Monday Morning Coffee


May 11th, 2015

The Clippers are looking like a championship team.  In a related story, record low temperatures are expected to hit the world today, confirming that indeed, hell has frozen over.  No really, the Clippers confidence is through the roof right now, as they have opened up a 3-1 series lead vs the Houston Rockets.  Blake Griffin looks like one of the best players in the NBA right now, Chris Paul has recovered from his hamstring injury, and suddenly Austin Rivers is an effective role player off the bench.  The Rockets look like a bunch of soft, whining, sore losers, that don’t have an answer for Blake Griffin, while the Clipps are just toying with them.  If there was ever a time for the Clipps to catch lightening in a bottle and try to win a title, now is the time.

There is clearly going to be some modification to the intentional fouling rule, given all the hacking of DeAndre Jordan and other crummy free throw shooters.  Yes, it was painful to watch that first half yesterday, but everyone loves to overreact to this stuff.  The league doesn’t have some ratings crisis on their hands because of this, and the notion that they should completely do away with the intentional fouling is silly.  If a player can’t make his free throws, we shouldn’t make rules to allowing them to get out of that accountability.  These are professional basketball players.  Try practicing free throws instead of dunks all summer.

The NBA playoff action over the weekend was spectacular.  I haven’t seen that many banks go down since the financial crisis in 2008.  The Bulls are going to regret not being able to put the Cavs away yesterday since the Cavs are dealing with even more injuries than them.  Lebron may be inefficient, but he’s still the best player in the league and that will be the difference in the series.  By the way, I love how when Lebron goes 10-30 and they win he’s a hero, but when Kobe goes 10-30 and his team wins in the playoffs he’s a ball hog.  The Warriors are suddenly realizing why jump shooting teams without playoff experience get bounced from the playoffs.  Steve Kerr is going to have to run down to Sports Authority to buy a clip board because he will have to do some coaching for the first time this season.  Meanwhile,  that Wizards-Hawks series was about as interesting as watching paint dry, until Paul Pierce made that buzzer beater and started firing off great one-liners.

This is usually the look on dude’s face when bae says she’s pregnant but he know that he pulled out early……

    This Deflate Gate story is unbelievable.  Why are we still talking about this?  Look, I’m a complete Boston sports town hater, but the notion that Brady and the Patriots are some kind of cheaters whose legacy is tarnished is ridiculous.  The Patriots could have been playing the AFC Championship game with medicine balls, and they would have still destroyed the Colts.  I guess we’ll never know if without deflating the footballs a little, the Pats would have only won by 31.  Deflating the footballs also doesn’t change the fact that Pete Carroll called the biggest bonehead play in the history of the league during the Super Bowl.  Sure it would be nice if Brady could actually give us straight answers about the footballs, which he likely had doctored, but are we really going to suspend one of the marquee faces of the NFL for this? This whole incident is another bumbling for Roger Goodell, who put together a “Keystone Cops” like investigation, without any real evidence here to suspend Brady.  When he does suspend him, it’s going to be another situation of him making rules up along the way.   In just a matter of months Goodell is quickly cementing himself among the worst CEO’s in America.  We’re talking right up there with the likes of Chuck Conway of Kmart and Ken Lay of Enron.  What are your thoughts Gronk?……

The fact the Dodgers have a 4.5 game lead in the NL West is amazing.  They have an all-star team worth of players on the disabled list, and their ace, Clayton Kershaw, has been average at best.  It also makes you think that once Joc Pederson and Alex Guerrero stop playing like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the Boys in Blue could take a tumble in the standings.  It sure would be nice for the Dodgers to get Dan Haren back to fill in the back end of their rotation.  He’s 4-1 with a 2.68 era for the Marlins, and the Dodgers are paying his entire $11 million salary.  Instead, the Dodgers are paying guys like Brandon McCarthy $12 million a year, who will spend much of the next four years on the DL.

As for the Angels, they settled for a split with the 1st place Houston Astros over the weekend.  That was one bitter pill to swallow given the fact that the Halos should have taken 3 out of 4 after Huston Street blew another save on Thursday night.  The good news for the Halos is their starting pitching is coming around, including the likes of Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson.  The bad news is the offense stinks.  I guess $240 million doesn’t buy what it used to because Albert Pujols is hitting .230.  The Halos also are getting no production from their left fielders either.  There’s still plenty of time to get it together, and the rest of the division isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, so if the Halos can just come up with a few more runs they might actually find themselves back in 1st.

Mercifully, the Flames-Ducks series has come to an end.  I’m amazed the Flames were able to even push that series to five games.  Corey Perry had a complete Paul Pierce moment last night, taking a blow to the knee and crawling off the ice, while even being carried into the locker room by trainers.  Just a couple of shifts later dude was back on the ice.  Was Oral Roberts back in the locker room or what?  Some hockey player you are Corey Perry.  As for the next round of the playoffs, I’m looking forward to the Ducks actually playing a team that will not be overmatched against them.  I picked the Hawks to win the cup at the beginning of the season, and even though this will be a long series, I see no reason to pick Anaheim.

It’s a shame we learned that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is leaving Notre Dame and transferring to another school.  It was just two years ago that Golson led the Irish to the national championship game.  His first half of 2014 was pretty solid too, and then Brian Kelly crushed his confidence.  Kelly has done a lot of good things while coaching the Fighting Irish, but this isn’t one of them.  Golson clearly felt like Kelly was not going to give him the starting job back from Malik Zaire, which made him jump ship.  Still like your quarterback situation better than Ohio State’s Coach Kelly?  So much for all that quarterback depth you were happy about .

It’s a real bummer Bill Simmonds is leaving ESPN after a year full of drama with them.  What’s really a shame is that Simmonds isn’t going to take Grantland with him when he leaves.  It’s really his website, and it should go with him wherever he goes.  We saw this type of situation dating back to the Dan Patrick days.  If you have even the slightest bit of controversy surrounding you, ESPN is waiving you goodbye.  Frankly, I’m shocked that Stephen A. Smith hasn’t been kicked out yet.  He’s had a few close calls.  Simmonds will be fine, and like Dan Patrick found out, there are greener pastures elsewhere.  Heck, I’d love to see him to do some LA Kings coverage, but I don’t think that’s really his passion.    

Finally, Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO, and we are now halfway through the fifth season of the show.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see last night’s episode.  I almost completely forgot about Bran.  Are we ever going to hear from him again?  His story was a little tiresome and farfetched, but the show could still use him in other ways.  This episode was another reminder of why Jon Snow isn’t a good character.  He has nobody to answer to, and is in a position of power, yet is looking to others for answers.  That’s a big “no-no” in the Game of Thrones and will get you killed.  Much of the episode was focused on Snow and the North, which could be a sign he won’t be around much longer.  Ramsay has quickly become this seasons’ top villain.  He’s a sick man who is getting joy out of others pain which we saw again when he forced Reek/Theon to apologize to Sansa for killing her brothers (even though he knows they aren’t dead).  The sudden love affair of between Grey Worm and Missandei seems odd, but when you think about it, the fact is that Dany is making The Unsullied more human over time.  The issues that Dany is having within her own Kingdom are interesting, but somewhat of a drag on the show.  I was really hoping for more interaction between her and the people of Westeros, but that seems like a storyline for another season.

















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