Monday Morning Coffee

Ben McLemore, Kobe Bryant

December 22nd, 2014

It’s finally here.  The decline of Kobe Bryant.  It feels weird saying that about a guy who is averaging 25-5-5 in his 19th year.  However, his shooting percentage has been horrendous: a career low 37%.  That’s almost 8 percent lower than his career average.  For a guy who has made a career out of making ridiculous shots, this makes sense.  He’s still taking the same ridiculous shots, but just not making them.  Then again, he’s also not making the typical ones either.  It’s pretty tough to win games when your franchise player is 36 years old, and shooting this badly.  The Lakers have plenty of other problems too, but if they are serious about protecting their $48 million investment over the next two seasons, they’ll start sitting Kobe out for some games.  Byron Scott should also bring his minutes down from the 35 he’s averaging on the season.

You probably thought for just a second, the Lakers had a shot at acquiring Rajon Rondo.  They didn’t because like I’ve been saying for months, they don’t have the assets.  Hoping for major free agents to sign in LA is great and all, but most of them are traded and re-signed before they really hit the market.  It takes young players, draft picks, and expiring contracts to make this happen.  Had the Lakers traded Pau Gasol before he left them in free agency, they might have had some of those assets to acquire a player like Rondo.  Amazing how the NBA glamour franchises are all in the toilet: Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks.  Only the Celtics have embraced the idea of rebuilding.  The sooner the Lakers and Knicks do, the sooner they’ll be competitive again.

Then there’s the Clippers.  You want to believe they are good enough to at least make it to the West Finals.  Then you watch them play, and you realize it’s a long shot.  The Clipps are going to need to get the right matchup just to make it out of the 1st round.  They’ll probably get dominated by the depth of the Warriors, the experience of the Spurs, the grit of the Grizzlies, and the athleticism of the Thunder.  However, they’d probably survive a series against the soft Rockets, inexperienced Blazers, or aging Mavericks.  This team is only going to go as far as Blake Griffin’s game improves.  He showed flashes of brilliance last season, and was an MVP candidate.  While his jump shooting has improved, he’s averaging 2 rebounds per game less than last season.  You know the saying: no rebounds, no rings.

The Warriors are 22-3.  The Knicks are 5-25.  That was a close call Steve Kerr.

Speaking of terrible basketball, UCLA got completely embarrassed on Saturday against Kentucky.  I’m sure UCLA AD Dan Guerrero is frantically trying to reach Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart right now to cancel next year’s home and home with the Wildcats.  That game felt like a driveway game of basketball between a father and his 8 year old son.  Seven points in the first half? Kentucky had more blocks and forced turnovers than that.  I get that Kentucky is great, and that they’ve won every game by double digits this year.  However, Saturday’s game was a cold, hard reminder, of just how far the Bruins basketball program has fallen since it was going to Final Fours a few years ago.  Welcome to the Steve Alford era.

How angry are you Dodger fans? Andy Friedman has completely blown up your championship contending team, for one that he believe will be more “cost effective.”  Funny because Friedman said he understood that Matt Kemp was a talented player, but “you have to give up talent to get talent back.”  That’s great except you didn’t get any talent back Andy!  Friedman also seems to think that because he’s in a big market, he can spend money on getting rid of players, as opposed to spending money on acquiring them.  He once again, foolishly decided to get rid of Brian Wilson in a contract year, before seeing if his performance would improve any.  I mean, the Dodgers owe him $10 million for god sakes! Why not at least see if he can rebound from last season before cutting him loose?  I’m fearful of what idiotic move will come next.

On to week 15 of the NFL, where the Chargers got a massive win over the 49ers.  Philip Rivers manned up and played through pain.  Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh is already getting a head start on that Raider job by losing to division rival San Diego.  Arian Foster now has as many touchdown passes as Johnny Manziel.  That was some collapse by Joe Flacco.  Is North Korea taking credit for hacking him?  So is the NFC South title game between Carolina and Atlanta next week a play-in game for the College Football Playoff? The Colts were so awful yesterday, they couldn’t even tackle a Florida State football player’s homework assignment.  The Cowboys have completely ruined my NFL coverage because I can’t make any more jokes about them since they are in the playoffs.  RG III is already playing better after his brief benching, but I’m sure Marcus Mariotta is texting Chip Kelly, asking him why he didn’t tank earlier.  Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch was abusing defenders last night….

If we don’t figure out a way to get “The Interview” back in theaters, we would have let the terrorists win.  When I was growing up I used to think that politicians around the world were among the smartest people in the world.  It turns out they are actually some of the dumbest, especially when you listen to the statements being released by North Korea.  They claim they didn’t have anything to do with the cyberattack on Sony, because they would never do such a thing, but if the US doesn’t shut up, they will launch an attack on us.  Makes perfect sense right?  Of course North Korea also believes that the US government is responsible for the creation of the movie, because their government creates all kind of stupid propaganda all the time.  Come on….not even our socialist President would do such a thing.

Finally, the season finale of Homeland went down on Showtime last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you waiting to watch it on DVR.  Actually, to come to think of it, if you didn’t watch it you didn’t miss anything, so there really is nothing to spoil.  This was possibly the most disappointing hour of television I have ever watched.  In fact, I want my hour back.  NOTHING HAPPENED!  We waited a full season for this ending?  Nobody died.  All we got was a brief romantic scene between Carrie and Quinn.  This show doesn’t know how to stick with what works.  We want intense CIA drama.  Not some boring family drama, which this episode was filled with, as we learned about Carrie’s mother and how she abandoned her.  Do you know how bad this episode was?  It was so bad that bringing Dana back for one of her lame love scenes would have made it interesting!






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