Hope everyone's set to enjoy a nice MLK Day, one of those holidays that kind of sneaks up on you, even if its significance should mean more than we even acknowledge. Rumor has it, it's about to finally get cold around these parts, seems about time. Here we go:
Mets/Yankees: Is it baseball season yet?
No, not quite yet.
We're going to keep mentioning this for a little while, just until it doesn't bug us anymore.
Knicks: Three straight losses between the Celtics, Pacers and Bulls, the latter two in definite unimpressive fashion and the Knicks had reached one of the first mini-crisis points of the season. 7-8 over their last fifteen games, it's possible to look at New York as sliding away from contending status. But in easy wins over New Orleans and Detroit, the Knicks welcomed back Iman Shumpert seamlessly, while beginning to see the beginnings of a bright future for Amar'e Stoudemire among the second unit. The team's start was so good, it was easy to ignore how much the Knicks have been missing, but with Ray Felton aiming for a return at the tail end of this week, New York is closing in on finally being whole. It's quite possible we've seen the best of this team and they're sliding back toward the dreaded mean, but it's equally likely New York's about to finally be whole and headed for a big-time second half. They'll get an early start on that on Monday with the fourth and final meeting with Brooklyn and the suddenly thriving Nets.
Nets: No one thought that P.J. Carlesimo was going to solve all the Nets' woes, except that remarkably he has. Now 9-2 since he took over for Avery Johnson, Carlesimo has ignited the backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, allowing Williams to work the pick-and-roll attack he's most comfortable with, without inspiring a single one of his players to strangle him, a personal career best. Brooklyn readies itself for a fun week, with Monday's matchup with the Knicks followed by Western Conference tests against the T-Wolves, Grizzlies and Rockets.
Monday, Jan. 21
3:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Brooklyn
1:00 PM NHL NY Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Brooklyn
3:30 PM NCAAB Syracuse vs. Cincinnati
Tuesday, Jan. 22
7:30 PM NHL New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
Wednesday, Jan. 23
8:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Minnesota
7:30 PM NHL NY Rangers vs. Boston
7:30 PM NCAAB Rutgers vs. St. John's
Thursday, Jan. 24
8:00 PM NBA NY Knicks at Boston
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Toronto
7:00 PM NHL NY Rangers at Philadelphia
Friday, Jan. 25
8:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Memphis
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Boston
7:00 PM NHL New Jersey vs. Washington
Saturday, Jan. 26
7:00 PM NBA NY Knicks at Philadelphia
8:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Houston
7:00 PM NHL NY Rangers vs. Toronto
11:00 AM NCAAB Syracuse at Villanova
Sunday, Jan. 27
7:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Atlanta
6:00 PM NHL New Jersey at Montreal
8:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Winnipeg
12:00 AM NCAAB St. John's vs. Seton Hall
2:00 AM NCAAB UConn vs. Rutgers
Rangers: The NHL season finally started this Saturday and so began one of the most anticipated Rangers seasons in years. Naturally, it began with two pastings by Eastern Conference powers Boston and Pittsburgh, two teams they'll likely be battling all year. After a dismal 3-1 opening loss to the Bruins, New York looked worse in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh, particularly in a worrisome second period that saw Henrik Lundqvist removed. It's been about the worst possible start for the Blueshirts, but they'll get to take on Boston and Philly in the season's second week as they look to find their footing in the early going.
Devils/Islanders: The Devils and islanders share this spot, since the two teams opened Saturday against each other. David Clarkson broke a 1-1 tie in the third period to steal the opener from the Isles, who were hoping to have their talent finally match their results. New York looks ahead to Tampa, Toronto and Boston, while New Jersey sets itself for tilts with Philadelphia, Washington and Montreal.
Big East Basketball: The biggest game of the week was Syracuse's thrilling 70-68 win over No. 1 Louisville, with the Orange stunning the Cardinals on their home floor. After a solid week for the Huskies, UConn suffered a tough loss to Pitt on Saturday, while Rutgers nearly pulled off the comeback upset over Notre Dame, but were stifled by the Irish in a 69-66 loss.
Brian DiMenna is a contributor to SNY.tv.