Monday Morning Coffee

April 22, 2019

The Lakers have definitely hit rock bottom. Rob Pelinka is now taking potential coaching candidates like Ty Lue to the Cheesecake Factory during coaching interviews. I might feel slightly better about Pelinka’s judgement if he had ordered the avocado egg rolls, but even so, there’s about 1,000 better restaurants in Newport Beach to take a coaching candidate to. In all seriousness though, this is just a small sample size of the stupidity going on with the Lakers. The idea of hiring a coach before hiring a President makes no sense. Then again, the idea of taking basketball advice from Linda Rambis is equally puzzling. I always criticized Jim Buss for not maximizing the resources available to him, but now it’s fair to say that Jeanie is just as guilty of that.

Look guys, it was a cute story for a little but the Clippers will be done playing basketball this season on Wednesday. I do find it pretty comical that some of you folks thought that that one bad quarter from the Warriors suddenly meant the Clippers might actually beat them in a seven game series. The Warriors are like a Lion that is playing with its food before devouring it. That couldn’t have been any more evident from Kevin Durant’s attitude toward Patrick Beverley before dropping 38 points on him in game 3, and pulling away at the end of yesterday’s game. Give the Clips credit for playing hard, I’m sure it was a fun ride for them, I’m just not sure it was worth it considering they lost their 1st round pick. I guess this summer will determine that. Here’s a look at Danilo Gallinari’s shooting in yesterday’s game.

I sure wish everyday was Joc Pederson’s birthday. In typical “all or nothing” Joc fashion, he blasted a pair of home runs, helping the Dodgers take 3 of 4 from the Brewers. The real story is Cody Bellinger though who is doing it all. He made a game saving catch and hit the go-ahead home run in yesterday’s win. I’m not sure why everybody keeps making a big deal out of Clayton Kershaw’s drop in velocity. Greg Maddux was one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, and he never overpowered hitters. Kershaw has looked great in his first two starts, and as long as he continues to change speeds effectively, there’s no reason he can’t still be an elite starting pitcher. On the other hand, what isn’t elite is the Dodgers’ slogan “LA Bleeds Blue”. I think there’s been enough bleeding from the Dodgers and their fans the last few postseasons at Chavez Ravine. No more bleeding you marketing geniuses! Here’s a look at Bellinger making an early case for MVP.

Speaking of bleeding, the Angels are just hemorrhaging losses in the early going, despite yesterday’s win. Even Magic Johnson’s Twitter account would be able to tell you that it’s hard to win baseball games when half your lineup is hitting under .230, and 3 of your 5 starting pitchers are hurt. Brad Ausmus is also looking more and more like Billy Eppler’s puppet, just reading off in-game instructions from the spreadsheet he’s handed. This couldn’t be more obvious with the continuous pulling of his starting pitchers before 5 complete innings. Hey nerd boys….I love analytics, but if you overuse your bullpen, it no longer becomes a strength.

UCLA may have lucked out with the hiring of Mick Cronin, but the embarrassment for the athletic department isn’t stopping. The latest debacle is Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes claiming that had UCLA paid for his buyout, he would be their head coach by now. If nothing else, this entire exercise has done nothing to end the public perception that the Bruin basketball program is still cheap, and not willing to pay for top coaching talent. Plus, how disappointed is the UCLA fan base going to be if Billy Donovan gets fired by the OKC Thunder in the next week or two? I know I’ll be a little disappointed.

Since the Super Bowl ended, it’s felt like the Rams have put Todd Gurley in a witness protection program, preventing him from talking about his knee injury. However, he finally spoke about it, but didn’t reassure anybody that he’ll be ok long-term. Gurley indicated that he’s feeling great “right now” but doesn’t know how he’ll feel six months from now. That’s not exactly making me feel great about the fact the Rams just signed him to a long-term contract. It’s also not making me feel great about the Rams’ chances of winning a Super Bowl since he’s such a focal point of their success. While all this is going on, Sean McVay is being more evasive about Gurley’s status than someone trying to ghost you on a dating site. That’s not good at all, but the one nice piece of news for the Rams is they just learned they’ll have one of the easiest schedules in the league next year.

The concept of 4/20 is very symbolic for the LA Kings. Their General Manager, Rob Blake wore #4, and their President of Hockey ops, Luc Robitaille wore #20. Considering the moves they have been made in the last two years, it seems fair to say both these two have smoking a lot of weed. The latest is the unimaginative and uninspiring coaching hire of Todd McClellan. This is the same coach that blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings in 2014. When I watch the NHL playoffs it’s also become very clear that the Kings demise have nothing to do with their style, considering all the upsets in the postseason that have occurred. Their demise has everything to do with an aging roster and a farm system devoid of elite talent. Robitaille and Blake have been in complete denial about this fact.

Finally, episode 2 of the final season of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. I think it’s safe to say that Arya just added to her “body count”. Everyone is preparing to fight while Arya and Gendry were preparing to get freaky with each other. That was one sex scene I did not need to see before the show ended. I guess Winter was not the only thing that came last night. Frankly, that whole thing distracted you from the fact that Tormund sucked on giant boobs for three months to become as strong as he is. That was basically all we accomplished in one more hour, as well as Jon trying to explain to Daeny that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. It felt like this episode was used as nothing more than to make us feel good before our favorite characters get slaughtered next week. There’s no way we make it through next week without losing at least a couple of people we really like. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that part of it. However, at least the last four episodes will be nearly 90 minutes each.

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