Today in Local Sports Coverage: Falling Down

Is there anyone happier to have Rex Ryan in town than your sports editors? Ryan practically assigns back covers, even

Is there anyone happier to have Rex Ryan in town than your sports editors? Ryan practically assigns back covers, even in the midweek doldrums of a disappointing season.

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Yesterday, Joe Girardi showed up at the Jets’ practice facility to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide–a move that can only marginally help Ryan’s team, but provided a big assist to the tabloids, both of which seized the chance to put the Jets and the Yankees on the back cover with the same story.

For all his help, Ryan probably deserves better than what Tim Smith gives him in the Daily News. “The Jets are pretty adept at sliding. They’ve been doing it since Week 4,” Smith writes. He buries Ryan’s Jets, who probably need five straight wins to make the playoffs, and almost certainly need at least four of those five.

The Post is keeping the dream alive though. Jay Greenberg says it all comes down to ball security, which hasn’t been a Jets stronsuit. They lead the N.F.L. with 26 turnovers. “As long as they cling to the ball, they cling to hope,” Greenberg writes.

The Knicks got a rare glimmer of hope last night, when they somehow turned the table on the Suns. Lots of speedball, says the Post.

In a role reversal of mammoth proportions, Mike D’Antoni’s speedball offense overpowered the Suns’ league-leading speedball attack in a stunning 126-99 Garden demolition.

It counts as an “emotional win,” because Coach D’Antoni was going against his old squad, a contender that he bolted to suffer through the Knicks for five years, in return for a small mint.

It’s a similar storyline with the Nets, who welcome back longtime point guard Jason Kidd tonight. But whereas D’Antoni said all the right things about his former club, Kidd is less sentimental.

“It (the Net’sdownfall) was something that was going to eventually happen. It reminded me of when I was with Dallas the first time (in the early ’90s) and (H. Ross Perot Jr.) bought the team and it wasn’t about basketball. It was about a real estate play. That is what happened with the Nets.”

Does that count as bulletin board material? Does an 0-17 team even have a bulletin board? Loss Number 18 would put them as the sole owners of the worst start in N.B.A. history, and Filip Bondy thinks that might not be the best way to lure free agents.

Today in Local Sports Coverage: Falling Down