August 17, 2020
It’s playoff time! As many of you feared, the Lakers are going to be matching up with the Blazers in the 1st round of the playoffs starting Tuesday night. You shouldn’t be fearful though. The Blazers might be hot, but they have been playing defense like every team they play against has COVID. Anthony Davis should look like Shaquille O’Neal playing against 7th graders in this series. This isn’t going to be a a sweep, or even an easy series by any means, but the Lakers should win. The Blazers are also the perfect opponent to prepare them for tough opponents beyond that like OKC, Houston, or the Clippers. Also, after two years, my expectation is that you will finally see “Playoff Lebron”, and it’s going to be spectacular.
As for the Clippers, they will take on the Mavericks in round 1. Dallas has a nice team, but this one is going to be hard to see the Clips losing. This series is also kind of awkard. Doc Rivers will be coaching against his new son-in-law, Seth Curry. I’m pretty sure his daughter wants her husband’s team to wipe the floor with her dad’s team. Doc probably doesn’t see this as awkward since he traded his own son to the Rockets, and then traded for Paul George, who cheated on his daughter. In reality, the Clippers might actually have more drama behind the scenes than an episode of Jerry Springer. However, they are just the Clippers and nobody talks about them unless they want to disparage the Lakers somehow.
To baseball, where the Dodgers swept the Angels over the weekend during a 3-game set in Anaheim. They are starting to pull away in the NL West. Then there’s Joe Kelly, who just earned some more equity with Dodger fans. He called the Astros “snitches” and “little bitches” over their cheating scandal, on a podcast last week. In case you’re wondering about the Astros, they are hovering around the .500 mark, while Jose Altuve and George Springer hover below .200 at the plate. I guess that’s what happens when you cheat for years, then have to play for real. The A’s had “The Smash Brothers”, while the Astros now have “The Trash Brothers”. Getting back to the Dodgers, they enter the week with a 2 game lead in the NL West. Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy are coming around, but it’s been a slow start. That’s how stacked their lineup has been. On the pitching side, great to see Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen looking elite again, but not so sure what’s going on with Walker Buehler. He still has great stuff, but is making too many mistakes. Speaking of mistakes though, this graphic about the Dodgers schedule probably could have been made a little more family friendly!
Meanwhile, it’s already looking like a lost season for the Angels. They are near the bottom of the AL West, and much closer to the very bottom than sneaking into the playoffs. Let me put that in perspective for you. The Angels have the best player in baseball, and they have only made the playoffs with him once in 9 full season of him on the team. This year, they probably won’t even get in the postseason with half of the teams in the league getting in. That’s just madness, and downright baseball malpractice. About the only thing the Angels do well is hit home runs. They are near the bottom of the AL in batting average, they strikeout more than Urkel in high school, and their pitching is hot garbage. It’s also hard to win when you have 3 of your highest 4 paid players are hitting under .200. The Halos might as well pack it in and go wait outside Disneyland for the reopening.
If Chip Kelly and Clay Helton go winless this year, do they still get fired? Asking for a friend? In all seriousness though, the PAC-12 and Big 10 pulling out the College Football Season is a huge problem for the future of their conference athletics. I don’t know if the right thing to do is to play or not. However, I do think it makes no sense for three other conferences to say they are going to play, and two others to say no. How can the medical experts not agree on the information? I hear the argument that the PAC-12 and the Big 10 aren’t willing to take the liability risk, but why are three other conferences willing to take that risk? I can only believe that some of this is politically driven, even from the medical side, which is sad. We can all admit that football is the golden ticket because it pays for all the other sports on campus. Student athletes are treated differently anyway, so why not create athletic bubbles within your campus for a couple of months? That bubble can include other sports too. It’s worked in the NBA and the NHL, so surely it can work on a College Campus where world class medicine exists. This would be possible if the leadership were better, and the NCAA actually did something, but unfortunately, that’s not the situation. It’s terrible for the kids. It’s also going to crush the PAC 12 and Big 10 from recruiting and being successful conferences in the short and long-term.
Finally, poor Darren Rovell is getting beat up on by everyone these days. The sports business analyst for the Action Network keeps getting crushed by Fox Sports’ Clay Travis on a daily basis. Clay has not only referred to Rovell as a “Corona Bro” for not wanting to play sports or come out of his basement until there is a vaccine, but even described Rovell as “on the Sports Mount Rushmore of Corona Bros.” I love both these guys, but Clay has been relentless in making fun of Rovell. As if that wasn’t tough enough for Rovell to deal with, now he’s got Johnny Manziel throwing ruthless barbs at him on Twitter too. If this keeps up you can add Rovell’s Twitter account to the list of casualties in 2020.