Monday Morning Coffee

Lakers vs Pistons pregame

November 16th, 2015

Before we get into sports and everything else, I can’t go any further without commenting on the events in Paris, Baghdad, and Beirut. It’s these horrific moments of senseless violence that force us to realize just how precious life is. I am also absolutely amazed at the number of people that live among us, especially community leaders, who have no conscious. It is those people, who like everyone else, are looking for respect from their peers. However, that combination has the ability to turn people into monsters. These are the people that ISIS is brainwashing. The way we live our lives, especially here in the United States, makes me think we will always be vulnerable to these types of attacks. However, it is my hope that Muslim communities will work in tandem with intelligence organizations to do a better job of rooting out those plotting the attacks.

Ok, onto sports and entertainment, which is why you actually come to this site. I don’t know about you guys, but I think this Laker season might be going about as well as it possibly could. No really, I’m not even joking. Most of you probably think the Lakers should be demoted to the WNBA to play competition as soft as they are. However, after last night, the Lakers are 2-8, and their opponents are a combined 10 games under .500. Wait until they start playing the Warriors, Clippers, Thunder, and Spurs. That means their chances of holding onto this years 1st round pick is excellent, given that they only keep it if its in the top 3. Can you imagine adding another top 3 pick to the nice young core of Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr? Better yet, those 4 kids are quietly coming along quite nicely. I realize that it’s not fast enough for most of you, but if you take a step back from jumping off the Santa Monica Pier, you might actually see the bright side here. The Lakers have a collection of assets that are slowly but surely increasing in value. As for Byron Scott, you can’t blame him for not just handing D’Angelo Russell some minutes, and letting him earn it. He will eventually, but there’s nothing wrong with making him work for it.

As for the Clippers, these guys are must-see TV, even when Chris Paul isn’t playing. No, it’s not because you have to see Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan posterizing someone. It’s just to see the look on Doc Rivers face when a call doesn’t go his way. The man has that “no way could I have knocked up bae, because I was wearing a condom that night” look on his face. I don’t even remember Chris Paul behaving this way when he was with New Orleans. It’s like Rivers has infected Paul, Griffin, and the rest of his team with this constant complainer syndrome. The irony is the Clippers went from a team that was very enjoyable to watch for a lot of people, to a team that is just downright obnoxious and very unlikable.

Speaking of hoops, stellar start to the season by the UCLA basketball team. We’ve reached the point where the Bruin basketball program is now losing games to Monmouth. Monmouth? If the Bruins had to actually play this game on the road, would they even know how to get there?  They almost lost to Cal Poly last night too! This serves all you jokers right who wanted to get rid of Ben Howland. You don’t get rid of a coach unless you can get somebody better. At least his teams played defense, and at least he recruited elite talent for years. The Bruins will be trapped in mediocrity for years while Steve Alford continues to make his kids the cornerstones of the program.

That’s ok though, UCLA is now a football school right? Oh wait…..they just blew it on Saturday against an inferior Washington State team at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins should be thanking the football gods that they still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South.

Then again, does anybody actually think the Bruins can go into Utah and win, or even the Coliseum and beat USC? The injuries were no excuse for losing on Saturday. Apparently the Bruins think that their best chance to win is by getting penalized on every play. The game was so symbolic of the Jim Mora era. A dramatic comeback and late touchdown led by Josh Rosen, only to fall short of sealing the victory a minute later. With Mora there’s so much hope, you think you’re on the verge of being elite, but you just fall short in the big moment. Washington State wasn’t even the big moment. That’s coming up the next two weeks, and if history tells us anything, don’t expect the Bruins to come through.

Then there’s the Trojans, who nearly had a major letdown themselves on Friday in Colorado. USC has really been mailing it during the first half of the last two weeks against Colorado and Arizona, and it’s nearly cost them. Remember when Cody Kessler used to rack up those video game like numbers against those scrub teams? Gone are those days. I guess nobody has told him that it’s ok to check off his primary receiver once in a while and hit the guy that’s wide open. I guess the last thing that Sark thought about recruiting during his coaching tenure was a kicker. Somebody told him he could probably walk over to the Nine-O or Chanos and find one. There must be some high school kickers out their licking their chops for a scholarship. USC may be in 1st in the Pac-12 South with the opportunity to control their own destiny, but they’ll need to play much better next week in Oregon to keep the dream alive of making it to the conference title game.

Elsewhere around college football, Notre Dame handled business against Wake Forest, except those damn chardonnay-drinking nerds from Stanford lost, which deals a blow to ND’s College Football Playoff hopes. Michigan’s defense looked worse on Saturday than John Harbaugh’s khakis. I guess LSU thought that by losing another game it would give them some more “quality off loss” points with the playoff committee. Meanwhile, Baylor is not only losing games, but also reminding each other went to fake injury….

To the NFL, where the Denver Broncos are currently filling out Peyton Manning’s retirement papers and attempting to forge his signature. His QB rating was listed as “Tim Tebow”. As I said with Kobe, it’s just sad to see great players hang on a little too long, and then suck at the end. After losing to Arizona, the Seahawks playoff hopes are fading faster than Jimmy Graham’s skills as a tight end. The Patriots incredible run continues. When they take the field and win every Sunday, they are basically giving the entire league the middle finger. The Dallas Cowboys find more ways to lose than the Washington Generals. The Lions actually did not blow a lead and won in Green Bay? The last time that happened, the Internet wasn’t even around. Since Mike Ditka put on that Packers sweater a few weeks ago, Green Bay has looked a lot more like the Bears. The Saints made Kirk Cousins look like Dan Marino. If there’s anybody that knows how to give the Jets a loss, it’s Rex Ryan. The Vikings and Panthers are looking good. Meanwhile, the Steelers tried to kill Johnny Manziel in their blowout win over the Browns.  This has got to be the special teams play of the year by Miami.  Dolphins football everyone….

This whole NFL to LA in 2016 is already losing momentum. The owners are backpedaling faster than Michael Jackson moonwalks. They said previously that they would vote on teams potentially relocating in January. Now they are saying the vote might be delayed for a few months, with the intention of buying more time to resolve the stadium situation in their home markets. As we’ve seen the last 20 years, this is starting to smell like another case of owners using LA for leverage in their current markets.

The baseball off-season is underway, and the Angels made a bold move last week, acquiring shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Braves. The Halos gave up their two best pitching prospects and their much older shortstop, Eric Aybar, for one of best young shortstops in baseball. Simmons is under contract for the next 5 years at a very affordable number. Say what you will about giving up young pitching, but Billy Eppler is already doing a good job of trying to build a team around Mike Scioscia style baseball, which the Halos have gotten away from the last few years. That starts with strong defense up the middle. The Halos pitching is also better than you think. They just underachieved last year. They don’t need to blow their wads on a $200 million pitcher. Eppler is definitely going to make some aggressive moves re-shaping this club, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Then there’s the Dodgers, who got burned by giving Brett Anderson a qualifying offer of $15 million, which he accepted. I continue to be amazed at how much Andrew “Jones” Friedman likes to spend money on mediocre talent. Anderson was nothing more than a .500 pitcher, but in Friedman’s eyes he worked out well because he actually stayed healthy for more than 100 innings. Odds are, Anderson will probably get hurt again. Then Friedman is also framing our expectations about signing Zack Greinke, by saying how risky those long-term deals can be. Friedman’s idea of building sustainable success is trapping his team in mediocrity for years to come.   Pretty soon the Dodgers are going to be in worse shape than Ronda Rousey’s face.

I’m no big UFC fan, but it’s about time that they let their moneymaker Ronda Rousey take on a real trained fighter in Holy Holm, instead of those cross-fit models they have been throwing at her for years. Rousey got cocky, she went Hollywood, and got exposed. If she had just watched Rocky III none of this would have happened. The sport needs this though because everyone is anxiously going to be awaiting the re-match. I can’t believe this entire time people were talking about how Rousey could beat up Floyd Mayweather. That’s silly because we all know that Floyd has proven he can easily beat up women.

Finally, another episode of the Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  I’ve gotta admit, I really thought for a moment in that episode that this whole Glenn drama was just a big smokescreen for the writers killing off Daryl.  It had been so long since we had an extended episode with him involved, we sort of forgot about his significance. The episode reminded us of how much of a character transformation he has undergone since the first season.  When we first met him, he was basically a thug.  Now he’s developed a deep level of compassion and humanity, despite the chaotic world he’s living in.  He showed that by helping people that five minutes earlier, threatened to kill him.  Then again, they took advantage of that compassion later on when he got his bike and his crossbow taken.  The moral of the story is….don’t trust anyone in the zombie apocalypse!  The Abraham-Sasha storyline wasn’t quite as interesting.  Abraham apparently hates life enough to play chicken with an impaled zombie.  Then before it’s over, he comes back and asks out Sasha.  I’m sure this relationship will go nowhere quickly.  Meanwhile, you can bet that Daryl will find those people that took his crossbow and get it back.  He’s Daryl, he’s gotta have it!  Overall, it was an ok episode.  I liked the Daryl part, but not so much the Sasha-Abraham part.  The Wolves are bound to attack again.  So, Glenn are you alive or what?

Daryl we missed you

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