June 15th, 2015
Let’s start with the most important piece of information from last night’s game 5 of the NBA Finals. ABC did not show Lebron James’ “Magic Johnson” prior to tip-off. Sorry ladies. As for game 5, the Warriors finally got a breakout performance from Steph Curry, torching Matthew Dellavedova like a shrimp on the barbee down under, and Golden State looks poised to close this thing out. Andre Iguodola gave the Warriors a big boost too, and is currently causing more suffering in Cleveland than the Browns. Lebron is nearly averaging a triple double in this series, but can only do so much when his coach is a total buffoon. David Blatt thought it was a good idea to play Timofey Mozgov 9 minutes, after coming off a 28 point game. I’m also not sure how he couldn’t find any minutes for Shawn Marion, who actually has won an NBA championship a couple of years ago. It’s tough to count out Lebron James, and this might even go 7 games, but Steph has his groove back and looks like he’s going to finish this. He’s currently teaching his daughter, Riley, how to bully people…..
Of course everyone is overeacting to having camera men on the baseline after Lebron cut his head in game 4 on a camera lens. This makes perfect sense right? Let’s move the camera men because they are too dangerous for players who are dramatically flopping to draw fouls and stumbling an extra 10 feet into the first row. Those baseline cameras actually serve a purpose, giving us great photos from sites like NBA.com. One of the things that also makes the NBA more unique than the other 3 major sports is that the media and fans are so close to the players, and can see their faces, which is another reason those cameras are there. Obviously player safety is of the utmost importance, but to turn this wild dive into the crowd into some type of bigger safety issue is absurd.
On to the Stanley Cup Final, where Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is a moron. Bishop and his teammate Victor Hedman collided in the first period of game 5, leaving a wide open net for Chicago’s Patrick Sharp to score in, propelling the Blackhawks to a win. Bishop said “you can’t really hear anything in the building when it’s that loud. Obviously, you saw the result. It’s too loud out there.” Is this Bishop’s first time playing in front of a crowd? Yea, it’s the fans fault that you made a foolish decision to come out and play the puck when your teammate was right there to handle it. Don’t worry Ben, when you go to Chicago tonight, you won’t have to worry about any fans cheering for you. In fact, you probably won’t have to worry about even playing in front of your fans the rest of the season.
Speaking of hockey, the LA Kings minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs won the Calder Cup Championship of the AHL over the weekend. It was great to see the Vancouver Canucks prospects already gaining the experience of losing to the Kings in big games. This says a lot about the talent that is in the Kings farm system, and is just a reminder that even if the Kings say goodbye to the likes of Jarret Stoll, Mike Richards, and Justin Williams, they still have the young depth to replace them. It also tells me that the Kings have the pieces to acquire another quality scorer like Toronto winger Phil Kessel. It may take including a defenseman like Alec Martinez and the #13 pick in this years draft, but a move like that would definitely put the Kings back in contention for another cup.
In baseball, another series with the Padres, and the Dodgers take another two out of three games. LA has now opened up a 3.5 game lead over the hated San Francisco Giants in the NL West, but they’ve got some issues to resolve. Their bullpen is about as reliable as the local NBC weather forecast, and their starting pitching is an even bigger issue long term. They are going to need 1 more quality starter if they have any hopes to do any damage in October. It’s important that starter is an elite one as well, because Zack Greinke will likely opt out of his contract this fall, which means LA would have to replace its #2 starter. Since Greinke is 31 years old, one could argue it’s too big a risk to re-sign him to a 7 year contract. There are younger starters on the market this fall who will be just as elite. The Dodgers should spend that money on the likes of a David Price, Johnny Cueto, or Jordan Zimmermann, who are all younger than Greinke. Since Cueto is on a team that stinks, he’s the most likely candidate to get moved by the deadline, so LA should go after him. It might mean moving a guy like Alex Guerrero, since the Dodgers have made some of their other prospects untouchable, but it would be well worth it. I’m definitely not trading Joc Pederson when he’s making plays like this….
Meanwhile, the Halos took two of three from the A’s over the weekend, and are inching closer to the Astros in the AL West. This is a huge week for the Angels. They get the opportunity to beat the crap out of the D’Backs for the next 4 games, while the Astros wrestle with the mile high altitude in Colorado. By the time they play the Astros next week, they might even be ahead of them in the standings if Albert Pujols continues to mash like this. There’s also no doubt that Matt Joyce is going to be chained to the bench for a while since he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat at this point. Here’s an idea: call the Dodgers and see if they would be willing to to trade Andre Ethier straight up for CJ Wilson. CJ has one more year left on his contract at $20.5 million, while Ethier has 3 years and $56 million left. Still, it’s Ethier who is currently performing much better, and gives the Halos some solid defense along with some pop. In any case, the Halos need some production in left field and at third base if they hope to contend again.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is now reconsidering his resignation. Ladies and gentleman…….soccer.
I saw Jurassic World over the weekend, and I thought it was great. I admit, the animatronics used in the first movie were not only impressive for it’s time, but more impressive when you see them today. However, there was some very creative use of CGI in Jurassic World, that nevertheless, made some scary looking Dinosaurs. The storyline was even more interesting. 20 years later, somehow, the park actually opened and people weren’t even afraid of Dinosaurs at all. I do wish they spent more time explaining how the park actually opened after all the previous incidents. However, seeing the dynamics of how some people were so unfazed by Dinosaurs, and seeing how they were actually more preoccupied with their cell phones while in the park was amazing. Once the beastly Indominous Rex was introduced, I found myself on the edge of my seat as the chaos in the park broke loose. It was a totally fresh storyline, but it nicely honored its ancestry with casual references to John Hammond, seeing a park employee in a Jurassic Park T-shirt, and seeing some 1992 Jeeps that were used in the first movie. Chris Pratt was impressive too, and his new character was needed to keep the plot intriguing. It looks like there’s going to be a sequel of course, but even though this movie restored the franchise, I can’t see them making another movie that’s just as good. Surely not as good as the original.
And finally, the season finale of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO. Major spoiler alert here if you haven’t seen it yet, and there were some key characters killed off, so stop reading if necessary. Stannis Baratheon was killed in battle, which most people are probably going to say “serves that guy right for killing his daughter!” Ok you’re right on that, but for all of his terrible qualities, he has some humanistic ones as well. We saw them in his interaction with Jon Snow earlier in the season, and he’s also one of the more brave characters. However, once Brienne showed up to kill him, I’m sure he was relieved more than anything. He did some of the worst things in the world, but it was all for nothing. However, the real downside to his death was that he might have been able to rescue Sansa. Speaking of Sansa, it took her long enough to light that damn candle! I’m really not sure what to make of her fate. Did she commit suicide? Or was she actually trying to escape? Since we are talking about Game of Thrones here, I’m thinking that this was an actual suicide, which is a better alternative than facing Ramsay, and bearing his children. Props to Theon to for slightly redeeming himself by killing Ramsay’s sadistic lover and jumping with her.
I’ve been hating on the Arya story all season. It actually got good for a few minutes when she killed Meryn Trant. Then it got stupid again when Jaquen scolds her for it, because she is supposed to be “faceless.” The bottom line is she wants revenge and training from Jaquen, which isn’t exactly what he wants to give her. Where is Uma Thurman when Arya really needs her? She could show her how she did it in Kill Bill. I’m a little disappointed this is where we ended up with Daenerys, getting captured by the Dothraki, however, it should make for an interesting start to next season when two guys that are in love with her try to rescue her. You’ve gotta love how Jamie got to feel what it was like to be a father for about 30 seconds before his daughter died in his arms. Cersei is gonna be pissed, on top of being humiliated. After that walk of shame, you’ve gotta feel just a little bit bad for her right? Then again, I’m sure she will have her revenge….she usually does. And finally, we lost Jon Snow, and frankly this was somewhat predictable. I’ve been saying for weeks how terrible of a character he was, and how weak he was, which was going to get him killed. It finally did. For those of you upset about his death, you just don’t understand the show. He wasn’t even killed by a bad guy. He was killed by a kid he wanted to do right by. Jon Snow’s honor and integrity got him killed. It always does in this show.
Overall, it was a good season, but not quite where I hoped the show would go when the season started. Didn’t we all think that Daenerys was going to take Kings Landing this season? Or that somebody else would try to take down the Lannisters and another battle would ensure? Well none of that happened because the battles that were taking place were actually in the kingdoms they resided in. In season 6 we’ll probably see how Tyrion can govern a kingdom with Daenerys tied up with the Dothraki’s. Ser Jorah probably saves Daenerys from the Dothraki right before dying from Greyscale, and Cersei and her new mountain man knight will destroy everyone. Seems like the only Stark left is Arya, who isn’t doing much for us. What will Brienne do with herself if Sansa is dead? There’s lots of questions to be answered, and a series of cliff hangers to be resolved. Season 6 is a long ways away, but can’t wait!