October 28th, 2013
Ok, how many of you Laker fans are really excited for the NBA to start? If you are, your excitement should go away once they tip off on Tuesday night at Staples Center. This team is going to be bad. Far worse than you think. 8th place in the West is the goal, 7th place is a dream, but 10th place is far more realistic. The way I see it, if the Lakers end up with a lottery pick, and Kobe comes back to show he can still play at a high level, that’s a successful season.
There’s recently been some talk about the Lakers trying to bring back guard Shannon Brown, who will likely be waived by the Washington Wizards in the next couple of days. Although Shannon would be a very nice addition to the squad, many people are forgetting why this may not happen. Back in 2011, the Lakers had some serious locker room issues, when it was rumored that Brown had slept with Pau Gasol’s fiance at the time. It’s still hard to know whether or not that story is true, however, the mere possibility that it could have happened might be enough for Mitch Kupchak to avoid signing Brown. The Lakers had plenty of locker room drama with Dwight Howard last season, and I suspect they wouldn’t be willing to take on more just for the sake of adding another role player.
Meanwhile, the Clippers have to be feeling good about themselves heading into the season. They’ve added some quality shooters with JJ Redick and Jared Dudley, and definitely upgraded their coach, with Doc Rivers in the mix. Seeing him on the sidelines is just going to be weird. I’m still shocked that Sterling ponied up the money, and think someone needs to launch an investigation as to how Donald was convinced to pay him. The only unsettling feeling for the Clippers right now has to be Chris Paul’s recent comments to HBO Real Sports, in which he mentioned that he could see himself retiring a little early to spend more time with his family. Paul just signed a new 5 year deal with the Clippers, so a lot can happen between now and then, but this isn’t really something I want to hear from the best player in the history of the franchise, when he’s in the prime of his career.
On to college football, where the Bruins got punked by Oregon on Saturday night, by a score of 42-14. The Bruins were hanging with the Ducks for 3 quarters, until they got blown away in the 4th. Playing against Oregon is like playing Madden against someone that never punts. UCLA tried to control the tempo of the game by running the football, but when it was time to throw the ball, the Ducks were ready for it. The Bruins fell to #17 in the AP poll, and just 2-2 in the conference, but they still control their own destiny. Their margin for error is slim, but if they win their final five games, which they should, they’ll get another shot at Oregon or Stanford for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. Still, the Ducks appear to be too fast, and the Cardinal appear to be too strong up front. It’s gonna be a tough road ahead for UCLA, but they aren’t out of it yet.
Meanwhile, at the Coliseum, the Trojans beat up on Utah by a score of 19-3. Watching these two offenses at work was like watching two uncoordinated morons trying to juggle chainsaws. The Trojans managed to score just one TD on the day, but their defense was simply dominant. They forced four turnovers, and yielded just 201 yards of total offense. Amazingly, the Trojans are 5-3 overall, and they also control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South. Unfortunately, they’ll still have to deal with Stanford and UCLA.
The baseball offseason is here for the Dodgers, and they have put themselves in an awkward situation with Don Mattingly. I’ve been screaming from the mountain tops for months that the Dodgers were waiting to see what happened with Mike Scioscia before deciding whether to retain Mattingly. Of course, in the process, they completely alienated him, and now that Mattingly has a little bit of leverage after making it to the NLCS, he’s demanding an extension. The Dodgers need to realize what the Lakers and UCLA basketball failed to realize: you don’t fire your coach unless you know you have an even better replacement for him. There are simply no available managers out there that are better than Mattingly. The players like him, and he still he can still improve with more experience. Sure his in game strategy needs work, but unless Scioscia or Tony La Russa are replacing him, which they aren’t, then LA is better off sticking with Donny Baseball.
Week 8 of the NFL left no question in my mind that the two best receivers in the NFL are Calvin Johnson, followed by Dez Bryant. Great finish in that Lions and Cowboys game. Watch out for those Carolina Panthers. Their defense is looking good, and Cam Newton looks like he has his act together. Does anybody realize that if the playoffs started today, the Chargers would in? I guess I didn’t realize how much Houston and Pittsburgh stink up until this very moment.
Speaking of the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell informed the media a few days ago that getting a team in London and Los Angeles are top priorities for the league, “in no particular order”. Sounds like the league has more interest in bringing a team to LA than anybody else in Southern California. I’m still not sure why the league is so determined to put a team in London. This will simply be a logistical nightmare. What free agents will want to join a team living in London? How much will it suck for west coast teams to travel over there? Why does Goodell think this will succeed when NFL Europe failed? The idea is simply mind boggling.
Finally, another fantastic episode of the The Walking Dead aired last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen it yet. A disease is spreading in the prison camp, and two of the casualties were Karen and David. These two were kept in isolation because of their symptoms, and their bodies were found burned. It was strongly suggested that they were burned by someone within the camp to prevent the disease from spreading. Tyreese becomes angry that his girlfriend and friend were killed, and even more frustrated when his sister, Sasha, becomes ill too. He wants justice for their deaths. However, by the end of the show, we find out it was Carol who was responsible for their deaths. The rest of the show consisted of Tyreese taking his anger out on Walkers, and discovering that Glenn is ill too.
The irony of the episode is that Carol had been the glue that held the group together. Now, in order to protect the ones she loves, she has taken an action that could cause a major divide within the group. It was a very shocking end to the episode to learn what Carol did. At the same time, I’ve gotta think that The Governor is just waiting to attack the group again. He’s a threat that is just waiting to rise up once more. It may not happen until later in the season, but it’s gotta happen at some point. I have a hard time believing that Glenn is going to die from some “glorified cold” as he described it, but I’ve got a feeling it could end up killing Hershel, who is obviously willing to risk his life so save as many as he can. And what’s up with Bob? That guy has to be evil. I’m waiting for him to betray the group in some way, maybe to help The Governor? Looking forward to more episodes!