In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Michael Battista asked our panel of three experts — Miguel Gonzalez, Malcolm Luck and Kyle Olszak — three questions: 1. Did offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels make the right decision to stay with the New England Patriots? 2. Can the New York Knicks make it to the playoffs without Kristaps Porzingis? 3. Who do you think is winning the MLB World Series this year?
1. Did offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels make the right decision to stay with the New England Patriots?
Miguel: There are traitors, snakes, snitches, Benedict Arnolds and Kevin Durants in sports. What lies beneath all of these traitors is Josh McDaniels. He previously committed to being the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but he decided to pull out. Is it because the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl? Probably not. Is it because the Colts are a dumpster fire right now? Probably not. I think McDaniels wants to stay with the Patriots so he can be Bill Belichick’s successor. The only problem is that Tom Brady’s time is running out at the same time strong American Football Conference teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars are emerging.
Malcolm: I think Josh McDaniels made the right decision to stay with the Patriots in the sense that his career will be more successful. The Patriots are the most dominant franchise in all of sports throughout the last decade, so obviously he’s going to continue to have success and build his résumé in New England. He is currently the quarterback coach for the greatest quarterback in National Football League history, and the offensive coordinator for one of the most consistent offenses that this league has ever seen. With that being said, the manner in which he decided to stay with New England was disrespectful to the Colts. After being announced as the head coach, he withdrew from the position to stay in New England. I think this decision will hurt him more than he can imagine in the future. If he ever looks to leave New England, teams will question his loyalty and ability to commit, two qualities needed as a prominent coach in an NFL organization.
Kyle: No, Josh McDaniels did not make the right decision. Coming off a season where the New England Patriots were a league leader in offensive production, McDaniels was given the opportunity to join the Indianapolis Colts. After committing to a team led by Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, the New England offensive coordinator decided to revoke his commitment. There are two major reasons why this was a bad move for McDaniels. First and foremost, Tom Brady is getting old and there is no replacement for the future of the Patriots offense. This, coupled with injury problems, is something that does not bode well for the New England offensive coordinator. McDaniels was given the opportunity to coach a team with one of the top quarterback prospects since John Elway. Such an opportunity is a rare one in this league, and by not taking advantage of it, McDaniels may have squandered the best head coaching gig he will ever be offered.
Malcolm gets 3 points for mentioning the disrespect. Miguel gets 2 points for looking at McDaniels as a successor and Kyle gets 1 point for comparing injury-prone Luck to Elway.
2. Can the New York Knicks make it to the playoffs without Kristaps Porzingis?
Miguel: I feel bad for Porzingis. He finally has Carmelo Anthony off his shoulders and can finally lead the Knicks to the playoffs. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL. Regardless of the situation, the Knicks still have productive players like forward Michael Beasley, guard Frank Ntilikina and centers Enes Kanter and Joakim Noah. Hopefully Kanter doesn’t get persecuted by Turkey. Other than those players, the Knicks do not possess neither the talent nor skill to reach the eighth seed of the eastern conference. With quality teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, it’ll be difficult for the Knicks to win. But hey, at least they’re better than the Brooklyn Nets.
Malcolm: Unfortunately, the Knicks can’t make it to the playoffs without Porzingis. Not only is he the best player on the team, but he also did things for the Knicks offense and defense that can’t be replaced by guys like Kyle O’Quinn or Lance Thomas. The Knicks already had trouble on the defensive side of the ball, and without Porzingis, the league’s statistically best shot blocker, those problems will only get worse. On the offensive side of the floor, Kristaps’ ability to shoot three-pointers stretched the floor and opened up the paint for more scoring. Anyone who replaces him on the Knicks roster doesn’t have that same ability. Right now the Knicks are 11th in the conference with the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets in eighth, ninth and 10th place, respectively. The Pistons acquired Blake Griffin and the 76ers and Hornets are fundamentally better, leaving the Knicks no room to pass them in the standings anyway.
Kyle: Absolutely not. In the NBA, you need to have a star on your team if you want to make the playoffs. When the Knicks lost Kristaps for the remainder of the season, they also lost their chance at making the playoffs. They currently stand at 11th in the Eastern Conference and I expect the Chicago Bulls to overtake them soon. That would leave the Knicks in 12th place right after the all-star break, a place where nothing short of a miracle would be required in order for the team to make the playoffs.
Malcolm gets 3 points for discussing the hole left by Porzingis. Kyle gets 2 points for talking about star power and Miguel gets 1 point for mentioning Joakim Noah, who is injured.
3. Who do you think is winning the MLB World Series this year?
Miguel: The New York Yankees are taking the commissioner’s trophy this year. The Yankees were only one game short of making it to the World Series last season. The Bronx Bombers will feature perennial offensive players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. Didi Gregorius will provide strong defense at shortstop. Meanwhile, the Yankees have an arsenal of furious pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Daniel Robertson, Aroldis Chapman and CC Sabathia. If the Yankees can overcome the Houston Astros this season, nothing will stop them in their quest for ring number 28.
Malcolm: The reigning world champion Houston Astros have the best chance of winning the World Series this year, without a doubt. The most efficient formula for repeating as world champions in any sport is to maintain your team’s key pieces. The Astros have done exactly that. Players like American League MVP Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel and George Springer all came up huge for the team last season. These players are all returning. Houston also managed to pick up one of the top arms on the market with pitcher Gerrit Cole, which only adds to their dominant pitching staff from last season. While some top AL teams like the Yankees added big free agents like Giancarlo Stanton, free agency has been pretty stagnant and no teams made enough moves to threaten the Astros from repeating as world champions.
Kyle: Although they came up short last year, I believe the New York Yankees are the clear favorite to win the World Series. Although the team’s bullpen may not be the strongest in the American League, I expect their strong hitting and fielding to bring another pennant home to the Bronx.
Miguel gets 3 points for mentioning every players. Malcolm gets 2 points for looking at Houston’s roster and Kyle gets 2 points for balancing the Yankees’ stacked batting order.
Malcolm wins ATD 8-6-5
“SOMEBODY HIT SOMEBODY!