Monday Morning Coffee

AFC Title Game

January 25th, 2016

Just think how happy Roger Goodell is right now.  He is spared the embarrassment of having to hand the Patriots a Super Bowl Trophy after his initial suspension of Tom Brady was overturned earlier this season.  Goodell is also happy that he changed the extra point rule by pushing it 15 yards back, otherwise the Patriots probably would have sent the game into overtime, and possibly won it there.  Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are both amazing players, and their brilliance nearly pulled it off, even with the Broncos defense all over Brady all day.  I’ve gotta hand it to Peyton though……the man has now made 4 Super Bowls with four different head coaches.  For all the times it felt like Peyton had been owned in the playoffs by Brady, he’s now 3-1 against him in AFC title games.  Yesterday, he made the big throws he needed to, in order to get the win.  I can’t say I like their chances against the Panthers though, who’s defense is just as good.  I wonder who Giselle is going to blame for this one?

Then there’s the dominance of the Carolina Panthers.  Carson Palmer played that game like a college kid who downed a 12 pack and decided to play some Madden.  I’m surprised that the Cardinal haven’t announced Palmer’s retirement after that.  Then again, should we really be surprised? The Panthers went 15-1 during the regular season, their defense was as dominant then as it is now, and so was Cam Newton.  He really is Superman.  I mean he broke his back and was back in the lineup right away.  Batman broke his back and it took him weeks to come out of that hole and take on Bain.  Too bad for Larry Fitzgerald, who is a good guy, who many want to see win a title before his career is over.  Meanwhile, Carson Palmer’s cell phone has been blowing up…..

Palmers Cell Phone

To the NBA where the All-Star starters were announced a few days ago.  As we expected, Kobe was named to his 18th All-Star team, and I’m totally ok with it.  The game is for the fans, and that’s who the fans want to see. I’m sure most of Kobe’s peers are ok with it as well.  I just wish the guy would take a week or two off so he can actually be healthy for the game and the rest of the season.  I actually think the fans did a pretty good job of picking the starters.  In the West, Draymond Green nearly started, and probably would have if not for the Kobe situation.  In the East, Andre Drummond probably deserved to start over Carmelo, but that’s still not a terrible choice.  I’m also not outraged by Dwayne Wade of Jimmy Butler, since he’ll surely be named a reserve.  The rest of the reserves in the West should be CP3, Klay Thompson, Draymond, Blake Griffin, Demarcus Cousins, James Harden, and Anthony Davis.  In the East, I’d take John Wall, Jimmy Butler, Chris Bosh, Paul Milsap, Demar Derozan, and Pau Gasol.

As for the Lakers….the more and more I watch D’Angelo Russell play, the more I think that he’s going to be the teams best player as early as next season.  Russell looked good offensively on Saturday against the Blazers, despite another Laker loss.  I’m really hoping the Lakers can get 4 players into The Rising Stars All-Star Weekend event: Russell, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Larry Nance, Jr.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have now lost 2 of their last 3 games after reeling off 10 straight wins.  Funny how Doc Rivers described his team’s bench play as “awful” after losing by 18 points to the Raptors yesterday.  This is exactly what we knew was coming.  The Clipps play real teams like Cleveland and even Toronto, and they get exposed for what they really are.  The Clippers also decided to end a disastrous six months with Josh Smith, by sending him back to the Rockets.  In typical Clipper fashion, Smith had a great game in his first game back with Houston, where he clearly seems to be more comfortable.  It’s going to be especially amusing when the Clippers play the Rockets again in the playoffs this spring, and Smith is the one that destroys them and sends them home early again.

The Cleveland Cavaliers really amaze me.  The were 30-11, in 1st place in the East, and they fire head coach David Blatt.  He probably wasn’t the best coach for the team, but the way this whole situation was handled, screams of a team that has no idea what it’s doing.  The weirdest part is that they immediately signed Tyronn Lue to a three year extension.  Lue? A dude that has never been a head coach? This kind of crap, along with paying a role player like Tristan Thompson $82 million, is only done in Cleveland, where they are at the mercy of their superstar, Lebron James.  Funny, because Pat Riley would never have to ask Lebron about these type of things, because he knew what he was doing.  The Cavs don’t.  If these buffoons had any idea what they were doing, they would have fired Blatt over the summer, and brought in a real high profile head coach to bring this superstar team together.  The Cavs are looking more and more like a franchise that is going to waste the talent of the best player of the generation with their incompetence.  The All-Star game should be a 1st half of David Blatt coaching vs Luke Walton, followed by a 2nd half of Steve Kerr vs Tyronn Lue.

Speaking of incompetence, it’s time for me to dust off that Joe Blanton joke book, now that the Dodgers just signed him to a $4 million contract.  Isn’t baseball amazing? Joe Blanton was absolutely horrible two years ago with the Angels, after being mediocre with the Dodgers the year before.  He looks ok for half a season, and he finds an idiot like Andrew Friedman to pay him $4 million to pitch out of the bullpen.  That’s right…the bullpen.  The crappiest part of the Dodgers team the last couple of seasons.  By the time you finish reading MMC, Blanton would have already given up 3 home runs.

In college hoops, the UCLA Bruins continue to flirt with missing the NCAA tournament.  The Bruins got handled by Oregon in Eugene on Saturday.  The Ducks just looked way more athletic, and crushed UCLA on the glass.  It amazes me that Steve Alford was actually known for defense at New Mexico, because his team plays none, and is especially awful when it comes to zone.  Alford’s idea of a game plan is to hope that his son Bryce is shooting 38% from three, and then his team will have a chance.  Hopefully this nonsense doesn’t cost the Bruins some of their better recruits they are slated to have next year.

Finally, don’t laugh Trojan fans.  Your basketball team came crashing back to earth last week as well.  USC lost to both Oregon and Oregon State, and will probably tumble back out of the top 25.  Suddenly, the Trojans can’t make three point shots, or play any defense.  It will be interesting to see if this team just caught lightning in a bottle for a couple of weeks, or if they are really legitimate threats to win the Pac 12.  The answer should be revealed soon.

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