Monday Morning Coffee

April 29, 2024

Let this be a lesson to everyone: NOBODY BEATS THE LAKERS 12 TIMES IN A ROW! The Lakers staved off elimination on Saturday night against the Nuggets, but let’s be real, this probably isn’t sustainable. They are coached by Darvin Ham, who can’t get out of his own way with every terrible decision he makes. The Lakers were reportedly upset with the fact Anthony Davis called out the coaching staff after game 2, saying there are moments on the floor the team has no idea what they are doing. Sorry you don’t like the fact the truth hurts. That’s the difference right now between the Lakers being a true championship team and what they are now. I have to say though, Lebron James is still amazing for being able to do what he does at nearly 40 years of age, and Anthony Davis is not only great, but now one of the more underrated players in the game. Aside from coaching, the Lakers need Rui, Austin, and D-Lo to deliver on a consistent basis, and they just haven’t in this series. I know the Lakers have had the lead for the majority of these games, but you are what the series says you are, and that’s down 3-1. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers got blown out tonight, but here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

As for the Clippers, they narrowly avoid complete embarrassment of blowing a 30 point lead, and managed to beat the Mavs in game 4. It was like Darvin Ham was coaching them yesterday, just forking over that lead. The series is tied 2-2 but they are in a very tough spot because it’s clear they are going to have to do this without Kawhi Leonard. He just wasn’t himself in the last two games he attempted to play, and it caused Paul George and James Harden to defer to him too much and throw off their games as well. Actually, playoff Harden no longer looks like a bad thing in this series, as The Beard has actually played pretty well. George had a huge first half yesterday as well, and made a clutch 3 late in the 4th to seal it. However, it’s hard to imagine the Clippers winning the series at this point without Kawhi, given all the fire power the Mavericks have. It’s disappointing for the Clippers and their fans, but this is simply what you have to live with when you sign a player with a degenerative knee condition.

Then there’s the debacle on the ice with the LA Kings, against the Oilers. Edmonton now has a 3-1 series lead after the Kings continued all their special teams miscues last night. LA finally tightened the screws defensively and got some good goaltending from David Rittich, but they forgot they actually have to score to win. This is a series between one deeply flawed mentally weak roster with no superstars, vs a mentally weak team with two superstars. That’s why the Oilers will always get the better of this matchup, but in the long run, neither team will win the Cup this year. Kings center PL Dubois should be completely embarrassed. This guy is making $8.5 million this year and is currently on the 3rd line, while going up against 3rd line players in this series. Even with those favorable matchups, he’s had very little impact. It’s bad enough the Kings hate their young players and won’t give them a chance to make an impact in this series, but they have no chance if guys like Dubois don’t show up.

Things have been looking better for the Dodgers over the past week. They took 2 of 3 against the Blue Jays over the weekend, and 6 of their last 7 overall. Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are looking great as starters. Things are looking up for the bottom of the order too. Andy Pages has now hijacked playing time for the completely unproductive Chris Taylor, while Gavin Lux is even showing signs of life at the plate. The jury is still out on James Outman, who is now sitting against lefties, but let’s solve one problem at at time. The Dodgers have a showdown with the D’Backs, so they can start to build a bigger lead in the NL West if they handle their business.

Arte Moreno is HIM. The Angels now have the 4th worst record in baseball, yet the man is selling out a game for “Star Wars Night”. This guys greatness as a business man will be studied for generations. On the other hand, his incompetence as a baseball owner will also be studies forever. The Halos have lost 9 of their last 10 games, and things are spiraling downward each and every day. Anthony Rendon is now on the DL with his annual injury that’s going to keep him out for months. Not that he really cares about baseball. All of a sudden Mike Trout is struggling, which makes you wonder if the injuries have caught up to him and he’s in decline, hitting just .226. The Halos had 6 guys in their lineup hitting less than .230 on Saturday, and I haven’t even talked about how bad the pitching is. Why bother? This team is becoming more irrelevant in SoCal by the day.

The NFL Draft went down over the weekend, and the Rams had a very nice roster re-load. There was so much talk about drafting a QB, trading up for a big name, or drafting an offensive skilled player. None of that happened, and instead, the Rams made very sensible moves. They drafted 10 players over 7 rounds. 4 of them were on the defensive front, headlined by 1st round pick Edge Rusher, Jared Verse from Florida State. Losing Aaron Donald is tough, but a defense line of Verse, Kobie Turner, and Byron Young is a great young core to move forward with. It was also really cool to see FSU teammates Verse and Braden Fiske reunited, and the way Sean McVay and Les Snead made that phone call to Fiske, while Verse was pulling up to Fiske’s house.

Verse and Fisk Rams

Meanwhile, the Chargers did exactly what we thought Jim Harbaugh would do. They went with Joe Alt, an elite offensive tackle from Notre Dame, with the 5th pick in the draft. I realize many of you are screaming from the mountain tops that the Bolts need wide receivers and running backs. However, Harbaugh is trying to implement an entire change of identity with this football team, and it’s going to take time. That means beefing up on both the offensive and defensive line to become a much nastier and physical team. Alt is an elite lineman who is actually going to protect an even bigger asset they have invested in: Justin Herbert. The Bolts still did get Wide Receivers Ladd McConkey, Brenden Rice, Cornelius Johnson, and running back Kimani Vidal later in the draft. However, it’s much easier to find wide receivers and running backs than elite players at other positions. Trust in Harbaugh. He knows what he’s doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *