May 12th, 2014
For three and a half quarters yesterday, the Clippers looked like front runners. They looked like a talented team, without the mental toughness to advance in the playoffs. Then, Darren Collison ignited a fierce rally, and the Clippers were right back in the series. Doc Rivers made a brilliant move, going small, which sparked the comeback from 16 points down in the 4th, and as large as 22 points in the first quarter. In three of the last four games, the Thunder have looked like the more experienced team, and the better team. However, the Clippers have some fight. This series could go 7, but unless the Clippers can consistently defend and rebound, it’s going to be tough to advance to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Anybody still think Westbrook and Durant can’t play together? No way the Thunder breaks up that duo anytime soon.
Off the court, the side-show continues. Shelly Sterling continues to show up to games, and publicly campaign to retain ownership. I think it’s fair to say that the entire NBA Players Association is putting up with her still being a part of this for now, but want her out when the season is over, and rightfully so. Meanwhile Donald Sterling apologized to CNN, and claimed that he was entitled to making one mistake after so many years as an owner. Actually Donald, this is one of many mistakes you’ve made, and nobody is willing to put up with your racist crap anymore. We all know you’re only asking for forgiveness because you’re about to get your franchise ripped from you.
As for the Lakers, their coaching search is moving slower than a Kenley Jansen fastball (more on that later), as no candidates have actually been interviewed yet. In the meantime, Kobe Bryant is speaking his mind on the coaching search, Mike D’Antoni, his health, and the Lakers future. Kobe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel earlier in the week to discuss all this. It’s pretty clear that when you get older, you just don’t give a crap, you have no filter, and you speak your mind. Kobe is at that point in life after listening to his comments on Kimmel. Kobe actually said he “didn’t care” when D’Antoni got fired, and that he was not consulted on the last two Laker coaching decisions. Weird, because it’s probably a good idea to make sure your best player and your coach can work together. Are you listening Jim Buss?
Let’s talk puck. The Kings and Ducks are locked up in a hell of a playoff battle. After the Ducks 2-0 win on Saturday, the series is tied at 2-2, but it’s the Kings who are blowing it. LA was up 2-1 in the series, and facing rookie goaltender John Gibson in game 4. Instead of welcoming him to playoff hockey with a beat down, they made the kid look like the next Patrick Roy, by not putting any real pressure on him. They never got any traffic at the net, never bumped him, and their power play was shit. The Ducks went from being totally frustrated, to soaring with confidence, headed back to Anaheim for game 5 tonight. The road team has won every game in this series. You honestly think that trend is going to continue? I think not, which is why the Kings are screwed, and are going to lose this series.
To baseball, where the Dodgers are getting owned by the Giants. After LA’s bullpen imploded again yesterday, the hated rivals from the north have handed the Dodgers 7 of their 19 losses this season, resulting in a 4.5 game division lead over the boys in blue. Kenley Jansen just isn’t getting it done. Yesterday, he allowed 5 of the first 6 batters he faced to reach base, including a wild pitch. Jansen claims he’s healthy, but his velocity is down, and he isn’t fooling hitters like he used to. The Dodger players claim they are starting to play good baseball, and that they will be fine but that’s not how I see it. LA has given those snobby, organic bastards in the north, the confidence that they can play with them. The most key pitchers in the bullpen aren’t pitching well, and that’s a scary thought for the Dodgers. By the way, why don’t the Giants change their name to the “San Francisco Brandons”? How many more Brandons can they add? Brandon Belt, Brandon Hicks, Brandon Crawford? There’s obviously not enough of them on their team.
As for the Halos, they dominated in Toronto this weekend, and will be going for the sweep today. Amazingly enough, the Halos are now two games over .500, and who actually remembers the last time that happened? The Halos starting pitching has been sturdy, and their offense is explosive, even without Josh Hamilton. Even more amazing is the fact that the Halos younger players like CJ Cron and Hank Conger are coming up big. Not bad for a team that has been ranked as having the worst farm system in baseball. The Angels are right in the thick of things in the American League race, and that is definitely not something we could have said at this point in the last two seasons.
Let’s talk TV. Game of Thrones returned for another episode last night, and it was another good one. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to watch it. Let’s recap quickly: Stannis and Davos pleaded the Iron Bank to take their side, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Theon’s sister tried to rescue him, but failed, then Theon pleaded for mercy from Ramsay Snow. Daenery’s sat on the throne at Meereen and heard requests from peasants and and lords. In Kings Landing, Tyrion stood in chains and was on trial, judged by his father. By the end of the episode, Tyrion demanded a trial by combat, since he knew he would be found guilty.
The highlight of the episode was Tyrion’s angry outburst when he knew his trial was more of a show, that was set up for him to be guilty. The irony of all this is that he probably would have lived, even if he was guilty, since Tywin told Jamie that Tyrion would be sentenced to The Night’s Watch in The North. Tyrion’s angry outburst seemed heroic, except since this is Game of Thrones, and he’s more of a good character, he’s probably going to die. Looking forward to the last 4 episodes of the season!
On to Mad Men, where last night was the 6th episode of this 8 episode half season. This episode was pretty eventful. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet. To recap quickly: Don’s niece, Stephanie, is pregnant in LA. Don tells her to go see Meghan for support, and that he’ll come out and see them the next day. By the time Don gets there, Stephanie is gone, right after Meghan had given her a check of $1,000 for support. While in LA, Meghan throws a party, and afterward, she and another woman have a threesome with Don. Prior to that, Don meets Harry at the party, they escape for a drink, and Don learns that Jim and Lou are pursuing Philip Morris. If they can get it, Don is out. With this knowledge, Don crashes a meeting Lou and Jim are have with Philip Morris, where he tries to convince the tobacco company that he is the guy they’d want on the account, and even subtly threatens to work for the competition if he leaves the firm.
The Meghan storyline to Mad Men is getting extremely boring. Her life in LA is really not that exciting, and there are many more characters that are more interesting. I suppose Meghan was using the threesome as desperation to save her marriage, but Don was hardly even interested. Don’s genius is obvious by the end of this episode, and I think we are all starting to get the feeling he’s going to end up back on top when it’s all said and done. Notice I completely left out the Michael Ginsberg part of the episode. Who cuts out their nipple? What a weirdo!