Monday Morning Coffee

December 10, 2018

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m hoping the Lakers can find a way to lure Kevin Durant here next summer, but he sure sounds like a whiny baby who is jealous of Lebron.  KD thinks Lebron creates a toxic environment? The only thing that’s toxic right now is his relationship with Draymond Green and the rest of his teammates, who have already called him out by saying they don’t even need him to win titles.  I’d like to think this is just a smokescreen for Durant eventually leaving the Warriors for the Lakers in the summer, but who knows with a guy that uses burner accounts to argue with 13 year olds on Twitter.  As for the Lakers, they are continuing the roll and creeping further up the West standings thanks to Lebron’s brilliance.  Since most of you haven’t noticed and just complain about Lonzo’s shooting, he’s actually playing All-NBA level defense.  Kyle Kuzma is not only playing well, but roasting Lebron on Twitter too.

Meanwhile, I think the Clippers are blowing a major opportunity here.  Yes, they’ve been a surprise, but they’ve lost 3 of their last 4, including getting blown out at home by the Heat on Saturday.  More importantly though, they have assets and are missing the opportunity to make a deal for an impact player.  They easily could have acquired Jimmy Butler, and they have the pieces to trade for a Bradley Beal.  Those are proven all-star talents they probably won’t get in free agency.  They are also looking at losing Tobias Harris, who is playing well and going to get serious money from somebody in free agency this summer.  The Clips might be in the playoff picture now, but don’t be surprised if the the red headed step child of LA basketball falls out of it in the coming weeks.

To the NFL, where the Rams just couldn’t get their offense going in the cold yesterday against the Bears, who handed them just their 2nd loss of the season.  I haven’t seen anybody so useless in cold weather since Lloyd and Harry drove to Aspen in the Movie “Dumb and Dumber”.  It’s like Jeff Fisher was calling the plays.  The Rams can probably kiss home field advantage goodbye after this, but the good news is that they probably won’t have to play in cold weather again.  However, there’s some scary matchups out there that could give them trouble.  The Bears, Cowboys, and Seahawks are all dangerous teams with underrated defenses that can give the Rams trouble, even if they have home field.

Yesterday was very weird.  A Charger kicker was actually making his field goals and extra points.  It was like watching a game in the Twilight Zone.  That game was sloppier than Charlie Sheen at happy hour, but the Bolts beat the Bengals and improved to 10-3.  They barely beat a banged up Bengals team, and a Broncos team that is booking their offseason vacations, so I’m still not convinced.  However, they do have a chance to take Kansas City on Thursday and potentially get the #1 seed in the AFC.  If they find a way to do that, I’ll be impressed.  The Chargers better also hope that Austin Ekeler isn’t seriously hurt either, because he’s a key component to their offense.  At least the Bolts actually had more fans cheering for them in their stadium yesterday than the Bengals.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 14, the Jaguars got crushed by the Titans.  Sorry Cowboy fans.  You’re winning so it’s going to be hard to fire Jason Garrett now.  Going from Blake Bortles to Cody Kessler is like replacing a Ford Fusion with a Ford Fiesta.  The Giants tortured Mark Sanchez all day and destroyed the Redskins like it was 1492 all over again.  Colin Kaepernick has to be having a good laugh somewhere.  The Jets got by the Bills, but Bills Mafia still celebrated by jumping on tables and having sex in the parking lot.  Lamar Jackson can barely throw a pass, but he’s going to keep Joe Flacco and his $20 million paycheck chained to the bench.  Miami got a Christmas miracle by beating New England, but the Patriots are like cockroaches that never die.  Who did this?!!!!!

To baseball where the Dodgers have a big shopping list to take care of at the Winter Meetings.  It includes finding a starting catcher and getting some bullpen help.  Notice I didn’t say it includes a starting pitcher or a $300 million outfielder named Bryce Harper, because those would be luxuries and not necessities.  However, the real notable Dodger news last week was the fact they extended Manager Dave Roberts.  For those of you wondering why this happened, I’m wondering why you still don’t get it.  Dave Roberts simply carries out the decision making that Andrew Friedman and his computer tell him to.  It isn’t Roberts who decides to use 5 different second baseman in a World Series game, or sit his top 3 home run hitters.  It’s what Roberts is reading off in line 57 of the spreadsheet.  If anything, he deserves the extension for taking public criticism that Friedman should be getting, and for getting his players to buy into this crazy system.

In College Hoops UCLA barely got Notre Dame on Saturday night on a buzzer beater by Kris Wilkes.  I’m not sure what was worse? Watching UCLA struggle with an average Notre Dame team, or watching a telecast that at one point involved both Digger Phelps and Bill Walton.  Donald Trump called and thought that part of the telecast was too narcissistic.  This Bruins team has talent, but looks like they don’t belong with any of the Top 25 teams in the country.  If Alford can’t do much with this group in the tournament, he needs to go.  No, Fred Hoiberg isn’t the answer either after he just got let go by the Bulls.  Hopefully something better will come along between now and the end of the season.  In case you missed the final excitement on Saturday, here it is:

Finally, the LA Kings are in more denial than an alcoholic.  They are tied for dead last in the league more than a third of the way through the season.  We can’t exactly say that “it’s early” anymore.  They officially stink, and should strongly considering rebuilding.  However, one of the clear strengths of the franchise is goaltending.  I know some of you will want to take out the pitch forks and tiki torches when I say this, but it’s probably time to think about trading Jonathan Quick.  He’s reached his peak, he takes up a decent amount of cap space, still has trade value, and the team still has quality goaltending without him.  It’s going to take some serious creativity to get the Kings out of cap hell, but trading Quick is probably necessary.

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