Monday Morning Coffee

October 5, 2020

Somebody must have told the Lakers that we are stuck with either Trump or Biden as our next President, because last night they played like they don’t want to join the real world and leave the bubble. There is no reason at all for the Lakers to be out-muscled in the paint on any given night, and surely not against an undermanned Miami team. Danny Green and KCP played like they had plane tickets already booked to Cancun. It didn’t help that AD had 3 fouls on him when he left his hotel room, but there was a total lack of focus. This kind of complacency is some crap that the Clippers would do, and I’m sure Lebron isn’t going to be happy about it. I fully expect him to crack the whip on his teammates between now and game 4. It’s clear that the Lakers started drinking their own Kool-Aid after game 3, and just thought the Heat were going to lay down, given that they were without two key starters. That’s definitely not something that a team led by Pat Riley and Jimmy Butler would do, and props to them for not giving up. It’s also a dangerous thing to do to give a team like Miami confidence, especially when there’s a chance they are going to get Dragic and Adebayo back in the next game, which will give them an emotional lift.

It turns out that “Playoff P” has now turned into “Layoff P”. Paul George’s disastrous playoff performance led to the firing of coach Doc Rivers last week. It’s a bold move by Steve Ballmer, but the results are all on him because it was a decision exclusively made by him, rather than the front office that he built out the last few years that everyone was raving about. Also, Phil Jackson isn’t coming out retirement to coach the team. Aside from the fact he and Jerry West don’t get along, Phil wouldn’t even coach Paul George over Zoom, let alone in person. This whole saga though is a reminder that some of these NBA media folks need their credentials and cable subscriptions revoked. They are all saying now that “the Clippers need better on court leadership.” They do? You told me for the last year that Doc was an elite coach, Kawhi was a phenomenal leader, and a better player than Lebron, better than Kobe, and a top 5 player ever. You are all fools and the internet has the receipts.

Well here we are again in October, with the Dodgers in the NLDS. This time it’s the Padres standing in their way. The Padres are going to try and make this a slugfest, in which their bullpen just outlasts the Dodgers pen. The Dodgers are going to need quality length from their starters, just like they got on Thursday with that vintage Clayton Kershaw performance against the Brewers. There’s a lot to worry about here for the Dodgers though: Walker Buehler’s blister, Clayton Kershaw’s past playoff issues, and perhaps most of all, Kenley Jansen. When I listen to Dave Roberts talk about Jansen, he sounds like a guy who’s had a girlfriend for years who’s just not doing it for him anymore, but doesn’t know a tactful way to break up with her. Pretty soon he’s going to be saying “it’s not you, it’s me.” Roberts is saying Jansen is his guy, but quietly pointing out the flaws in his performance, and also suggesting there are nights where other options might be better. That’s a scary thought since there have been so many close games between the Dodgers and Padres this season, and this series figures to be the same.

Meanwhile, the Angels GM search is underway, and it’s already looking like a joke. Team President John Carpino said he and Arte Moreno have compiled a long list of names, and they sound like they are going to take their time with the hiring process. Rumor has it they might really take their time with the search and go as far as Thanksgiving with it, but I’m not sure why anybody impactful would want to take a job midway through an offseason. Especially when that replacement can’t actually do anything to improve the club, in a job where they are supposedly expected to “win now”. The best part about what Carpino said is that “something is not right in our organization,” explaining, that “there are things in here that aren’t working.” You guys just figured that out John? The best example of this is the Halos using last year’s first round pick on a pitcher that was supposedly close to big league ready. They never called him up. The college pitcher drafted with the next pick is now pitching in the playoffs for the Chicago White Sox. That’s just one example of many of the Angels not being process-driven, and most of that failure is Arte Moreno’s involvement, since he views success as star-driven.

The Rams played yesterday’s game like they were trying to hurry and get to watching game 3 of the NBA Finals. They got the win over a crummy Giants team, but it was ugly. It’s almost like Sean McVay was determined to use only the last two pages of the playbook to try to secure the win. Sometimes I wonder if he really feels comfortable letting Jared Goff drop back and throw a real pass. You’ve gotta be happy with the defense, but there’s definitely concern with some of the inconsistency we’ve seen on the road on the offensive side the last two weeks. The Rams will have to avoid another let down next week against Washington. Then there’s the fight that took place between Golden Tate and Jalen Ramsey. I generally try to avoid domestic matters here on Jock Talk LA, but when they play out on the field like this one did, it’s pretty hard to avoid it. Ramsey and Tate will likely be suspended for all their antics, which can’t make McVay very happy.

Just when it looked like the Chargers were going to get some revenge on Tom Brady for all those times he did them dirty in New England, they find a way to blow it. That was one of the worst defensive performances this team has had in the last two years, and that’s saying a lot! Only the Chargers could find a way to spoil a brilliant performance from their rookie Quarterback, Justin Herbert, who had QB rating of 137.5, while making some unbelievable throws. Brady is actually on pace to throw more pick 6’s than Jameis Winston did last year, but it didn’t matter yesterday. Horrible mistake by Anthony Lynn to not take a knee near the end of the half near his own endzone, resulting in a turnover. To make matters worse, Austin Ekeler is now going to be down for a few weeks with a leg injury. I can’t wait to see how Anthony Lynn continues to try and keep a straight face while saying “Tyrod Taylor is still our starter”. Something tells me the Charger doctors’ are going to find something wrong with him for the next few weeks.

Elsewhere around Week 4 of the NFL, the Browns beat the Cowboys, and Jarvis Landry looks like a better quarterback than Carson Wentz. The Cowboys are 1-3 and still in 1st in the NFC East! The Raiders should change their name to the “Loss Vegas Raiders” after losing to the Bills. The Jets really need to stop drafting USC quarterbacks. Stay positive though Jets fans – you’ll probably get another top 5 pick that you can screw up again. The Texans are 0-4 and have a $258 million payroll. They might as well be burning money like the Joker. The Colts beat the Bears, and Phil Rivers is out here calling his opponents “fatty’s” Is Drew Brees still old and busted? Because he looks fine to me. Bill Belichick is probably trying to figure out how to get Patrick Mahomes to test positive for COVID before tonight’s game.

Wait, the Presidential Debate is over? But nobody jumped out and said “live from New York it’s Saturday Night”? Chris Wallace got treated like a substitute teacher. I haven’t seen anything that embarrassing since the Clippers last played. Stephen A Smith needs to be the moderator of the next debate. Calling it “a shit show” is really an insult to “shit shows” . Trump did more interrupting than Kanye in a room full of Taylor Swifts. The bottom line is that we don’t need to see 2 more of these. If anything, it’s going to make people not want to vote if they have to see these two go at it again. I certainly hope he recovers from COVID, but depending on how Trump’s recovery goes, we may be lucky enough to not get another debate.

It’s been a while, but The Walking Dead was back on AMC last night, and it was the season finale of Season 10. Let me say this, the show has lost a lot of characters due to contract disputes or other opportunities for the cast. However, to this point, I thought they’ve done a decent job of reinventing the show. With that being said, last night was kind of disappointing. Spoiler alert for those of you who didn’t see the episode, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. Beta is one of the most iconic characters in the comic, but he went down easier than the Lakers did last night against the Heat. There was no major battle between him and Negan like we saw in the comics. Lydia saved Carol from committing suicide. Doesn’t it feel like Carol was going to commit suicide several times in the last 10 years? Doesn’t it feel like you wanted to commit suicide after watching the last Presidential debate? Maggie has been gone so long, seeing her again really didn’t do anything for me. So apparently the Storm Troopers showed up. Does this mean Darth Vader is going to make an appearance in Season 11? Remember when we though we might get zombies when COVID started? Instead we just got a bunch of Karen’s. I don’t know what’s going to happen in Season 11, but we’ve made it this far and are so invested, might as well finish it out. I hope it’s better than the Season 10 Finale though.

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