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With eight teams, and three of them championship contenders, the state of New York looks to be hosting a championship parade sooner rather than later. The only question is which New York sports team will bring a title home first.
We’ll Start With The Contenders
The Rangers have been close for a while – in 2014 they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the LA Kings, and in 2015 they were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals – but they’ve never been able to win it, even with one of the greatest goalies to ever play, Henrik Lundqvist. This season, their whole team is clicking, but it just might be a little too late. “Hank” is getting up there in years and is seemingly past his prime, but I wouldn’t doubt Lundqvist’s abilities. With an offense as good as this one, the Rangers have a real shot at taking home the cup.
There is no doubt that the Mets have the best young pitching staff in baseball. With Noah Syndergaard, Jacob Degrom, Matt Harvey and more, the Mets might have the best shot out of the New York teams, but with questions surrounding the lineup there are still some major speed bumps in the way. Outside of slugger Yoenis Cespedes, the rest of the lineup is a giant question mark. If their offensive numbers increase from last season, they’ve got a great shot at taking home the ship.
There’s no question that the Giants have an elite defense. They have a secondary that’s got a perfect blend of everything. They have experienced veterans, as well as talented youth, and with very few holes to fill this offseason, it appears that they will be good for a long while. The issues they may face are on the offensive side of the ball. While they have a surplus of talented young playmakers, there are some gaping holes on the offensive line. Eli Manning is not getting any younger so without any protection, and no running game for him to lean back on, the G-Men might not be as close as some think. Then again, they do have Odell Beckham Jr., so you never know.
After going through the contenders, it’s time to look at the teams that aren’t there yet, but could be soon.
The Yankees have missed the playoffs for the last couple of years, but seem poised to make a run sooner rather than later. The Yankees might not be contenders just yet, but they’re loaded with minor league talent. They’ve also been saving up money for one of the most stacked free agent classes ever. Some of the 2018 free agents whom the Yankees have shown interest in signing are young superstars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. So while the Yankees aren’t elite now, it looks like they have a very bright future ahead of them.
The Knicks might actually be closer than you think. Although many would have preferred they dump Carmelo Anthony at the trade deadline, the Knicks have good young talent in the frontcourt with Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. With the young talent clearly there, the Knicks might have a shot in a couple of years. It’s not as if Melo is a bad basketball player. With a few lottery picks, the Knicks might actually be a contending team.
Now the teams New Yorkers try to forget about.
There aren’t many positives to being an Islanders fan right now. They are really bad, and it seems like they are going to have to leave the Barclays Center soon. There isn’t much else to say.
The Jets haven’t been to the playoffs in quite some time now, and it looks as if it might get worse before it gets better. While they’ve been making some solid moves in terms of rebuilding, by dumping old contracts like Brandon Marshall and Nick Mangold, (don’t get me started on the Darrelle Revis disaster) they still have a ways to go. The only positive is that the Jets at least are going in the right direction with step one of the rebuild. But rebuilding takes time so, Jets fans shouldn’t be expecting positive results any time soon.
It’s hard to find a franchise in sports in worse shape than the Nets. Even the Browns have picks and cap space, but the Nets have neither. The Nets recently made a deal to get a first round pick, their first one in what feels like forever. To gain that pick they gave away the ONLY bright spot they had in Bojan Bogdanovic. I think the odds of them winning a championship first out of the rest of the New York teams is… well, it’s not good, I’ll tell you that.
In the short term, while the Mets and Giants may be the best now, I don’t think either is good enough to win a championship in the next few years. So while the Yankees aren’t on top of New York right now, I think they’ll bring a parade home before any of their fellow Big Apple organizations.