Monday Morning Coffee

November 20, 2023

The Lakers fought their way to a win over the Rockets last night. They are now two games over .500. Lebron has been ballin, but I wish he didn’t have to expend so much energy in these wins. He’s in year 21, and he can still carry a team, but depending on any 38-year-old to carry your team is a dangerous game. I don’t know who needs to hear this but the answer for the Lakers isn’t trading for Zach Lavine. This guy is a nice player, but you’re going to have to trade D-Lo plus a lot more for him, crushing your depth. Lavine isn’t so much better than D-Lo to give up those kind of assets and draft capital for him. I won’t even bother addressing the idiots suggesting giving up Anthony Davis for Lavine either. Unless somehow Donovan Mitchell becomes available, the Lakers will need to just work with what they have, and find a way to build the momentum they had last year. That team didn’t reach their ceiling, so there’s still room for improvement.

Brilliant master PR class by the Clippers last week. They had to let the the world know that it was Russell Westbrook who told the coaching staff he wanted to come off the bench and sacrifice. Yea ok guys, sure thing. Especially after Russ didn’t speak to the media after the Clippers beat the Rockets on Friday. The Clippers are definitely playing better in the last couple of games with Harden in the lineup, but the offense is still very clumsy looking, with all these guys playing “your turn, my turn” offense. That will only get you so far, but let’s see if this team can develop any kind of chemistry in the coming weeks before getting too far behind in the Western Conference standings.

To baseball, where we should all just be prepared for stupid things to happen in this offseason. Aaron Nola is a 30 year old pitcher who gives you some moments, and he signed a 7 year $172 million contract with the Phillies. If he’s worth $24 million a season, I’m sure Blake Snell, Yoshibobu Yamamoto, let alone Shohei Ohtani, will get stupid money. However, it’s just the going rate if you want to improve your ball club right now. Even someone like Dylan Cease, who the Dodgers are reportedly trying to trade for, would cost crazy amounts of prospects because of his cost control. That sounds crazy, but not as stupid as the rumor the Dodgers could trade for Mike Trout. Why? So they can add a guy making boat loads who is never available? I don’t believe that one for a second.

In College Football, USC laid an egg against UCLA on Saturday at the Coliseum. They looked totally unprepared from the start. For USC to finish the season 7-5, and likely headed to some garbage Las Vegas Bowl, that couldn’t be more disappointing for them and their fan base. It’s also devastating for Caleb Williams, who has probably played his last game at USC and is going to the NFL. Lincoln Riley has tons of work to do, namely adding defense, discipline, toughness, and a running game to his program. That could be tough in the short run when going to the Big 10. As for the Bruins, it was a nice win, they played with desperation, as if their coaches job was on the line. While I give Chip Kelly credit for having his boys prepared, I still thinking keeping him as coach is ridiculous. This isn’t what the Bruins signed up for with him when they decided to pay him $30 million. No top recruits at all. If they are content as a perennial bowl program that stays within the rules and graduates players at a high rate, they can do that without having a coach that is so expensive. Kelly also isn’t even personable with the media and the UCLA community either, which is tough to deal with when you’re just a mediocre coach. Plus if Dante Moore enters the transfer portal, that blame squarely falls on Chips shoulders.

In the NFL, the Rams pulled out a gutty win against the Seahawks yesterday. Matt Stafford took a massive hit, yet somehow recovered in time to help LA win. However, Cooper Kupp injured his ankle, and could miss some time. This team feels like it’s being held together but duct tape and super glue, yet they are still in the NFC Playoff chase with a 4-6 record. The Packers, Vikings, and Seahawks all seem very vulnerable in the standings, but I feel like the Rams are going to be kicking themselves from those losses to the Packers and Steelers the last few weeks. I sure hope Sean McVay can find a way to better protect Stafford, who has the mobility of a sub-zero refrigerator, over the next couple of weeks. Otherwise, he’s going to get lots of aggravation watching Carson Wentz take every snap.

Can we stop pretending like the Chargers are going to do something with this “super talented roster” we keep hearing about? The Bolts fell to 4-6, and only have a better record than two AFC team: the Titans and Patriots. They made Jordan Love look like Dan Marino, and they once again, could not hold onto a lead. Love became the fifth quarterback this year to throw for at least 300 yards against them. Losing Joey Bosa to a foot injury won’t help their cause, but they have bigger problems than that. Brandon Staley is now having meltdowns both on and off the field, snapping at reporters who question the quality of his defense. Staley claims that they are losing because of other mistake the team made, such as offensively, but he’s forgetting the fact that he’s supposed to be a defensive coach. I don’t care how good Justin Herbert is, if they can’t slow down the opposition’s passing attack, they are going to be watching the playoffs from the couch.

Chargers linebacker Joey Bosa grimaces as he's taken by cart off the field after suffering an apparent foot injury.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 11, the Ravens and Bengals played the worst game of all-time on Thursday for Fantasy Football Owners. Joe Burrow and Mark Andrews injuries, also hurt the NFL product too. Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton turned into Tom Brady and Randy Moss at the end of the Broncos win over Minnesota. The Bears defense was so bad against the Lions, they might have stood a better chance using cones instead of lineman against Jared Goff. The Giants are going to petition the league to see if they can play against the Commanders every week from here on out. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson couldn’t do anything right yesterday: missing receivers, tripping over himself, running into Robert Saleh and taking him down, as well as getting tea bagged by his opponents.

Finally, everybody is talking about NFL sideline reporter Charissa Thompson’s claim that sometimes she has to make up stories while reporting on the sideline because sometimes the coaches won’t talk to her. She will not receive any blowback from her employer about this, nor should she. She also shouldn’t receive criticism from her peers, who are complaining the most. It’s like they are upset because they think we’re suddenly going to realize that so many people in journalism aren’t really telling us the facts, but just make up their own news anyway. The lines between journalism and opinions have become extremely blurred, to the point where you basically have to do your own homework to determine what’s factual and what isn’t. This goes way beyond sports, and is just part of journalist in general these days. I don’t love it, but what are people so upset about, pretending like this is earth shattering news? Frankly, Thompson’s made up stories, are still probably way more real than many of the other stories we hear throughout the sports world. Sorry journalists, the jig is up!

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