Marsch said of how frustrating it is to only get 5 shots while having possession for 68.8 percent of the game, “Yeah, there were a lot of plays that were close to coming off, but didn’t, even up to the very end with Bradley’s header…We created a lot of transition opportunities where I thought that we missed the first pass, often to Bradley, and then we either went wide or made a mistake on the pass, so and then some of our crossing was off and we weren’t getting enough numbers forward. I thought a lot of guys felt like the way to help the game on the day was try to get balls to feet, which actually allowed them to close us down, and then win balls and then counter. Overall we did have a command on the game, we were also a little bit lucky because they had some big chances, and in the end we need to be better. We need to be better.”
Marsch said to the question of if he feels they left points on the table with these two ties, “No doubt, no doubt. I think we try to take this one game at a time, if you now look back at it, in the last two draws, that we feel like we should have won both, so that’s four points left on the table. But even more than the points I think is this was not the kind of game we wanted to play. We weren’t quite sharp enough, we weren’t quite playing fast enough, and we didn’t put the game enough on our terms. So, as much as I look at the results, I also look at the fact that this was the first game where we didn’t really play like ourselves. Second half it got a little bit better and we almost created some chances that way, but we need to play like we want to play for 90 minutes.”
Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles said of the team possibly overlooking this game, “To be perfectly honest with you, I do not believe that we overlooked this game. The reason that the older players came in and said they wanted to play this is because in the past we have overlooked teams, we have dropped points at home. So, we wanted to show that this is a different mentality, and unfortunately, we fell flat today.”
Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall said of looking at these 1-1 results differently, “I mean, it all comes down to our performance. I think we’re all very disappointed in the effort we put out in the first half, and so that’s what leads to the perspective on today’s game. I think we were more pleased with our personal performance on last game. It has nothing to do with our opponent, we’re focusing more on ourselves.”
Duvall said of Colorado’s speed, “They had a lot of speed up front and we knew that and we just, you know, we gave them a lot of easy chances in the first half, some fast breaks. I think that was just not good enough on our defense, you know, all four of us in the back, and we can’t allow one pass to beat us. I think we recognized that at halftime and we made some adjustments and did a little bit better in the second half.”
The Red Bulls will play the New England Revolution in Foxborough, MA, on Saturday night. The Revolution eliminated the Red Bulls in last year’s playoffs. Duvall said of the Red Bulls entering that game with a chip on their shoulders, “Yeah, for sure, I mean, we’re able to get ourselves up for every game. We’ve got a few days to recover physically and to set our sights on New England, a team we’ve got a little bit of a payback for them. so, I think it won’t be difficult to get back up for the next game. It’s something that want and it’s something that we’re gonna be driven for.”
This past September Harvey infuriated a lot Mets fans, and probably a lot of Mets executives as well, when he attended Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium.
Harvey’s appearance in the Bronx that night may have been more for business reasons than for hero worship. The irony here is that Yankees fans may have more reason to be irate with their beloved Captain more than Mets fans had with Harvey.
Derek Jeter’s most visible project since retiring from the Yankees has been the launch of The Players Tribune, a website that allows players to communicate their thoughts directly to their fan base without having to deal with traditional media.
Just before the start of the latest round of the Subway Series I received an email from a powerful New York City public relations firm informing me that Matt Harvey had written (probably with the help of a ghost writer) an article on pitching for theplayerstribune.com. The PR firm, not the same one that the Yankees use incidentally, identified Harvey as the Players Tribune’s New York City bureau chief.
Derek Jeter, who had always been very selective when it came to off-the field appearances, was a key part of ESPN’s recent E:60 documentary about Matt Harvey, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Jeter of course spoke glowingly about him. When you couple that with Harvey’s honorary Players Tribune title, you clearly get the impression that the future Hall of Famer is bequeathing his title of “most important New York baseball celebrity” to Matt Harvey.
Like Jeter, Harvey has an endorsement deal with Nike. If he continues to pitch the way he did on Saturday against the Yankees, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees captain lobbies Nike CEO Phil Knight to give him his own apparel line.
One of the most famous lines in the 1988 classic film, “Bull Durham,” was when Kevin Costner’s character, Crash Davis, said “You don’t mess with the streak!” I asked a number of Mets players if they did anything superstitious during their recent 11-game winning streak such as eating the same thing every day. “If players do have rituals then they tend to keep that to themselves,” said Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer.
The personable Cuddyer is well-known for his love of magic and for performing card tricks for teammates. I asked him, with full pun intended, if the Mets’ great April was an illusion. “I sure hope not but I guess we’ll find out,” he said with a chuckle.
The Yankees held a press conference late Friday afternoon to announce the formal retirement of Bernie Williams who hadn’t played a game since the end of the 2006 season. Bernie had never formally signed retirement papers but the real purpose of the event was to promote the upcoming May 24 Bernie Williams Day when the Yankees will retire his number and install a plaque in his honor at Monument Park.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman introduced Bernie as a key member of the “Fab Five.” That was Cashman’s way of knocking the far more popular “Core Four” term that meant Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera but excluded Bernie Williams.
I asked Williams if he was rankled by the “Core Four” concept. He tried to be upbeat and diplomatic but it was clear that he always felt slighted by it.
As adept at playing jazz guitar as he was at patrolling centerfield, Williams told the press that he is now a full-time college student at the Manhattan School of Music.
Is it my imagination or does it seem that the Atlanta Hawks-Brooklyn Nets NBA playoff series has gathered a collective yawn from the New York sports media and the public? It’s never easy for the Nets to get attention in a Knicks town (no matter how poorly they are doing) but they have had the misfortune of having their first-round playoff series that same that the Rangers and Islanders had theirs and while the Mets and Yankees, who are both playing sound baseball, were meeting in the subway series.
All of the attention about Bruce Jenner’s transgender issues has made it easy to forget what a great athlete he was. His winning of the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 was perfectly timed as America was celebrating its bicentennial. Incidentally one of Jenner’s fellow American Olympians was Forest Hills High School alum Ernie Grunfeld who was on the ‘76 gold medal-winning basketball team.
While ABC garnered sky-high ratings Friday night for Diane Sawyer’s two-hour interview with Bruce Jenner simply called “The Interview,” the big winner may be cable’s E! Network which handles all things Kardashian and apparently will now handle all things Jenner as well as it will have a weekly reality series about Bruce’s gender transition. E! is one of the many networks that are run by NBC Universal Cable whose CEO is Hollis native Bonnie Hammer.
The Canadian Tourism Commission and its numerous members made their bi-annual appearance in New York to meet with media last week.
Toronto will certainly be active when it comes to sports tourism. The Mets will be playing there June 15-19 while the Yankees will travel north of the border August 14-16. In between, the Pan American Games takes place July 10-26. The Pan Am Games offer nearly all of the sporting events that you would find at the Olympic Games but the competing nations are all part of the Western Hemisphere.
Niagara Falls, Ontario is renown for being home to the world’s most famous waterfalls. Hornblower Cruises has replaced the Maid of the Mist on the Canadian side of Niagara while Maid of the Mist continues to run boats on the New York State side of the falls. What isn’t as well known however is that Niagara Falls, Ontario is home to two terrific public golf courses which Niagara Parks officials say do not get long wait times.
You can walk over the border at Niagara Falls but make sure that you bring your passport. The Seneca Hotel & Casino located on the New York State side of Niagara Falls has all of the amenities that you would expect from a casino that is just barely over a decade old and it’s located near the Niagara Falls Aquarium.
Canada has no shortage of fishing spots. For those who like traditional fishing, Lake Louise located just south of Banff, Alberta, is stocked with trout in the summer. Alberta’s largest city, Calgary, is one of the few urban areas in North America where you can find fly-fishing, as you will see many folks wading into the Bow River with their rods.
Whistler, British Columbia, which is home to numerous ski resorts switches to becoming a paradise for mountain bikers and hikers in the summer. Whistler is located a few hours’ drive from the Okanagan Valley which is Canada’s answer to Napa and Sonoma because of its plentiful vineyards.
Wines are generally best enjoyed with either meat, poultry, or fish dishes. If you don’t want a full meal try something as simple as pairing vino with pieces of bread dipped in low fatty acid extra virgin olive oil such as Kaldi where the olives are all picked in Greece. Greek olives are less pungent and have a far milder taste than their American cousins.
The days of having to go to a sports pub in Manhattan to watch a sporting event if you were out for the night are a thing of the past. Last Friday night I watched the NBA playoffs at one of the area’s best Japanese restaurants, Haru Gramercy. Haru’s chefs have introduced new dishes as charred beef tenderloin, Guinea pepper ceviche, and grilled lamb sirloin as well as well as popular summer cocktail options as Black Sapphire and their high-end strawberry margarita.
Congratulations to Channel 47 which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s hard to believe that there wasn’t a Spanish language television station in New York until it went on air on what was then cutting edge technology, Ultra High Frequency television. Ironically its most popular show in its early days was professional wrestling.
When I was going to college in the mid to late 1970s one of my favorite television shows was “The Gong Show” that was hosted by the irrepressible Chuck Barris. It was a brilliant sendup of amateur talent shows from radio and TV’s past such as Ted Mack and Major Bowes. The gimmick of “The Gong Show” was that most of the acts were terrible and were thus “gonged” off the show by any or all of the three celebrity judges.
Last month Gene Patton, better known as “Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine,” (he was a stagehand who Barris would bring on stage to move his body to Count Basie’s “Jumping At The Woodside” and the studio audience would go wild) passed away at age 82. Two weeks ago, Milton DeLugg, who conducted the band on the show, passed away at age 96.