Monday Morning Coffee

December 7, 2020

I’m not sure yet if the Laker players are happier over the fact Lebron James and Antony Davis signed long-term extensions, or that they can smoke as much weed as they want this season without the league testing them. I have to say that I was surprised by the timing and length of the contracts Lebron and AD signed. Lebron has never committed to this kind of contract with Cleveland or Miami, which speaks volumes about his trust in the organization. The same goes for AD, who likely committed to being a cornerstone after Lebron retires. The only bitter sweet part for the Lakers is that barring a sign-and-trade, it’s unlikely they will acquire a third star in the next two off-seasons. Then again, Laker fans shouldn’t be complaining, especially since no team has two stars as good as Lebron and AD, let alone three. Rob Pelinka and Jeannie Buss have built a very stable organization, contrary to all the negativity that was written about them in the past two years. Laker fans only complaint should be that they probably can’t go to Staples Center to see their team play for another year.

Meanwhile, as the Clippers opened training camp and there are continued questions about their chemistry and the dynamics of their locker room. At the center of it all is Paul George. This man has a growing reputation for lacking accountability, and it’s already on full display this season. George blamed Doc Rivers for not making adjustments, and making him play like more of a spot-up shooter last season. Doc may have his faults, but I’m pretty sure he’s not responsible for George shooting like Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly in the playoffs. Ty Lue better have some transcendent leadership, because this looks like the same cast of characters that don’t like each other, and don’t want to do what it takes to win. Kawhi and PG must also be devastated the league isn’t going to allow players to go to strip clubs this year. I’m sure they will go back into “a dark place” without them.

The Rams got a huge victory yesterday against the Cardinals. Jared Goff remembered how to play quarterback, and the running game finally showed some life. More than anything though, the Rams defense proved to be unbelievable again, putting intense pressure on Kyler Murray all day. They forced a fumble and Troy Hill came up with a huge pick 6. When the Rams lead at halftime under Sean McVay, everybody might as well pack it up and go home. They are 33-0 at that point. That’s a Phil Jackson like number when he went up 1-0 in a playoff series. The Rams are back in 1st place in the NFC West, which seems to be changing leaders more frequently than babies change diapers. However, they better win their next two games because they are against a rebuilding Patriots team, and a terrible Jets team that isn’t even trying to win.

Another brutal game for the Chargers yesterday. Apparently the Bolts are not expected to relocate because of COVID, but all of LA probably wants them to anyway after that embarrassment against the Patriots. I guess Anthony Lynn loves the run so much he must have told his team not to stop it. There is no reason the Chargers shouldn’t be able to beat a rebuilding team like the Patriots at home, with the talent that they have. The team looked totally unprepared to play, their special teams were garbage, and their kickers have about as much confidence as I have in asking out Jennifer Aniston. The weekly disappointments are becoming predictable, and it’s only a matter of time before we see a coaching change.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 13, the Jets are relieved they lost to the Raiders so they can still draft Trevor Lawrence. Odell Beckham wants to know why Baker Mayfield can’t play that way all the time in the Browns win over the Titans. The Lions are probably wondering if they fire their coach every week if they can win after they beat the Bears. The Bengals put up a bigger fight in their sideline brawl with the Dolphins than in the actual game. Mike Zimmer might as well have asked Kirk Cousins to return his game check after the Vikings got an unimpressive win against the Jags. The Texans lost to the Colts, and they are wondering if they can still blame Bill O’Brien for their problems. Also, don’t let the Saints beating the Falcons distract you from the fact the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.

The Trojans may have gotten a victory yesterday against Washington State, but if I were Clay Helton, I’d be getting very nervous right now. Helton has skated by in a year where everybody has focused on the pandemic, rather than his mediocre and unimaginative coaching. However next week, if he can’t beat his less talent rivals, those wealthy Trojan donors may be selling their Ferrari’s and Beverly Hills mansions to come up with the $20 million necessary to buy him out. Frankly, If I were Clay, I might hope my team couldn’t play because of COVID because I would have a lot more to lose than gain from this game.

I never thought i would say this, but UCLA Football is showing some real progress under Chip Kelly. They are over .500 for the first time since he’s been their coach. This is definitely not what I thought a Chip Kelly team would look like by any means. I still don’t understand why the offense looks nothing like it did when he was at Oregon. Nevertheless, the defense is stepping up, and they are coming up bigger and bigger every 4th quarter they play. Now they might even have a great chance to beat their cross-town rivals next week, which would be a big statement for Chip Kelly to turn the narrative around. Now if only the PAC-12 Network could get people to watch their games, people might know this was happening.

UCLA Basketball picked up another win last night, this time over Cal. I realize that Mick Cronin is all about defense, and emphasizing play at that end of the floor. However, you still need to score to win, and you still need shooting. That’s why Jake Kyman needs to play more minutes. Since the middle of last season, when the Bruins started surging, it is no accident that co-incided with Kyman playing more minutes. He’s arguably the best shooter on the team, a better defender and more athletic than he’s given credit for, and his mere presence out there as a threat stretches the floor and creates more spacing. Chris Smith and Jalen Hill could really use that space on the offensive end. We saw Kyman as a threat in limited minutes last night, and here’s to hoping we’ll see a lot more of him as UCLA continues conference play.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tomorrow night, as we get a little closer to Tayshia getting engaged. I guess the producers realized that they didn’t have a villain to work with after Chasen got sent home. That explains why they quickly pivoted to putting Noah and Bennett in a room together for a clash of the Titans. I like it better when Bennett was a fun loving, mask wearing nerd. Now he is the uptight dad in every rom com who hates his daughter’s deadbeat boyfriend, who is Noah. Zac must have the attention span of a two-year old. He admitted to infidelity when it was infidelity that ruined Tayshia’s first marriage. Bachelor Nation is ready to break out the pitch forks and tiki torches in protest after Eazy got sent home. Chris was so traumatized by his late night run-in with Ed that he is probably ready to quit the show, since we barely saw him in the last episode. Jojo really said “I don’t know” when Noah asked her how his hair looked. There’s 11 guys left and 5 episodes remaining, so Tayshia is going to have to start sending some dudes packing! Meanwhile, it looks like she just went shopping at Homegoods for the Black Friday sale.


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