Monday Morning Coffee

May 24, 2021

The Lakers limped into the 1st round of the playoffs yesterday, and they looked like hell in game 1 against the Suns. Devin Booker dropped 34 points on them, while Lebron and Anthony Davis looked like they haven’t played basketball in months. If you hold your opponent to 99 points, you should win, but the Lakers 3-point shooting is awful, and the offense is non-existent. If you played a drinking game where every time AD fell on the floor you took a shot, you would likely be in the hospital before the game ended. Everyone obviously wants to focus on Andre Drummond and the fact he probably is playing too many minutes, but even if he is, the reality is that AD needs to play better and dominate DeAndre Ayton inside. He really needed Kwame Brown to give him a pep talk in the huddle. More on that in a few moments. I don’t expect the Lakers to have any answers for Devin Booker, but they don’t need to. If Lebron and AD are healthy and playing like they are capable of, this series should be over in no time. That health part is something I question minute-by-minute at this point though.

Meanwhile, the Clippers also lost game 1 of their 1st round series to the Mavericks on Saturday afternoon. Maybe the Clippers should start printing “We Don’t Believe” T-Shirts for their fans. I don’t think the Clippers played that poorly in game 1. Luka was amazing, but the Mavs just made 3-point shot after 3- point shot. I have my doubts that’s going to happen 3 more times in this series. I can’t even make fun of Paul George because he didn’t play badly in game 1 either. The Clips will probably be ok, but their crowd was pathetic for a playoff game. So pathetic that they needed cardboard cutouts to fill the most premium seats. That’s not much of a homecourt advantage for them to feel good about. Then again by losing this series, the Clippers probably figure that’s another way they can dodge the Lakers.

I have to give credit to Kwame Brown for lighting everyone up the way he is on social media. This guy has been criticized like crazy for over a decade, and now he’s been going after EVERYONE. Everyone from Matt Barnes, Stephen A Smith, to Chris Broussard and Rob Parker. And he’s making it personal! I disagree with Kwame on the idea that he’s not a bust, because he was a bust relative to expectations as a number 1 draft pick. However, the amount of ridicule he has gotten for so long is over the top, and he’s right to finally push back. Here’s some good laughs Kwame will give you from his take on Matt Barnes.

To baseball where the Dodgers swept the Giants over the weekend to inch closer to 1st place in the NL West. If there was a mercy rule in baseball, we would have seen it over the weekend. It’s ok Giants fans. At least Scott Kazmir has great hair. After a stretch of struggles, the Boys in Blue have now won 7 straight and 9 of their past 10. Although the offense is still a little sluggish at times, the pitching has been lights out. Now reinforcements are on the way with Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry coming back from injury in the next few days, and Tony Gonsolin not far behind them. Now the Dodgers head to Houston to take on those cheating Houston Astros.

As for the Angels, they salvaged a victory yesterday to snap a 3-game losing streak. However, there’s not much to feel great about with this club. Mike Trout is now out for two months with a calf strain, and we are reminded on a daily basis of what hot garbage their pitching is. Since 2010, the Angels haven’t drafted a pitcher that has given them more than 100 innings in a season. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they haven’t won a playoff game in that time either. The sad part is that the Oakland A’s just came to town and reminded them how successful they have been both developing and acquiring pitching. It’s not even June yet and the Angels are already 7.5 games out of 1st, in last place in the AL West, and it’s not an unreasonable question to ask if the team should start tanking. On June 17th, the Angels plan on allowing a full capacity of fans into the stadium. However, they really should change their policy to having all those fans wear paper bags over their head so nobody can see the embarrassment they have been on the field.

Speaking of embarrassing, that’s how Kings GM Rob Blake must feel after his veteran players called him out. Drew Doughty just said “there’s no point in waiting for prospects to develop”, and that the Kings have guys still in their prime that can win now. Doughty has a point since the Kings have $20 million in cap space and boat loads of prospects. The Kings could easily sign a couple of reasonably priced free agents, and still keep all their prospects. I’m not sure if Rob Blake understands what $20 million can buy him, but he should be able to put a playoff team on the ice with that. I’m beginning to think Blake is really a millennial, because he is building a team that will win nothing more than participation trophies every year.

Kings general manager Rob Blake attends the NHL draft.

Finally, the Summer Olympics are coming up in a couple of months in Tokyo, but it’s headed toward disaster. 60-70% of Japanese citizens do not want the games to be held, and only 3% of their population is vaccinated. As usual, the IOC is more useless than Clay Helton, and refuses to be flexible. There are other countries in the world, The United States being one, that could be ready to host the Summer Olympics in a matter of days and weeks. Instead, Japan won’t even allow any tourists into the country for the games. It’s not fair to the athletes to cancel the games either, since they’ve all been training their entire lives for this, and many will not get another opportunity. The right thing to do is to move the games to a reasonable place with existing infrastructure, that has a handle on COVID, and world class security. It’s hard to expect a corrupt organization like the IOC to understand this concept though.

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