February 20th, 2017
The NBA All-Star game went down last night. That game was basically a 2.5 hour and 1 mix tape. The West beat the East 192-182. Yes that was actually the final score of the game. Since both teams were on pace for 200 points each by halftime, they really made an effort to lock down on defense in the second half. I’d also say Steph Curry’s defense was about as good as it was in the NBA Finals last year. Besides, 192 points are what the Knicks would call an average game for their opponents. Hopefully Anthony Davis will be awarded a free eyebrow wax from the NBA since he took home the All-Star game MVP last night. The league could easily make this more competitive by giving a $10-$15 million prize for the winning team. I suspect Adam Silver will fix this problem.
Last night DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans. It was just hours earlier that the Lakers were in talks to acquire him, but the price was too high as far as they were concerned. We know the Kings asked for Brandon Ingram, a future 1st rounder, and probably more. The Lakers didn’t want to include Ingram. You might think the Lakers were stupid to not give the Kings what they wanted for Cousins, even if it meant giving up Ingram. However, LA made the right decision hanging on to him. As great as DeMarcus Cousins is, we’ve seen what a team looks like with him as the best player, and it’s not even a playoff team. As a Laker, Cousins would become the best player on the team immediately, and LA still wouldn’t be a playoff team. Don’t be fooled into thinking LA won’t give up their young talent for a star player. That star isn’t DeMarcus Cousins though.
As for All-Star Saturday night, this had to have been one of the more disappointing ones I can remember in the last several years. The NBA is all about star power, and unfortunately, we just didn’t see much of it in any of the three contests. Kristaps Porzingas winning the skills contest is the most exciting thing to happen to the Knicks since Allen Houston came off their payroll. They might as well have called the three-point shooting contest the “Klay Thompson Invitational” and the slam dunk contest the “Aaron Gordon Invitational” since they were such heavy favorites, yet somehow, they both managed to lose those events. Eric Gordon shot well, but how can you have a three-point shooting contest without Steph Curry and Kyle Korver? Otto Porter leads the league in 3 point shooting this year, and he wasn’t even in the contest. As for the slam dunk contest, not having Zach Lavine go up against Aaron Gordon was a big let down after Lavine’s injury. Aaron Gordon himself looked like he was laboring with his foot injury, and that probably allowed a guy like Glen Robinson III to win. In addition to the dunks just not being creative enough, the names just weren’t there either. I think we have all come to grips with the fact Lebron isn’t going to compete now that he’s well into his 30’s. However, where is the top young athleticism in the NBA like Andrew Wiggins, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or even an athletic freak like Larry Nance Jr? It’s feeling more and more like a “whoever we can get to show up” contest. DeAndre Jordan had a nice dunk, but we all know the odds are always stacked against you when you are a big man. In DeAndre’s case, the odds are also stacked against him playing basketball when Chris Paul isn’t on the floor to throw him some ally-oops. Hopefully Adam Silver comes up with some ways to keep the dunk contest alive.
Even though the NBA All-Star game did not have any Lakers playing in it, they did have some representation, most notably in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Both D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram participated. I don’t like to read too much into an exhibition game without a lot of defense being played, but after seeing D’Angelo contribute 12 points and 4 assists, and giving the fans some highlight reel isolation plays, it couldn’t help but reinforce what I already thought about him. Russell has star talent, but whether he fulfills it will come down to all the intangibles: work ethic, mental toughness, and maturity. As for Brandon Ingram, the skill is there, but until the kid puts on some weight, it’s hard to know exactly what the Lakers have in him.
Did anybody stop and think for just one minute that Kyrie Irving was actually trolling the media when he suggested the world is flat? It just goes to show you how desperate the media can be for a story in a slow news weekend. Kevin Love has been the subject of some trade rumors in Cleveland, as he has been the last couple of years. He was actually replaced on the All-Star team by Carmelo Anthony. He and Lebron had a nice little exchange of text messages a few days ago….
New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis turned himself in to authorities on Friday, after being charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor stemming from an altercation in Pittsburgh last week. Revis is scheduled for a hearing in a few days. Looks like Revis Island is about to turn into Alcatraz Island if he has to face jail time. If the judge we’re going to give him a maximum sentence though, he would just sentence him to playing for the Cleveland Browns for the next five years.
Going into Saturday, it felt like UCLA was never going to beat USC again in basketball. Then Lonzo Ball reminded us how great he was once again, as the Bruins blew out the Trojans at Pauley Pavilion. Not only did UCLA play great defense, but we didn’t have to hear Steve Alford bitch about how high of a standard we hold him to when they don’t play defense. If Alford wants to complain about it, he should go coach at Southwest Missouri State and take his kid with him. To his credit though, Alford has gotten the Bruins to play some much better defense in the last couple of games. I still think that Lavar Ball needs to settle down with all the talk about Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and better than Jason Kidd. It’s great to have confidence in your kid and support him, but no need to put the added pressure on him, or even put a target on him that other players want a shot at. Lavar Ball has become the world’s worst soccer mom.
Let’s go to the ice where last night the LA Kings played one of their biggest games of the season, yet somehow laid their biggest egg. In typical Kings fashion, they couldn’t score, losing 1-0 to the Ducks at Honda Center. The Kings must be under the impression that their bye week was for two weeks instead of one, because they haven’t showed up in their last three games. I get it, Anze Kopitar is a nice defensive forward who does more than score. However, the Kings sure as hell need him to score, and for $10 million per year, it better be more than six goals a season. I also love how the Kings called up their most skilled prospect in Adrian Kempe, yet stick him on the 4th line instead of the top line when they are desperate for offense. The Kings may not be out of the playoff race, but it sure feels like they’re letting the playoffs slip further and further away from them.
To baseball where spring training has opened up in Arizona for the Angels and Dodgers. However, the big news for the Halos is that according to Arte Moreno, they will be playing at Anaheim Stadium until 2029. The Angels also spent $1.5 million to install some LED lights in the stadium during the off-season, to go along with other improvements to the stadium over the years. Moreno has clearly experienced the same troubles that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has recently, with regards to trying to build a new stadium in Southern California. Even if Moreno had the money to do it himself, which he doesn’t, trying to build something in Orange County is not amenable to most residents, while in LA there are just too many stadiums. Even if there was an opportunity to move, Anaheim has been home to the Halos for decades, and should continue to be that home.
Another coalition building episode of The Walking Dead last night on AMC. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case, and you want to watch it later. I like how Rick was saved by Michonne in this episode, and she wasn’t even fighting with him. I was shocked that Jadis didn’t ask for a hair stylist instead of all those guns for her group. She must have thought the Jim Carey “Dumber & Dumber” haircut was in. I was really bummed that Darryl didn’t tell Carol that Glenn and Abraham were beaten to death. However, my gut feeling is that she will eventually find out, and when she does, she will get her revenge.
Lastly, we’re down to the final four on The Bachelor, and I’m sure many of you can’t wait for tonight’s episode. I’m fairly amazed how Nick has found a way to send all the girls home that would actually be good wives. That dude is crazier than the women on the show. He wants a deeper relationship, the women say they love him, then he sends them home. Can they just send Nick home already? Let’s be honest, Nick probably sent Christina home because he thought he had to travel all the way to Russia for the hometown date with her. Looks like ABC forgot to issue the spoiler alert when they announced that Rachel Lindsay will be the next Bachelorette. This was never a problem with previous Bachelorette’s, so I’m not sure why ABC made this scheduling goof. I’m not sure what was up with Corrine suddenly talking in the third person during last week’s show. Who does she think she is, Elmo? Nevertheless, she has a real shot to win, and my prediction is that you’re going to see her in the final. If not though, I hope we at least get to meet her crazy family and Raquel. After all, nothing says bringing a girl home to your family like a “platinum vageen”. I’m not sure what was funnier: seeing Corrine walk out of that hotel while walking past the sliding doors, or seeing her walk like Bambi in those Louboutin’s.