Monday Morning Coffee

March 15, 2021

The Lakers began the second half of the season on Friday, and despite the win, it looked much like the way they played in the first half. A slow start, and questionable engagement and energy at times. I still think the Lakers will be fine as long as they can get Anthony Davis healthy by the playoffs. That would make the Lakers the favorites to win a title, and get Lebron the ring he needs to get closer to Jordan, and tie J-Lo after she gets a ring from A-Rod. There’s also been too much talk around buyout additions for the Lakers and other teams. A buyout addition might help you win a playoff game or two, but everyone is pretending like the addition of one of these players will be like adding an All-Star. I will admit, LaMarcus Aldridge is interesting, but he’s not going to be a 30-minute per game player. I’m sure Magic wants to re-join the Laker front office for a week just to sign Aldridge, then leave again as a middle finger to Jim Buss. Ultimately, even if the Lakers can get Aldridge or Andre Drummond, we’re talking about somebody that’s going to play 15 minutes a game. If Anthony Davis is healthy, he’s going to absorb more of those minutes anyway. Also, prayers up for Jared Dudley, who tore his MCL over the weekend. He’s an important leader and locker room presence for the team, so hopefully nothing changes in that regard.

As for the Clippers, they really took a beating last night against the Pelicans. Kawhi is probably looking into how he can renew his Canadian work visa after that one. Actually, one of the most under reported stories around the Clips is Kawhi Leonard’s upcoming free agency this summer. Almost nobody is talking about it. Maybe it’s because Kawhi seemed so determined to play at home in Southern California, so some might ask why he would leave. Or maybe it’s because Kawhi doesn’t actually talk, so nobody knows how he really feels about being with the Clippers long-term. Nobody really knows how he feels about Paul George bricking shots against the backboard in big games, Ty Lue, or the fact the Clippers don’t have a point guard. All we know is he said he’s “concerned”, after last night. All of this is relevant because it could dictate what the Clippers do at the trade deadline. If they feel confident Kawhi isn’t going anywhere, we probably won’t see anything from them at the deadline. If not, the Clippers could try to make a move for the likes of Kyle Lowry or even Victor Oladipo. Also, this was a classic Kawhi interview last week.

To Spring Training where the Dodgers are looking good. Do you realize that last week, Clayton Kershaw gave up his first run in Spring Training in four years? I’m sure some Twitter trolls are thinking this is a sign of his deterioration, but it isn’t. It’s actually a reminder of his greatness. He also didn’t allow another run in the three innings after that, so it’s still been a solid couple of outings for him. So much talk about which Dodger pitchers are starting vs coming out of the bullpen, but I don’t really think it matters much. This is going to be a full 162-game season, so there’s plenty of starts available for every one of these guys. That’s much needed for a team that pitched into late October last year.

The Angels just made their best off-season move of the last five years. Unfortunately, it’s not a pitcher. It’s actually not even somebody that’s going to help them on the field. It’s somebody that will help them in the broadcast booth. Matt Vasgersian will be joining the Angels 3-man broadcast team. He’s a great guy, and a star broadcaster. I’m actually surprised he was in the Angels price range, given how good of a broadcaster he is, and how much of a cheap skate Arte Moreno is. He he counted against the luxury tax this would have never happened. Nevertheless, this will significantly improve the broadcast quality of the Halo games. Now if only they could improve the quality of the product on the field.

The good news is that UCLA Basketball is beating COVID. The bad news is that they aren’t beating anything else. The Bruins have lost four in a row, and are stumbling into the NCAA Tournament. They’ll be playing in the first four against Michigan State. I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a beating in that game. The frustrating part of this is that in the last four critical games, they blew leads, failed to execute down the stretch, and their offense disappeared like the stimulus check when it hits your bank account. I get that this team has injuries and is missing it’s heavy hitters, but all of these games have been winnable. I have zero confidence it’s going to get fixed in the tournament this week, because the team probably has zero confidence in their ability to make plays down the stretch. Still, I refuse to believe that Mick Cronin is a poor-man’s Ben Howland. We haven’t seen Cronin with elite talent yet, and I believe it’s coming. Ben Howland had elite talent, and in his final few years as UCLA coach, his squads looked about as competitive as this team does.

Are you ready to fill out your NCAA Bracket this week now that March Madness is upon us? Don’t bother spending 45 minutes on the bracket like you usually do though. Your mom will probably finish higher than you by picking winners based on who has the cutest mascot. Plus the guy who makes 14 different brackets will probably finish ahead of you, as will the girl who picked her entire bracket in 9 seconds. Do we even really know who the elite teams are in College Basketball anymore? Do we even know who the elite players are anymore? Are there any elite players? Sadly, this season USC might actually have a shot to get to the Final Four, and they have one of the best players in the country in Evan Mobley. Too bad the only thing on USC alums mind right now is how they can get Clay Helton fired. I’m not even sure they realize they have a basketball team.

The Grammy’s went down last night on CBS. It’s my favorite award show of the year because we get to enjoy the musical performances in addition to the awards. Dua Lipa killed it with her performance. She had Bad Bunny grooving to it. Beyoncé is going to end up with the most Grammy’s of all-time before her career is over. Post Malone pulled up to the Grammys like he used to be undefeated at WrestleMania. I’m not some huge Taylor Swift fan, but I respect her music, her star power, as well as the loyalty she has for her fans. Her not winning a Grammy at this point feels like it just violates the laws of nature. She’ll probably win Album of The Year next year too.

Finally, the season finale of The Bachelor airs tonight on ABC. Last week was really disappointing for most viewers. Rachel got a date with fireworks and her own house? That was favoritism at it’s finest. Plus, she got all that after spending the entire episode whining about Matt spending time with other girls. Overall though, that episode was boring, and Rachel’s dates were even more boring. Way to send Bri home on International Women’s Day, while keeping the racist around Matt! Bri is probably driving back to her office to ask for her job back right about now. Low key, the Bachelor producers are pretty savage for making Matt and his dad have that awkward conversation on TV. They absolutely did not need to turn the volume levels up for that oatmeal mushing scene. I’m horrified about Matt and Michelle’s skin after taking a butter bath. Even people from Pennsylvania are totally ok with never having a butter massage and milk bath at their spa day. The butter Matt used for Bri’s breakfast was probably the leftover ones from Michelle’s date. Matt has an identity crisis. He’s three different people with three different women. We’ll find out how it all ends tonight, even though we really already know. As for Chris Harrison, ABC really hasn’t made it clear if him not hosting The Bachelorette next season is just a temporary hiatus or not. As I’ve mentioned before, I hope it is temporary, because that actually will go further in improving the way people view diversity, and how they can understand it better.

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