Monday Morning Coffee

December 21, 2020

I can’t decide if Talen Horton-Tucker is the greatest player of all-time or merely the greatest player in our lifetime. In all seriousness though, THT is playing like 2nd year lottery pick this preseason, not a 2nd rounder that was taken near the end of the draft. I don’t like to put a lot of stock into preseason play, but I can’t help but notice he didn’t even have a bad game in all four preseason games. I don’t really know how good he is going to be, but he certainly looks like a very good rotation player at minimum. His arms are longer than Inspector Gadget, he’s already a very good defender, and he’s an improving play maker. If you think the hype around Alex Caruso was insane last year, THT might break Twitter if he keeps this up. The best part about this for the Lakers is they don’t actually need him to be great. They are pretty deep. However, if THT is as special as his teammates keep saying, the Lakers are going to be as dominant as ever.

Meanwhile, the Clippers free agent signing of Kawhi Leonard is under investigation by the NBA. Even the NBA can’t believe that anybody would be weird enough to pick the Clippers over the Lakers. Even if the Clips are found guilty of wrong-doing here, I’m not sure how Adam Silver can punish a team without any draft picks to take away. Besides, having Paul George under contract for the next five years is already a big punishment. If nothing else though, this is really a bad look for the Clips, and makes me wonder about Steve Ballmer, and the lengths he was willing to go to last year to make his franchise more popular in LA. It’s been speculated he paid media to spread negative stories about the Lakers, none of which were true. Now it’s been speculated that his franchise may have done things to circumvent the salary cap in a desperate effort to secure Kawhi. Although I have a hard time believing Jerry West could be that foolish, I think it’s a little premature for executives around the league to have voted Ballmer the best owner in the NBA. Also, Uncle Dennis is really starting to remind me of that Uncle in the movie “He Got Game”. This guy just wants his piece of the pie.

I can’t believe the Rams laid an egg yesterday against the Jets. I don’t know what the hell either team was thinking. The Rams had a great chance to inch closer to a division title, and even the #2 seed with the Saints loss. The Jets blew their chances at drafting Trevor Lawrence with the #1 pick. Heck, that win might get Adam Gase fired this morning since it might have been the most devastating win of all-time. I know we’re all conditioned to blame this on Jared Goff because we’re all jealous he has a super hot girlfriend, but this loss wasn’t entirely on Goff. The entire team just decided not to wake up from their power nap until the 2nd half. This team should be forced to move to San Diego after this loss. The good news is that they can still win the division with a win against the Seahawks next week, but hard to be confident after watching that debacle.

That was exactly how I pictured a Chargers vs Raiders game going last Thursday night. Both teams kicking away golden opportunities to win the game. Anthony Lynn doesn’t even know when to call timeout anymore, let alone how to manage the clock late in a half. Even more head-scratching is the fact that Lynn just took the ball completely out of the hands of Justin Herbert in the 4th quarter, attempting just one pass in the last 15 minutes of regulation. The only thing that saved the Bolts is the fact Jon Gruden doesn’t even know what hat he should be wearing, let alone how to get his team to win football games they should. As I mentioned last week, I’m still not entirely convinced the Chargers are serious enough about winning to replace Lynn. It’s a weird organization with a weird owner, that suddenly lucked into having a franchise quarterback.

Elsewhere around Week 15, the Falcons blew another lead to Tom Brady in their loss to the Bucs, which had to feel like the good old days. The Bears beat the Vikings, but Chicago wishes David Montgomery had decided to turn into Barry Sanders when they could still make the playoffs. The Cowboys won and didn’t have Zeke Elliott, who makes $90 million and is probably slamming grub like James Harden. The Seahawks beat Washington, but DK Metcalf got hurt, which seems impossible since we all thought he was a machine. Dolphins beat the Patriots and America is celebrating the Pats playoff streak snapping. The Texans lost to the Colts, and Houston fumbling late in the game is as sure as the sun setting. Dez Bryant scored for the first time in three years in the Ravens win over the Jags. I thought he quit 2 weeks ago? Derrick Henry murdered more defenders in the Titans win over the Lions. Come on DH, these guys have families!

The Oregon Ducks won the Pac-12. The state of Oregon recently legalized every substance known to man. I’m sure that made for a very interesting evening on Friday night after the Ducks beat the Trojans. That was the first time Larry Scott had not been booed during a championship presentation. Prior to Friday night, I was offended at the mere suggestion by some writers and analysts that USC should be in the College Football Playoff. Anybody who had not been drinking knows that USC is a talented but extremely poorly coached playoff team, that has no business competing against the elite of College Football. Even if USC had pulled off another comeback and won Friday, beating ASU, Arizona, and UCLA doesn’t make this a top 10 team, let alone a top 4 team. Credit to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times for admitting this mistake.

As for UCLA football, how did Chip Kelly manage to turn this into a losing season? It was gift wrapped for him to win the Pac-12 south, yet he’s the only guy that managed to turn lemonade back into lemons. He had a 34-20 lead against Stanford, yet handed it over like some 501C3 charity. He shouldn’t have taken his foot off the gas late in the game after that onside kick. He also should have played for the tie to go for the 3rd overtime since he was at home. Even those that play College Football on PlayStation know this. Now we’re suddenly hearing that Kelly might not come back, and there’s even rumors that AD Martin Jarmond will explore the hiring of Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen. I don’t know how a program that is bleeding cash like they are Disney is going to hire an expensive coach like that. Especially when things went so bad with an expensive coach like Chip Kelly.

UCLA basketball was in action over the weekend against Ohio State, but the Bruins lost a tight one. The Bruins play hard, they are a solid team, but they also shoot like Paul George in the playoffs. This team misses way too many easy looks in the paint. I’m assuming that some positive regression will occur in that area over time, but the results aren’t helping them in the AP polls. Chris Smith must have entered a time machine and gone back to sophomore year, because he’s absolutely invisible at times. UCLA is going to have to play a lot better overall in conference play to strengthen their tournament resume. They have talent, but they also have a heck of a lot of work to do between now and March.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week, and it returns for back-to-back nights this week. Bruh……why was Ivan dripping sweat like that? Is he ok? The crew needs to get this poor, sweating guy a towel or something. I believe that people have the right to make their own decisions about life without being criticized. Except that doesn’t apply when analyzing this show, so if Tayshia doesn’t choose Ivan she’s a fool. Ben said he almost killed himself twice. I would too if I were stuck in La Quinta the entire time I was on the show. I guess the whole show budget went there since we saw some pretty lame dates. All of these guys in the final episode are extremely flawed though. Ben is clearly at a point he can only focus on himself because his mental health needs attention. Brenden is not ready for a relationship like this, let alone to speak at the rate of a normal human being. Zac has too much baggage and said he wasn’t even thinking about a wife when he got on the show. The reality of it is Tayshia has probably helped all these guys find new confidence in themselves, which is a really nice story. However, that’s not why we watch The Bachelorette. We watch it for the train wreck we expect. It’s rather bitter sweet this season.

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