Monday Morning Coffee

June 14, 2021

I’d like to welcome Paul George to the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Nice of him to grace his team with a decent performance before they got sent packing to Cancun. George showed up in a big way on Saturday night Staples Center, helping the Clippers get back into their 2nd round series against the Jazz. To be fair though, the “Pandemic P” label has been warranted. Prior to game 4, George shot 35% in his previous 4 playoff games, and just 31% from 3. He’s also had 10 career playoff games in which he’s shot 25% or worse on 15 or more attempts. Over the last 60 postseasons, no other player has recorded more than 7 such games. That makes Pandemic P more dangerous than COVID-19. If the Clippers can get the PG they got on Saturday night, they are a legitimate threat to make it to the NBA Finals, not just get out of this round. The Clippers know what they are getting from Kawhi, but other than that, it’s a crap shoot from night-to-night. They don’t have much margin for error left though, against the best team in the regular season, so they better hope PG shows up again tonight.

As for the Lakers, they are still making headlines after getting eliminated in the 1st round by the Suns. I will never understand the obsession with Jason Kidd as a head coach. Kidd is still on the Lakers staff as a top assistant, and mostly because Lebron wants him there. He is also wanted in Portland by Damian Lillard. They Blazers don’t want him though, and prefer Chauncey Billups, which is why Kidd withdrew his name from the process. He’s probably going to withdraw his name from the Nuggets job too after watching them play this weekend. In all seriousness though, there is no other team in the league that will hire him as a head coach, yet somehow his name stays out there because a few players like him. He didn’t have much success as a head coach in either of the two stints he had with the Nets and Bucks. It’s a phenomenon I will never understand. I will also never understand Montrezl Harrell’s instagram. He wrote a classy and lengthy post that thanked the Lakers and their fans, but it’s hard to know if this is goodbye or not.

It was a rough weekend for the Dodgers. Despite taking 2 of 3 from the Rangers and inching closer to 1st place, the injuries are piling up again. Max Muncy has been an MVP candidate, but he is now on the injured list with an oblique strain. Cody Bellinger missed the last two games with an injured hamstring as well. Thank god for the garbage time home runs though from Albert Pujols. There’s nobody I’d rather have at the plate in the 7th inning and beyond with the game completely decided, and nobody on base. The guy turns into Babe Ruth at that point, and seems like all his Dodger home runs have come then. The Giants aren’t going away though and neither are the Padres. On a different note however, Clayton Kershaw was brilliant on Friday. He really doesn’t get enough credit for still being great, because he was so brilliant at his peak. That’s how good he is.

Meanwhile, the Angels are suddenly 19-14 since releasing Albert Pujols, and over .500 for the season. As I said last week, this is the time for them to bank wins because their schedule is softer than tissue paper. This past week has also seen the lowest spin rates of any week this season in the MLB, resulting in strikeouts being down, and batting averages being up. It’s been so wild, even the Angels are hitting with Mike Trout out of the lineup! I don’t know if the Angels can keep this up with Oakland, San Francisco, the Rays, and Yankees coming up next. However, with Mike Trout coming back and the pitching looking a little better for now, there’s always some hope.

Finally, the season Premiere of The Bachelorette went down last night on ABC. I like how all 28 guys thought there was no way a dude in a cat costume, Conner, and a dude hiding in a box, James, were going to impress Katie. By the end of the night, they were ready to go buy their own costumes, and wish they could put James back in the box. Then there was the necklace that was made of pasta. “It’s not real gold, it’s just pasta” has to be the line of the season that can’t be topped. Greg seems to be the fan favorite early on though, at least in the court of public opinion. Of the seven dudes that got eliminated, I’m thankful we don’t get to learn about Jeff’s background as a “Skin Salesman.” Bad move with the RV. You’ve gotta love that moment when Tayshia said she “loves a guy in a truck”. Imagine what Zach was thinking, watching the premiere at home. It was a great first episode, but I’m not going to lie, it’s just not the same without Chris Harrison. The girls did a great job as co-hosts, but Harrison was symbolic of the entire franchise. Looking forward to seeing what this drama beings next week.

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