Monthly Archives: December 2018

Monday Morning Coffee

December 10, 2018

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m hoping the Lakers can find a way to lure Kevin Durant here next summer, but he sure sounds like a whiny baby who is jealous of Lebron.  KD thinks Lebron creates a toxic environment? The only thing that’s toxic right now is his relationship with Draymond Green and the rest of his teammates, who have already called him out by saying they don’t even need him to win titles.  I’d like to think this is just a smokescreen for Durant eventually leaving the Warriors for the Lakers in the summer, but who knows with a guy that uses burner accounts to argue with 13 year olds on Twitter.  As for the Lakers, they are continuing the roll and creeping further up the West standings thanks to Lebron’s brilliance.  Since most of you haven’t noticed and just complain about Lonzo’s shooting, he’s actually playing All-NBA level defense.  Kyle Kuzma is not only playing well, but roasting Lebron on Twitter too.

Meanwhile, I think the Clippers are blowing a major opportunity here.  Yes, they’ve been a surprise, but they’ve lost 3 of their last 4, including getting blown out at home by the Heat on Saturday.  More importantly though, they have assets and are missing the opportunity to make a deal for an impact player.  They easily could have acquired Jimmy Butler, and they have the pieces to trade for a Bradley Beal.  Those are proven all-star talents they probably won’t get in free agency.  They are also looking at losing Tobias Harris, who is playing well and going to get serious money from somebody in free agency this summer.  The Clips might be in the playoff picture now, but don’t be surprised if the the red headed step child of LA basketball falls out of it in the coming weeks.

To the NFL, where the Rams just couldn’t get their offense going in the cold yesterday against the Bears, who handed them just their 2nd loss of the season.  I haven’t seen anybody so useless in cold weather since Lloyd and Harry drove to Aspen in the Movie “Dumb and Dumber”.  It’s like Jeff Fisher was calling the plays.  The Rams can probably kiss home field advantage goodbye after this, but the good news is that they probably won’t have to play in cold weather again.  However, there’s some scary matchups out there that could give them trouble.  The Bears, Cowboys, and Seahawks are all dangerous teams with underrated defenses that can give the Rams trouble, even if they have home field.

Yesterday was very weird.  A Charger kicker was actually making his field goals and extra points.  It was like watching a game in the Twilight Zone.  That game was sloppier than Charlie Sheen at happy hour, but the Bolts beat the Bengals and improved to 10-3.  They barely beat a banged up Bengals team, and a Broncos team that is booking their offseason vacations, so I’m still not convinced.  However, they do have a chance to take Kansas City on Thursday and potentially get the #1 seed in the AFC.  If they find a way to do that, I’ll be impressed.  The Chargers better also hope that Austin Ekeler isn’t seriously hurt either, because he’s a key component to their offense.  At least the Bolts actually had more fans cheering for them in their stadium yesterday than the Bengals.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 14, the Jaguars got crushed by the Titans.  Sorry Cowboy fans.  You’re winning so it’s going to be hard to fire Jason Garrett now.  Going from Blake Bortles to Cody Kessler is like replacing a Ford Fusion with a Ford Fiesta.  The Giants tortured Mark Sanchez all day and destroyed the Redskins like it was 1492 all over again.  Colin Kaepernick has to be having a good laugh somewhere.  The Jets got by the Bills, but Bills Mafia still celebrated by jumping on tables and having sex in the parking lot.  Lamar Jackson can barely throw a pass, but he’s going to keep Joe Flacco and his $20 million paycheck chained to the bench.  Miami got a Christmas miracle by beating New England, but the Patriots are like cockroaches that never die.  Who did this?!!!!!

To baseball where the Dodgers have a big shopping list to take care of at the Winter Meetings.  It includes finding a starting catcher and getting some bullpen help.  Notice I didn’t say it includes a starting pitcher or a $300 million outfielder named Bryce Harper, because those would be luxuries and not necessities.  However, the real notable Dodger news last week was the fact they extended Manager Dave Roberts.  For those of you wondering why this happened, I’m wondering why you still don’t get it.  Dave Roberts simply carries out the decision making that Andrew Friedman and his computer tell him to.  It isn’t Roberts who decides to use 5 different second baseman in a World Series game, or sit his top 3 home run hitters.  It’s what Roberts is reading off in line 57 of the spreadsheet.  If anything, he deserves the extension for taking public criticism that Friedman should be getting, and for getting his players to buy into this crazy system.

In College Hoops UCLA barely got Notre Dame on Saturday night on a buzzer beater by Kris Wilkes.  I’m not sure what was worse? Watching UCLA struggle with an average Notre Dame team, or watching a telecast that at one point involved both Digger Phelps and Bill Walton.  Donald Trump called and thought that part of the telecast was too narcissistic.  This Bruins team has talent, but looks like they don’t belong with any of the Top 25 teams in the country.  If Alford can’t do much with this group in the tournament, he needs to go.  No, Fred Hoiberg isn’t the answer either after he just got let go by the Bulls.  Hopefully something better will come along between now and the end of the season.  In case you missed the final excitement on Saturday, here it is:

Finally, the LA Kings are in more denial than an alcoholic.  They are tied for dead last in the league more than a third of the way through the season.  We can’t exactly say that “it’s early” anymore.  They officially stink, and should strongly considering rebuilding.  However, one of the clear strengths of the franchise is goaltending.  I know some of you will want to take out the pitch forks and tiki torches when I say this, but it’s probably time to think about trading Jonathan Quick.  He’s reached his peak, he takes up a decent amount of cap space, still has trade value, and the team still has quality goaltending without him.  It’s going to take some serious creativity to get the Kings out of cap hell, but trading Quick is probably necessary.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 3, 2018

I thought the sky was falling and the Lakers sucked? Oh I guess they aren’t that bad because they’ve won 3 in a row and are creeping up on the top seed in the Western Conference.  If you’re complaining it’s because you have no perspective.  The Lakers are right where they should be, they are improving, as are their young players.  Kyle Kuzma is solid, Brandon Ingram is getting better, and Lonzo Ball is doing more than you think.  However, Mo Wagner looks like a fan that stole a jersey and somehow got on the court for playing time.  The real question is how they take the next step.  They need to sign one max free agent this summer and trade for another star, like Anthony Davis.  Don’t tell me they should trade everybody for Bradley Beal, because you won’t win any titles with him as your second best player.  My head also tells me that KD, Klay, and Kawhi aren’t going anywhere, but when i listen to Magic talk, he sounds convinced one of those guys are coming.  I believe in Magic and so should you.

Meanwhile, you’ve gotta give the Clippers credit.  Nobody thought they would be anywhere near the top of the Western Conference without having a star player.  Frankly, most of us thought Doc Rivers became a bum as a head coach.  However, Shai-Gilegous Alexander can actually play,  and the team doesn’t actually hate each others guts anymore.  I’m still not convinced free agents actually want to come play for the Clips, but they are much more interesting than we thought. The only problem for them is that their 1st round pick is lottery protected, so they are much better off missing the playoffs.

To the NFL where the Rams got a gift from the football gods with the Saints losing on Thursday night, allowing them to reclaim the best record in the NFC with yesterday’s win over the Lions.  They also clinched the NFC West title for the 2nd year in a row.  Aaron Donald should probably get MVP votes, but because the voters have no idea what a Defensive End is, but he probably will be completely ignored like that girl you didn’t want to go to Prom with in high school.  Next week makes me really nervous though.  The Bears seem very capable of knocking off the Rams in cold weather.  In any case, Todd Gurley doesn’t give a crap about your fantasy team.

Monster win for the Chargers. if only anyone cared.  It would have been very “Charger-esque” of the Bolts to lose the game yesterday on a couple of missed field goals with the game on the line.  I’ve seen better officiating in bar brawls.  The Chargers benefited from the officials, and now might even get themselves a first round bye if things break right for them.  In any case, it’s safe to say that home field doesn’t mean a damn thing for them, since they have no fans that show up to their games and cheer for them.  Perhaps if Philip Rivers brings all of his kids to the game, he might be able to fill up the stands.

Elsewhere around the NFL, it doesn’t matter if it’s Kareem Hunt or Hunt’s Ketchup, the Chiefs keep winning.  The Packers lost, but Aaron Rodgers was seen popping champagne in the locker room after the game when he learned that Mike McCarthy was fired.  I have no idea why Bill Belichick was yelling at Adam Thielan.  He’s white and he’s a good receiver, which means he’ll be on the Patriots in the next year or two.  Joe Flacco might never get to play again after the Ravens beat the Falcons.  Since it’s the holiday season, Cam Newton is obviously in a generous mood throwing 4 interceptions in the Panthers loss to the Bucs.  Meanwhile, every Cowboys fan has already booked their trip to the Super Bowl after they beat the Saints.

I feel like Cliff Kingsbury is just trolling every major college and NFL team at this point, just so he can get free dinners from them.  Everybody wants to hire him as their offensive coordinator.  If USC is able to hire him, I’d be very impressed. It looked like that was going to happen, then for some reason Kingsbury got cold feet.  He probably realized that he has competition with Sean McVay for the most handsome football coach in LA, and just couldn’t take it.  I think it’s safe to say Kingsbury is going to make or break the Trojans offseason.  We’ll find out within a couple of days if he’s coming.

To baseball where the Dodgers and Indians keep talking about a big trade.  That proposed trade would involve pitcher Corey Kluber going to the Dodgers, with Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and top prospect Yadier Alvarez going to Cleveland.  Kluber is a nice pitcher and all, but this is so typical of Andrew Friedman.  He’s the kind of guy who learns that his house needs a new roof, and instead he decides to remodel his kitchen.  The Dodgers need bullpen help, not starting pitching.  Instead, Friedman is leaning on unproven and untalented arms he hopes will miraculously come through out of the pen.  Sadly, there is plenty of bullpen talent on the market that can help.

Finally, the Angels badly need to make some moves.  Mike Trout is two years away from free agency, they now have decent prospects in their system, and they can take on some money.  The Halos need to call the Giants about Madison Bumgarner, and the Mets about Noah Syndergaard or Jacob DeGrom.  They badly need pitching, and it’s only going to come via the trade market.  Of course knowing the Angels’ luck, Garrett Richards will win the 2020 Cy Young award after he just signed a 2-year deal with the Padres.