Start Spreading the News! New York Sports Thriving
It’s been a long time since more than one or two New York sports teams have been relevant at one time. If the Yankees are playing well, the Mets tend to falter. Islanders make a playoff run? The Rangers miss the playoffs. Jets and Giants are pretty much never relevant at the same time, but they arguably had the two best drafts in this year's NFL Draft. And although that may still be true, Buffalo (they’re still in the state of New York, deal with it) is the chalk to win the Super Bowl. The Knicks are young, and Brooklyn has the talent to win a title next season. New York sports are at a high point in recent memory. Normally there’s a good, bad, and ugly in regards to a city’s sports team. But right now, there is no ugly.
Let’s take a look at the New York teams still active. The Rangers just pulled off a 3-1 series comeback to advance to the second round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Yes, they had luck go their way with opposition injuries, but you need a little bit of luck in every playoff run. This team went from being more likely to miss the playoffs when this season started to being the pleasant surprise of the NHL. In the MLB, the Yankees are the best team in baseball. They’ve been so good in regards to not making mistakes, and they’ve been firing on all cylinders. They’ve given up the fewest runs in the bigs while managing to put up the second most runs, leading to a league best +73 run differential. The Mets currently sit atop the NL East with a 5.5 game lead without ace Jacob deGrom. It took over a month of baseball before they even lost a series. But the big thing in my mind is Edwin Diaz is FINALLY looking like the closer we all expected him to be when the Mets traded for him. The Mets have blown countless games in the late stages, but Diaz boasts a 1.80 ERA and 16.7 K/9. Could we see a Subway Series fall classic? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.
The NBA has two teams in two different places. The Brooklyn Nets, coming off of a disappointing season, are in win now mode with aging stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But they do have young talent in Ben Simmons (if he ever decides to play), Nic Claxton and Bruce Brown. There will be a lot of pressure to perform next year, and I think they live up to it. The Knicks on the other hand have an incredibly young team with only four players in the wrong side of 30 and a lot of potential. RJ barret has increased his PPG every season, Julius Randle quietly went for nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, and they have a litany of talent off the bench between Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and Cam Reddish. The Knicks are in the middle of building a young core to provide success for years to come. It’s the anticipation that gets people excited, and the development of this youth core’s talent leaves a lot of thought into what this team could do.
Finally, we have New York football. For the first time in years, the Jets absolutely dominated the draft. They got the top CB in Ahmad Gardner and potentially top WR in the draft in Garrett Wilson. Then, they traded back into the first round for the steal of the day in top 10 draft prospect Jermaine Johnson at 26. The Giants drafted the two players who I thought were the best prospects in the draft in DE Kayvon Thibodeaux and OT Evan Neal at 5 and 7. Both teams have a young quarterback, plenty of young talent at important skill positions, and a bright future ahead of them. The Buffalo Bills are a title contender in the present. Coming off of back to back heartbreaking losses to the Chiefs in the playoffs, this is finally the time that Buffalo is going to overcome their past demons to skyrocket to success. A top offense in the league that added important veteran leadership in Von Miller on the defensive side of the ball, Buffalo is going to be the team to look out for this year. Overall, it’s a hell of a time to be a New York sports fan.