Knicks win 9 straight on hot streak

It’s been nearly a decade since all eyes were turned towards Madison Square Garden, but with the Knicks chasing a 10th consecutive victory, the Mecca of basketball finally recaptured the world’s attention.
An incredible month of April propelled the Knicks all the way into the East’s 4 seed, leapfrogging the Atlanta Hawks in an overtime thriller to climb the standings.
Sitting a handful of games behind the Bucks for 3rd with just a fraction of the season left, it’s not likely the Knicks will continue to rise, though New York has effectively solidified their spot in the playoff picture.
Over the last month, the hard work and constant effort put in by the Knicks finally came to fruition. The dedication from a young and hungry team almost got out of hand at times, with head coach Tom Thibodeau even banning the team from practicing so they could rest.
“I want to sneak into the gym to get some more shots up,” said rookie Immanuel Quickley, who has become a big contributor off the bench in his first year.
On April 9th, the Knicks stood in 8th place in the Eastern Conference, but after winning their next 9 games they had risen to 4th. The 4-10 seeds in the playoffs are still wide open in the East, and with contests heating up for vital playoff positioning, New York’s wins couldn’t come at a better time.
The streak started with a tight Overtime finish against the Grizzlies, followed by a strong win over the Raptors. An early highlight came soon after, as New York toppled the defending champion Lakers, although LA came to New York with Anthony Davis and LeBron James out.
From then on, the Knicks refused to lose. In the blink of an eye the streak was the longest active one in the league, and the Knicks the most red-hot team in the NBA.
Over their next nine, it was no surprise that Julius Randle continued to lead the way on offense. Randle averaged an incredible 30 points per game during the streak, highlighted by 40-pieces against Dallas and Atlanta.
Derrick Rose played a big role for New York as well during the run. In the last 5 games of the streak, Rose averaged 20 points and provided New York with another dangerous presence on offense.
Unfortunately the streak fell short of double-digits, as the Phoenix Suns came back late to defeat New York at MSG on Monday night.
Despite the strong defensive effort, the Knicks couldn’t stop Devin Booker, who coasted to 33 points. Chris Paul also dazzled for the Suns, picking up some massive points in the final minutes to close out the contest.
Nobody expected the Knicks to be in the playoff picture at the start of the year, but after already shattering their projected win total of 27, it’s almost certain they’ll tip off in late May when the postseason gets underway.
The last nine to be easy if New York wants to earn home court advantage in the first round. With eight games coming against playoff opposition, the final stretch of the season will test where the Knicks stand against the league’s other top teams.
New York will start a 6-game road trip on Sunday as they take on the struggling Houston Rockets. The final three games of the year will be played at MSG, as the Knicks are certain to be hunting for key wins to clinch favorable positioning.
The Knicks are back in the limelight, and with the last days of the regular season ticking, it’s time to see what New York can do in their playoff push.

Queensboro FC announces stadium at York College

On Tuesday morning, Queensboro FC officially announced the construction of a soccer specific stadium at York College. A 7,500-seat soccer-specific stadium is coming to the heart of Jamaica, Queens, set to be completed in time for the club’s United Soccer League (USL) Championship debut next year.
The stadium will serve as a home for the new Queens club and their academy, but will also be utilized by York College and the local community.
“It’s a great opportunity at a great location. It’s fantastic given the access from the local train system and plenty of bus stations nearby. We’re fortunate to be able to call this our future home,” said Chief Business Officer Adam Behnke.
“It means everything for the club and ownership, CUNY, and York to have this come together. It’s such an exciting moment for us to call this place home and to play in Queens.”
At an event at York College, a handful of local politicians, Queensboro FC staff, and academy players spoke to fans and media, outlining the benefits of the new facility.
“This is the ultimate public/private partnership that we need at this particular time and place,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks of NY’s 5th district.
“It’s going to reflect a dynamic change, bring businesses to this community, and create more jobs and opportunities.”
“This is tremendous for southeast Queens, for the students of York College, for soccer fans in Queens, and those around the world,” said council member Adrienne Adams.
“Building this new soccer stadium is an incredibly important investment that will have a reverberating effect on the entire community. It will be part of the revitalization of Jamaica that is already underway.”
For council member Francisco Moya, the project is the realization of dreams years in the making. Moya has been fighting to bring a professional soccer club and stadium to his home borough before Queensboro FC was founded, and when he spoke with the club’s future owner Jonathan Krane, the two took the first steps to bring the world’s game to the world’s borough.
“Jonathan and I met a few years ago and he had a vision of bringing a soccer team to the city of New York. I told him that there’s no better borough than the borough of Queens,” said Moya. “It truly has now come to fruition, the vision, the hard work, and for everybody at Queensboro FC, we thank you for all that you do and the investment you’re making in the community and borough of Queens. We are forever grateful.”
Moya, who grew up in Queens as the son of Ecuadorian immigrants, is one of many who grew to love the beautiful game of soccer in the heart of Queens. He believes the stadium is a big step in growing the game at the local level.
“When you grow up in Corona, Queens and you learn how to play the beautiful game of football in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, sandwiched between a baseball and tennis stadium, you see the difference this makes. Right now there is some young child that is playing in Flushing Meadows or Roy Wilkins Park, who will soon be donning the jersey of their borough.”
While the professional soccer market is dominated by the city’s two MLS clubs, it is the fledgling USL team that is bringing the first professionally-operated soccer-specific-stadium to New York City.
“It’s a wonderful thing to see a team that’s building their actual roots in their community,” added Moya. “Being the first to build a soccer specific stadium in New York City and having it in the borough of Queens makes this a historic day.”
Queensboro FC also announced the “1909 Club” for early season ticket holders. The limited-time promotion will grant 1909 fans lifetime membership to the club and rights to choose their seats in the new stadium. The deposit for the 1909 Club is just $25, which will also apply as a credit for the eventual price of season tickets.
While the plans are just being set in motion for a big inaugural season in 2022, the club’s academy team is prepating to take the field for the club’s debut in the USL Academy League.
After playing a handful of local opponents in friendly matches, the QBFC academy is set to play their first official game on May 9th, just weeks away.
The final academy roster is finally set and under the diligent eyes of head coach Josep Gombau and technical director Luis Gutierrez, Queensboro’s young stars are looking forward to their future with the club, and possibly even making the senior team.
Academy games and training will be hosted at the new stadium next year, with the club temporarily playing their home games at Mitchel Field at Nassau Community College on Long Island.

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