February 26, 2024
What a terrible game by the Lakers against the Suns yesterday afternoon. This team is just so unbelievably inconsistent I don’t even know anymore, and I can’t understand why the never play with any desperation or urgency. Lebron was absolutely right. On any given night they can beat anybody, and on any given night they can get their butts kicked. It would certainly help if they got their better defenders like Jarrod Vanderbilt, Cam Reddish, and Gabe Vincent back, but the harsh reality is Darvin Harm threw away 3/4ths of this season screwing around with lineups instead of building on the chemistry they had last season. He’s still finding a way to screw up the lineups by playing Taurean Prince more minutes than Rui Hachimura. Now, the problem is even if the Lakers go on the type of run they did last season, they still probably won’t get into the top 6 in the Western Conference. Heck, they have the 6th toughest schedule remaining in the NBA, to they will be lucky if they can just get to the 7th or 8th seed. Just to put this in perspective, the Sacramento Kings are on the same pace as last year for total wins, where they finished 3rd in the West. Right now, on that pace puts them in the play-in tournament. Yesterday’s loss definitely won’t help the Lakers cause. Now Lebron is reportedly looking for a 3-year extension after this year, at max money, taking him to 42 years old. Do both sides really want to sign up for this? I guess that’s more so a question for the Lakers, because most of us would sign up for anything for $180 million.
The Clippers might have a problem. Although they were rolling for about 40 games, now they seem to be having problems beating some of the top teams in the West. They got smoked by the T-Wolves and the Thunder, and heading into Sunday were tied for 3rd with the Denver Nuggets, and 2 games out of 1st in the West. Where the Clips need to be concerned is the fact that size and length bothers them a great deal, and their defense seems to be very poor against these elite teams. Whether or not Ty Lue can make the proper adjustments to offset some of these weaknesses remains to be seen, but that’s the only choice they have since we are past the trade deadline.
Spring training is underway in Major League Baseball! I certainly don’t like to draw any conclusions based on the play of a number of guys that will be delivering my Door Dash next week. However, it is exciting to see the Dodgers back in action, and what the potential of the lineup could look like. It should also be noted that they scored more runs in their first spring training game than the last two postseasons combined. That probably speaks more to their postseason ineptitude than anything else. More importantly though, Kike Hernandez is back in Dodger Blue! Who knew their was a Kike Hernandez sweepstakes though? Who does this guy think he is, Lebron James? I’m sure all the ladies in LA will be thrilled though that they get to see Kike in tight pants. I’m also thrilled to see Matt Kemp back with the organization in an Advisory Role. Welcome back home Matty! Looking forward to seeing the spring debut’s of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto later this week!
As for the Angels, there are multiple sources indicating that the Angels are in good position to land either Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. I will believe this when I see it though. Other sources inside the Angels have apparently been debating this because they feel like the cost of a single one of those players might not make them competitive. If that’s true, then that’s just a complete loser mentality. Heck if you think you aren’t that competitive to begin with, then why not just blow it up and rebuild your franchise the proper way? Typical Arte Moreno mentality, which makes me think if they do come away with one of those pitchers, it will just be because of public pressure. Perry Minasian and Ron Washington also said they they felt they had enough depth at catcher to release Francisco Meiji, who also had a bad attitude and work ethic. If only they would send Anthony Rendon home for his piss poor attitude. I guess the $38 million they owe him for the next 3 seasons prevents that.
To the NFL, where the offseason is upon us. The Rams have over $50 million in cap space to play with, and a 1st round pick for the first time in ages. That means after a promising season, they have a chance to further improve their team. The first thing they need to do is continue to invest in their offensive line, so they can protect Matthew Stafford. They can do this by re-signing Kevin Dotson, and adding another interior lineman. They also need to add an edge rusher as well, which is a position you can never have enough depth at, as well as get some help at cornerback. They should also be considering finding Matt Stafford’s successor. That’s where the question becomes whether or not they want to use their 1st round pick on the likes of JJ McCarthy or Bo Nix. Especially since next year’s draft is not expected to have a lot of great QBs. This could be their chance to invest in a capable successor. However, knowing Les Snead, he probably has his eye on some stud to trade for with his 1st round pick and armed with tons of cap space.
Then there’s also the Chargers, who are working through their own salary cap problems. They are $45 million over the salary cap, and the biggest question is around what they do with Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams. Of course Bosa would generate a great deal of trade value, and Mack is coming off a great season, but the solution here is obvious. Just by cutting the injury prone Mike Williams and keeping the rest of the group, they would put themselves $35 million below the salary cap. Then of course they’ll have to decide if they want to invest in Austin Ekeler for another year. Ultimately though, if the Bolts are going to have a successful year, they will need to hit on a lot of their 2024 draft picks, and considering they have all 7 of them, they are in good position to do so.
UCLA’s at-large tournament hopes are officially cooked. After losing to USC at home over the weekend, the Bruins will only be able to make the Tourney this year if they win the PAC-12 Tournament. Plus at this point, their odds of winning the Power Ball seam a lot more likely given how they are playing. Mick Cronin showed how great of a leader he is by taking responsibility and accountability for the loss against USC, saying they had a terrible week of practice and he didn’t prepare them. However, the team simply cannot shoot, and guys like Adem Bona cannot take themselves out of the game with foul travel. All of that is too problematic for Cronin’s leadership to overcome. Meanwhile, Andy Enfield is probably asking to get fired as USC head coach. The Trojans have had an enormously talented roster, but despite the win on Saturday, are one of the worst teams in the PAC-12. I’m not sure USC cares enough though about basketball to make that change.
Finally, court storming became a very hot topic over the weekend after Duke was upset by Wake Forest, and Duke Forward Kyle Filipowski was injured when fans rushed the court. Although I love the fact that court storming happens, and it’s an amazingly cool moment, I can see why it is totally dangerous and should be banned. Are there ways to make it safer? Probably, but in reality, as cool as it is, fans do not belong on the court or field, especially wreckless teenage college students. I am amazed though at the number of people defending it, and trying to find ways to keep it alive in a safe way, even on social media. It’s almost like if it weren’t a Duke player that were injured, more people would want the court storming banned. Why am I not surprised? In any case, we’ll see if anybody can actually ban this, considering the NCAA is completely spineless and powerless in this day and age.