NEW YORK (Reuters) – To many National Basketball Association (NBA) observers, the Eastern Conference race looms as a battle between the league’s two-time defending champion Miami Heat (16-6) and emerging Indiana Pacers (19-3).
Not so fast, say the head coaches of two of the NBA’s most underperforming, injury-sapped teams – the Chicago Bulls (8-12)and New York Knicks (6-15), who met on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hopes his team’s Sunday meeting with the host New York Giants serves as a Super Bowl dress rehearsal with the teams set to clash at the site the National Football League title game.
Seattle (11-2) has the NFC’s best record and the inside track to home field advantage throughout the playoffs in a campaign that could bring them back to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, for the first cold-weather Super Bowl.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A wintry wonderland of games hit the National Football League on Sunday, with snow creating extreme conditions that set up a slew of sensational scoring plays and a series of breath-taking comebacks.
Snow affected four games on the East Coast, with treacherous footing leading to slipping, sliding and an avalanche of big plays as offensive players in the open field cut past stumbling defenders.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann was introduced to the media at Yankee Stadium on Thursday as the first piece of a major reloading for the New York team that finished tied for third last season.
“To say this one of the best days of my life would be an understatement,” McCann said after donning a No. 34 pinstriped uniform jersey.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Frustrated by watching the playoffs from the sidelines and bruised by a drop in attendance and TV ratings, the New York Yankees responded in familiar fashion – by fighting back with their bank account.
As word spread that the Bronx Bombers agreed to a seven-year, $153 million deal with fleet-footed, free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, formerly of Boston, it became clear the Yankees meant business in pursuit of the World Series champion, arch-rival Red Sox.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mexico City will be treated to an international hoops fest on Wednesday when the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves clash in an NBA regular season game that rewards fast-growing Hispanic interest in the league.
The reigning Western Conference champion Spurs (15-3) feature 10 international players and the Timberwolves (9-10) have seven on their squad amounting to a record total for a National Basketball Association (NBA) contest.
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) – The Dallas Cowboys stood tall at the finish, quieting a desperate New York Giants team with a game-winning drive at frigid MetLife Stadium on Sunday to grab a share of the NFC East lead.
The Cowboys, coming off a bye week following a lopsided loss to New Orleans, answered New York’s touchdown and two-point conversion that tied the score at 21-21 by marching from their own 20 to set up a game-winning, 35-yard field goal as time expired.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – There is a new closer on the NBA scene and the Indiana Pacers hope that emerging finisher Paul George will enable the team to take the next step and unseat the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
George, 23, was named Most Improved Player of the 2012-13 campaign and believes he has progressed even more this season for the 10-1 Pacers, who forced Miami to a decisive seventh game in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Indiana Pacers came out ice cold against a revenge-minded New York Knicks team on Wednesday but showed their class and put the NBA on notice with a hot finish that produced another notch in the win column.
Indiana missed their first seven shots and fell 13-0 behind a Knicks team eliminated from last year’s playoffs by the Pacers, and which had lost their last four home games in struggling to a disappointing 3-7 start this season.
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) – After more than a month of tunnel vision, the New York Giants have just about climbed out of their 0-6 hole with a crucial showdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday next on their must-do list.
The Giants, who have won two Super Bowl titles over the last six years, can hoist themselves to within one game of NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) with a fifth consecutive win, which would tie them with Dallas at 5-6.