Monday Morning Coffee

Clarkson takes flight

March 9th, 2015

The last 3 months of watching Laker basketball has made me realize something.  No, not that watching them has made me more noxious than ever.  But rather, why would they want to sign an expensive veteran point guard this off-season?  Jordan Clarkson is showing he’s not only a solid NBA player, but might even have some star potential down the road.  Since the all-star break, Clarkson has averaged 15.6 ppg, while shooting 53% from the field, along with 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds.  He’s only 22 years old, and he’s under contract next year for $845 K.  Goran Dragic would cost the Lakers $20 million a year, and his next contract will take him into his 30’s.  Rajon Rondo is in decline and is moodier than a teenag girl on her period.  Signing one of these guys will only take away from Clarkson’s development.  The Lakers have plenty of needs, but a starting point guard is no longer one of them.

Meanwhile, the Clippers took another beating from the Golden State Warriors yesterday at Oracle. The Warriors are fun to watch, and at this point, the Clipps better hope they don’t run into them in the playoffs.  More than anything, the Clipps were exposed yesterday on the perimeter, the one area that Doc Rivers has managed to deplete over the last few months.  With or without Blake Griffin, the Clipps don’t have enough talent on the perimeter to keep up with teams like Golden State, Portland, or even San Antonio when they are firing on all cylinders.  Speaking of Portland, DeAndre Jordan’s brain went off about the same time the shot clock did the other night against the Blazers.  All he had to do was lay it in, and his team would have another win.  The Clipps were so desperate for bench help that they resorted to signing Nate Robinson to a 10 day contract last week.  They’ve done a decent job treading water without Blake Griffin in the lineup, but this team is still destined to get bounced in the 1st round or two of the playoffs.  Steph Curry was just nasty yesterday…..

There’s something completely screwy about this whole Chargers-Raiders stadium plan in Carson.  The NFL is interested in two teams playing in LA, but it doesn’t really make economic sense to put two teams in LA.  Aren’t each of them worth more in separate markets, and having monopolies on that market?  Putting them in the same market, let alone the same stadium, makes little sense for a market that previously couldn’t support two teams.  There’s also the logistical issues of having two AFC West teams playing in the same stadium, which would mean both teams would have 9 home games, and Fox and CBS would have a TV issue in the LA market given their respective commitments to the NFC and AFC.  The Chargers also leaked a vague rumor that Goldman Sachs would be willing to help finance their move, even if short-term losses were incurred.  The Raiders have been awfully quiet during this whole ordeal.  This all still sounds like public pressure put on the cities of San Diego and Oakland to get something done.

As for NFL free agency, what’s going on here?  The Bills traded for stud running back LeSean McCoy by sending out lineback Kiko Alonso, and then signed Matt Cassel the next day.  That’s like buying a yacht and then announcing that Jihadi John will be the captain.  Meanwhile, Chip Kelly is a lunatic who for some reason, is dismantling a 10 win team to recreate his Oregon team that didn’t win anything.  He also signed Frank Gore, because he once watched Oregon play for 5 minutes, and Byron Maxwell, because he found Oregon on a map.  Elsewhere, the Jets and Dolphins just added expensive toys in Brandon Marshall and Ndamukong Suh, but probably will never get anywhere without QB’s.  Suh needed a bigger contract to cover all the fines he will be receiving next season.  Marshawn Lynch is also now the highest paid running back not to get the ball at the 1 yd line.

Are you ready for March Madness?  The Bruins are going to be ready for the NIT in a few days.  UCLA is likely going to have to go through Stanford, Arizona, and then Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament.  They’ll also need to win at least two games to have a reasonable shot at going to the NCAA Tournament.  The chances of that happening are about as likely as me dating Mila Kunis.  As for the rest of the field, I don’t see how anybody beats Kentucky.  These guys keep winning games, and they look more and more relaxed with every game that passes.  I also love the notion that they should lose a game to better prepare them for the NCAA Tournament.  Give me break.  They have been in close games and have found a way to finish them.  That’s more important than losing a game.  They have a chance to make history, and it would be a pleasure to witness it.

That was an awesome ceremony outside Staples Center on Saturday night, where the Luc Robitaille statue was unveiled.  Robitaille is easily the most popular player in Kings history, and the fact that greats like Jerry West, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux showed up tells you just how great he was as a player.  On the ice however, the Kings making the playoffs is anything but a sure thing.  LA lost a devastating overtime game on Saturday to the Penguins, after shutting down some of the most talented players in the game all night, like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  However, one little mistake killed them, and hurt them in the standings.  The teams in front of the Kings keep winning, and LA’s margin for error has never been slimmer.  The reality of it is, the Kings are a very good team, that just might not be good enough to make the playoffs.  No matter what kind of obstacles the Kings have overcome in the past, at some point, the magic runs out.  In any case, the statue looks awesome.

Robitaille Statue

Here comes more public pressure on the Dodgers for not having Sportsnet LA on DirecTV, or other cable distributors.  LA Times writer Bill Plaschke came up with a suggestion, which was to sell about 25 games to a local network so fans could watch games, until this fiasco was over.  That would at least demonstrate that the Dodgers are acting in good faith towards all the fans through this difficult time.  Interestingly enough, Stan Kasten was not available for comment.  That is also something that the Yankees and Giants do, despite the fact they have their own separate cable networks or cable agreements.  This would be a nice gesture, but ultimately, the Dodgers have to get this thing resolved with DirecTV, and lock themselves in a room until they figure it out.  That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, which pains me, since I am a very unhappy Time Warner Cable customer.  I’m also one of many unhappy Dodger fans too.

On to last night’s episode of The Walking Dead.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it yet.  Here’s a quick recap.  The group further settles in to Alexandria, some much more easily than others.  Sasha struggles the hardest, starting out by taking target practice in the wild to let out her frustration, and later on had an emotional breakdown at a weird cocktail party.  There, she yelled at a friendly foodie for not worrying about the right things in the world they now live in.  Darryl went on a rabbit hunt with Aaron, they kill some zombies, and apparently are best buds now.  Darryl then agrees to become a recruiter for Alexandria.  Michonne hangs up her sword, reluctantly, despite her desire to settle down.  Glenn convinces Noah to come to the weird cocktail party, arguing they are all in this together.  Abraham gets drunk.  Rick gets a little tipsy himself at the party, and gives Jessie a meaningful peck on the cheek.  He also accepts Carols’ offer to remain armed.  Carol goes from swapping recipes with the girls to sneaking into the supply shack to get some guns.  She’s caught by Jessie’s son, and threatens him if he tells anyone that he has seen her.

This episode is a major reminder of one thing: Carol is a badass.  She is not to be messed with.  Just when you think she’s gone soft by swapping recipes, she reminds you how tough she really has become, and has not forgotten her true identity.  I have a feeling that at some point however, Jessie’s son will tell on her.  Rick is definitely on his way to an affair with Jessie.  But doesn’t the show need that?  We haven’t really had one of those since season 1 when Shane was around.  Ok seriously…..what happened to Father Gabriel?  Nobody even mentions the guy.  Maybe he’s the one that stole the gun from the blender that Rick left it in during the last episode.  Ultimately, this episode represented somewhat of a fantasy land for the characters.  For Rick it was seeing a place his kids can be safe and getting attention from another woman.  For Darryl it was a motorcycle in pieces.  For Abraham it was a bunch of booze.  The characters are now enjoying civilization, but it comes with a price.  That price is cutting into who they have become.  Sasha and Carol are the only ones that have grasped this thus far.  It’s probably only a matter of time before the others do as well.

Sasha Walking Dead



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