November 2nd, 2015
Ok, we are 3 games in and we can conclude the Lakers are going to suck. However, are we going to do this 79 more times this year? Every night people look at the box score from a 76ers game and see Jahlil Okafor having a nice game, are they going to bitch about D’Angelo Russell being a crappy #2 pick? Look people, I’ve said I wanted Okafor just as badly as anyone, but let’s not pretend like Russell is going to be some stiff. He’s 19 years old, and frankly, he’s already showing some signs of being effective in the last two games, but you’re not going to know for a while. I also love those people that want Byron Scott fired because this is all somehow his fault. It’s not going to be long before Byron realizes that wins don’t matter this season, and that player development does. He should be judged solely on how well Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle develop this year. Even if you hate all 3 kids, think they suck or need to be traded, this is the best and only play to move the franchise forward.
As for the Clippers, they are off to a strong 3-0 start, even though they haven’t exactly played the cream of the crop in the West. Nevertheless, Lance Stephenson is fitting in nicely thus far, and Blake Griffin looks like an MVP candidate. The real bomb though was dropped by Mark Cuban, who basically said what we already knew, that the Clippers are still “the Clippers”, despite all the changes from the top down. It’s fair to say that Cuban saying that was just sour grapes since DeAndre Jordan didn’t sign with him. However, until the Clippers actually get farther than the 2nd round of the playoffs, what Cuban said is 100% spot on.
Elsewhere around the NBA, TNT should fire the intern that accidentally scheduled the Knicks to play on national TV last week. Who wouldn’t want to see 82 games of Thunder vs Spurs, after that epic showdown last week. Russell Westbrook plays every game like his house is on fire. Kevin Durant doesn’t seem to have any issues after his foot injury last year. It’s hard to imagine that Karl Anthony-Towns won’t be anything less than an all-star. Only Blake Griffin and Lebron James have put up the type of numbers he has at that age, in their first two NBA games.
To college football, where the Trojans appear to have gotten their act together for the time being, as they took down Cal 27-21. Clay Helton appears to have stabilized things with his commitment to running the ball, and developing a better game plan than we ever saw from Sark. Still, everyone needs to stay in their shoes. The talk is growing louder among the fans that this is the man for the job. I get it, he’s keeping the team in contention, but let’s be real….he’s not the guy you picture as the head football coach of the USC Trojans. The luster will wear off over time. I feel like I entered a time machine and went back two years ago to when people were banging their monkey’s for Ed Orgeron. Funny….Orgeron still isn’t a head coach anywhere today. I guess the Trojans saw the exact same thing that everybody else saw. USC needs to get as far away from the Pete Carroll tree as possible to rebuild this football program the right way. USC is always going to have talented football players. It’s about developing them the right way, executing a solid game plan, and representing the university with class and integrity. Don’t let a couple of wins with smoke and mirrors fool you into thinking Helton is the guy for the job. I doubt it will fool Pat Haden, but stranger things have happened.
Over at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins nearly blew it against Colorado, but hung on to win. I don’t even think the UCLA defense had to shower after this game, giving up 554 total yards to Colorado. The Bruins have simply lost too much on defense to win the Pac-12 South. Josh Rosen looks like he’s getting better and better with every snap, but this probably isn’t his year yet. They’ll need to win their final four games to play in the conference championship game, but their final two are at Utah and at USC. Neither one of those games should give Bruins fans a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Who let a bunch of middle schoolers dressed as referees onto the field in the Notre Dame vs Temple Game? Big play by Will Fuller at the end of the game to keep the Irish’s playoff hopes alive. That may have been the worst officiated game I have ever seen. Had Stanford lost, that would have been bad news for the Irish since they play them a couple of days after Thanksgiving. Say what you will about Brian Kelley and how much he pisses you off, but it would be quite an accomplishment just to get this group of walking wounded into a BCS Bowl game.
On to Week 8 of the NFL, where the Chargers are done. The Bolts couldn’t even beat the lowly Ravens, and have too many injuries to stay competitive the rest of the season. The only question now is whether or not they’ll be playing in LA next year. Meanwhile, England has informed the U.S. that if they ever send the Lions to London again, it will be considered an act of terror and they will respond accordingly. If you played a team with Drew Brees yesterday in fantasy football, you probably lost. I guess with Jason Pierre Paul back in the lineup for the Giants, their pass rush figures to be more “explosive”. I wonder if Tom Brady could lead the Patriots to the AFC East title while playing blind folded? The Steelers get Big Ben back then they lose Le’Veon Bell. It’s clearly not their year. We might actually have to stop making Raider jokes….they look like a halfway decent team for the first time in ages. Colin Kaepernick is an NFL quarterback? The guy should be working at Starbucks. Check out the bottom of the screen……
I think the Dodger front office doesn’t really want a “manager”. They want a guy who should be sitting in a suit and tie in the stands, who will just hand the lineup cards to the umpire and meet the press before games. Meanwhile, they’ll have a data nerd in the dugout with a laptop, directing the players electronically before every pitch, based on some super computer with a highly technical mathematical formula put together by Andy Friedman. This is where Dodger baseball is going. A big market franchise run by small market thinkers.
The baseball season came to an end last night with the Royals defeating the Mets in five games in the World Series. Kansas City was easily the best team in baseball since April. There are also fewer things in life more satisfying than seeing sad New York sports fans. This is worst thing to happen to New York since Carmelo Anthony showed up.
The LA Kings have caught fire. They’ve won 7 in a row and are in 1st place in the Pacific Division in the early going. Thank god for Tyler Toffoli! He’s the guy that should be making $7 million a year. Not Dustin Brown, who’s contract might cripple things Kings shortly. The same might be said for Anze Kopitar, if the Kings cave in and give him the $10 million per year that he’s asking for. LA is better off waiting this one out until the end of the year when it will be obvious that his price tag should be much lower.
Meanwhile, The Ducks earned just their 2nd win in 11 games last night with a victory over the Predators. Anaheim finally found some offense, but it still hasn’t come from any of their top offensive players. It’s pretty hard for me to imagine a team as talented as the Ducks, staying in last place in the Pacific Division for very long. Hockey is a weird game sometimes, and it’s been pretty cruel to Anaheim in the early going. Funny thing is that they’ve gotten great goaltending from Frederik Anderson, but haven’t been able to score at all. The hockey gods must be angry that Disneyland closed down Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and are taking it out on the Ducks.
Finally, let’s talk about The Walking Dead. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see last night’s episode. You didn’t actually think that we’d find out what happened to Glenn in this particular episode did you? I’m not even sure we’re going to find out what happened to him in the next episode either. This episode was great, but the only downside to it was the fact that it went 90 minutes without a conclusion to the Glenn saga. The story about Morgan and the man that was essentially his yoda was good television. The first three episodes of the season were at a blistering pace, so naturally, the show had to slow down, and it was done in a way that engaged the audience. We get it now…..Morgan learned that all life is precious from Eastman, and now he’s trying to convert the Wolves the way Eastman converted him. Unfortunately, that’s probably not gonna work on these demented individuals. However, this humanitarian like way might actually work on Rick and Carol in the long run.