Monday Morning Coffee

May 17, 2021

This Laker postseason is going to be a bumpy ride folks. They will host the Warriors on Wednesday night at Staples Center for the right to claim the 7th seed in the Western Conference, and it feels like they are holding their health together with super glue. Lebron’s ankle nearly gave out last night, and feels like it could give out again any moment. Anthony Davis makes you hold your breath every time he hits the floor. On one hand, the Lakers need the game reps to get their act together. On the other hand, Steph Curry could go off for 50 points, Anthony Davis could slip on some nacho cheese and get hurt, and the Lakers would be on the verge of elimination. I’m not so sure this team is ready for playoff caliber basketball, as talented as they are, but we’ll find out in a few days. At least they don’t have to face the Clippers or Jazz until round 3 at best if they take care of business Wednesday, and the Lakers have more favorable matchups on their side of the bracket. Nevertheless, the Lakers are faced with a must-win on Wednesday, which I never thought I would say before the actual post season begins.

Then there was the gamesmanship of the Clippers, who ended up with the 4th seed in the West, and will face the Mavericks in the opening round. The Clippers have owned the Mavs, so they’ve gotta be pleased with that. Considering how they rested everybody in the last two games, the Clippers really managed to perfect this tanking thing, as did Denver. All joking aside, the bottom line is going to be how healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are going to be, and if they are ready to deliver in the postseason. That’s a bigger deal no matter who the Clips run into in the postseason.

On Saturday, Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, among several other all-time greats: Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. I was once again amazed by the poise and grace of Vanessa Bryant to speak about her deceased husband and daughter. It’s been 16 months since Kobe and Gigi tragically passed away, but it’s something that feels like we’ll never get over, and never understand. However, if there’s one thing that has never been more clear, it’s that Kobe’s legacy resonates stronger than ever, and his determination and work ethic inspires people around the world everyday. On a separate note, I uncovered this video of Kobe and Tim Duncan from way back in the day over the weekend, and I never realized that Tim Duncan had this much personality!

To baseball, where Andrew Friedman’s computer must have some kind of a virus. What other explanation could there be for signing Albert Pujols last week? Yes, the Dodgers have injuries, and yes they need some right-handed pop in their lineup. However, for a team that prides itself on analytics, adding one of the worst players in baseball according to analytics blows my mind. Considering that the cost of signing Pujols was roughly the amount of money you could find in your couch, it’s low risk, but I just don’t see the fit. On the field however, the Dodgers are still having problems. Corey Seager is the latest big name to get added to the injured list, and despite taking 2 of 3 from the Marlins, they are still chasing both the Giants and Padres in the NL West. There’s still lots of time, but the Dodgers need to think about how to manufacture runs on a consistent basis, rather than waiting around for home runs.

As for the Angels, they picked up a dramatic win yesterday against the Red Sox, but they are still in bad shape. Remember when we thought the pitching was holding up? Well almost two months into the season the starters have the worst ERA in the big leagues. Their bullpen is equally atrocious, ranked just 27th in the leagues, and blowing half of their save opportunities. Dylan Bundy was supposed to be the ace of the staff, and instead he looks more like a joker, sporting an 0-5 record and an ERA that is inflating faster than an Aerobed. It’s really a shame that Shohei Ohtani can’t start every five days because he’s easily the team’s best pitcher, and they need his arm more than his bat. There’s still plenty of time left in the season, but you would think the Angels are ready to tank with the way things are going. At least you have Shohei to entertain you.

To the NFL, where the Rams schedule was released last week. On paper, this sets up for a nice double digit win season, starting off with a Sunday Night Opener at home against the Bears. I do feel bad for Jared Goff, who is going to have Aaron Donald in his jock strap come Week 7 when the Rams host the Lions. That Green Bay game in October also might not be so intimidating knowing that Aaron Rodgers might be filing for divorce from the Packers before then. The only thing the Rams should be scared off are those terrible looking pajama uniforms they always seem to wear in prime time games.

Meanwhile, the Chargers were gifted a fairly below average schedule by the league. This team need about as much charity they can get because they have worse luck than someone who broke a mirror. The Ravens, Chiefs, and Washington are the only playoff teams from last year the Bolts play on the road. If they win the games they are favored in, they should be a wild card team. That statement feels almost laughable though, considering how many winnable games the Chargers have blown the last few years. It’s become so comical though, you’ve gotta think their due to win some of these close games right? Right? I know you’re still laughing.

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