Monthly Archives: April 2013

Monday Morning Coffee


April 29th, 2013

Thank god it’s over.  The Lakers season mercifully came to an end on Sunday evening at Staples Center.  This has been the most disappointing season in franchise history.  Great effort on behalf of Dwight Howard as well.  2 shot attempts in 3 quarters of play while playing with bunch of D-League players?  No wonder he got himself ejected from the game.  Dwight might have some maturing to do, but it’s not going to happen with D’Antoni coaching him.  Now some fans can pretend to care about the Clippers for the next couple of weeks.

Everyone is applauding Jason Collins for coming out and admitting he’s gay, but why should we care?  Your sexual orientation is nobody’s business but your own, and it’s not something you need to wear on your sleeve.  The fact that everybody is making such a big deal out of this tells me that the sports world isn’t comfortable with it yet, no matter how much people try to say things have changed.

Why do people who watch the NBA have the memory of a 3 year old?  Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have been playing great, but after 4 great games people wanted to anoint them the greatest shooting backcourt in team history.  Most of these people have probably never heard of John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek, Mark Price and Craig Ehlo, or Jerry West and Gail Goodrich.

Carl Crawford has been on fire.  I thought this guy’s arm would have fallen off my now, but he’s easily been the Dodgers best player this year.  Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier need to start earning their paychecks for the boys in blue to go anywhere.  Speaking of not earning your paycheck, the Angels trio of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Josh Hamilton have combined to hit .167 over the last 6 games with 16 strikeouts.  The Halos have equaled last year’s horrendous start of 9-15, and now that the Lakers are toast, we can focus our attention on how badly our two expensive So Cal baseball squads stink.

The Kings ended up getting a great 1st round matchup against the Blues.  Although they won’t have home ice advantage, they’ve beaten the Blues like they stole something over the last 8 games.  I’ve got the Kings in 5.  Meanwhile, the Ducks may have a little tougher time with the upstart Red Wings, but they should have enough fire power to win the series in 6 games.

I sure hope Matt Barkely had fun in his senior year and slept with as many sorority girls as possible, because he cost himself about $30 million by not coming out for the draft last year.  The Eagles seem like an awkward fit for Barkely with Chip Kelly’s system, which will only make things tougher for him.  Barkely’s free fall to the 4th round reflects poorly on USC quarterbacks, and it will definitely have a negative impact on Lane Kiffin’s ability to recruit quality talent at that position.






Monday Morning Coffee


NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs

April 22nd, 2013

So Mike D’Antoni was bothered by Kobe’s in game tweets.  Give me a break!  We all know that Kobe isn’t saying anything that we all aren’t already thinking.  Besides, Kobe’s tweeting makes the game that much more entertaining for all of us watching at home.    What’s with Mike D’Antoni’s man crush on Steve Nash anyway?  Nash gets back in the lineup after missing about a month, and D’Antoni thinks he’s back in Phoenix running play after play for Nash, who was rustier than an iron nail in the ocean.

What will it take for the Clippers to get some attention in this town?  They dominate the Grizzlies in game 1 on their home floor, yet the Lakers are still dominating the headlines.  It’s going to take a deep playoff run for these guys to make a serious dent in the LA sports landscape, and maybe even to save Vinny Del Negro’s job.

The Dodgers are sinking like the titanic, and now they are out of starting pitching.  Chad Billingsley will likely need season ending surgery, which only makes Zach Greinke look like that much more of an idiot for intentionally hitting Carlos Quentin.   Meanwhile, the Angels finally remembered how to hit, but when you’re $240 million first baseman claims “I’m dying” from a foot injury, you have to be pretty concerned.

The Ducks have just about wrapped up the Pacific Division title, but I still have my doubts about this team style being effective in the playoffs.  The Stanley Cup playoffs are about grittiness and toughness, which the Ducks don’t have.  As for the Kings, last night’s win makes me think they have another gear they can take their level of play to.


Monday Morning Coffee

Blake Jumper

April 15th, 2013

Dwight Howard is angry.  He was in a-hole mode last night in his post game interview with Mike Trudell, providing short and curt responses to all his questions.  It’s obvious that Dwight is annoyed   everyone is counting the Lakers out without Kobe, and acting like he and the rest of his teammates are a bunch of scrubs.  Heck, as long as Steve Blake keeps playing like Reggie Miller, the Lakers should win a championship this year.

The USA Today is reporting that two people close to Howard say they now expect him to re-sign with the Lakers this summer.  Those two people also spoke “on the condition of anonymity” out of respect for the fact Howard has been known to change his mind more frequently than a teenage girl.

Thank god the Astros moved to the AL West or else the Angels might still be looking for their first win at home this season.  Who the hell does Ted Lilly think he is? The dude is taking a beating in the minor leagues, and now he’s demanding to be on the Dodgers major league roster or be released.  Hey Ted, unless you can play 3rd base and hit some home runs, which we know you can’t, just keep your mouth shut and enjoy your $12 million salary.

It’s probably a good thing Tiger Woods didn’t win the Masters this weekend.  A victory would have been looked at with an “asterisk”  in the eyes of most people.  Adam Scott was phenomenal, but the most entertaining part of the weekend was all the cheater jokes that Tiger’s penalty created.  Lindsay Vonn’s ex-husband Thomas tweeted the following:

No problem Masters tournament happy to call in and help. You always have to keep an eye on those cheaters 😉


The Devastation Sets In

Kobe head in hands after injury


April 13th, 2013

What a nightmare.  A Laker season filled with disaster after disaster took one final plunge on Friday night at Staples Center.  Kobe Bryant tore his achilles tendon in the 4th quarter against Golden State, ending his season, jeopardizing his career, and placing a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the franchise.

At times, Kobe appears to be more of a super-hero than an actual basketball player.  This year, and for many years, he has played through numerous injuries that would sideline most players.  His ferocious competitiveness allowed him to fight through the injuries, and play at an elite level, even after 17 years in the NBA.  He refuses to let the Lakers miss the playoffs.  However, Friday night, his body could no longer carry the weight of the franchise, as he crumbled to the floor.

How did we get here after what we thought would be a promising season back in early October?  Well we can thank Jim Buss for all that.  We can thank him for making things personal by hiring Mike D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson.  Why else would you choose a coach with 0 championships, instead of a coach with 11 championships who will soon be your brother-in-law?

Phil would have easily had this squad as a top 4 team in the West, maximizing their potential at this point in the season.  More importantly, he would have never allowed Kobe to play over 40 minutes a game at this point in his career.  The last year Phil coached Kobe, he only averaged 33 minutes a game, keeping him energized throughout the season.

Instead, the Lakers were stuck with Mike D’Antoni, who spent months perfecting the art of trying to squeeze the old square peg in the round hole.  The Lakers are big team, yet D’Antoni was trying to get them to play like a small team.  The Lakers needed to play like a slower team to be successful, yet D’Antoni only knew how to coach a fast team.  Over the last two months, the team’s improvement could mostly be attributed to the players taking it upon themselves to change their style of play, while D’Antoni was simply left to be a manager of game minutes.  Of course he couldn’t even do that, and mis-managed Kobe’s minutes to the point of disastrous consequences.

The D’Antoni mistake has not only cost the Lakers this season, but jeopardized what’s left of the Kobe Bryant era.  I’m sure Kobe will work himself to exhaustion to come back next season.  However, it’s no longer about his will.  It’s about what his body will allow.  An achilles tear can take anywhere from 6-12 months to recover from, and even then, we won’t know if Kobe will ever be Kobe again.  Remember, Kobe has said he would never allow himself to be a player that only averages 18-20 points per game, and would walk away from the game before that happened.

Of course this puts the Lakers in a difficult position of deciding what to do with Kobe, who is still owed $30 million next year, the final year of his contract.  What if Kobe is simply unable to play for much of next year?  Are the Lakers really going to keep him for $30 million?  They could use their amnesty provision on him to allow them to spend the money elsewhere, and save $85 million in luxury taxes, but would they really let go of the face of the franchise?  General Manager Mitch Kupchak says “that’s the furthest thing from our minds”, however, that stance could change depending on how the recovery goes.

As sports fan, we all love to watch greatness.  Unfortunately, that greatness doesn’t last forever.  Sometimes it’s there for more than a decade, and sometimes it’s there for only a short period of time.  In the case of Kobe, he’s been great for 17 years, which is easy to take for granted, especially for those of us that live in LA.  However, it takes a moment like Friday night to realize that the greatness you are witnessing can be gone in the blink of an eye, so enjoy the ride while it lasts.









Monday Morning Coffee

Howard Blocked By Barnes

April 8th, 2013

Sorry Laker fans….the playoffs aren’t happening.  If the Jazz go 3-1 over their final 4 games, the Lakers have to go 5-0.  This team hasn’t won on the 2nd night of a back-to-back all season long, and we know it almost never happens in Portland.  Good thing I just sent the Lakers a fat check for playoff tickets I’m not going to get.

As for the Clippers, don’t fool yourself into thinking all is well with this team.  Since their 17 game win streak earlier this season, they have struggled against the elite teams in the Western Conference.  Does anybody really think they can beat Denver, OKC, or San Antonio in a playoff series?  I sure don’t.

We’re only one week into the baseball season, but there’s already some big concerns about our local squads.  The Halos are off to an ugly 2-4 start, which is a disturbing resemblance to what we saw one year ago from them.  The offense has had some ups and downs, and now the teams only reliable starting pitcher is banged up.    Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been getting great pitching, but for $230 million you would hope the team could drive in a few more runs every night.

Great game between the Ducks and Kings last night at the Honda Center.  The Ducks prevailed 4-3 in a shootout, but this was a physical game with a playoff feel to it.  Not only does this appear to be one of the few seasons where both local teams will make the playoffs, but they both might be good enough to matchup with each other in the 2nd or 3rd round of the playoffs.

Finally, I’ve got Louisville tonight over Michigan 77-71.  An interesting drinking game to play would be to drink every time Kevin Ware is showed on TV.  Of course, you would probably be dead about 10 minutes into the game.


Kings Beef Up Blue Line With Regehr

Action Photo of Regehr

April 1st, 2013

The Kings have made a deal!  TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that the Buffalo Sabres have traded defenseman Robyn Regehr to the Kings for two of 2nd round draft picks.  According to Kings GM Dean Lombardi, the deal is pending Regehr passing a physical.

This may not have been the splashy deal that some Kings fans were hoping for, but it adds some very important depth to their depleted defensive core.  Defenseman Matt Greene is still at least a month away from returning from a back injury, and Willie Mitchell remins out indefinitely after off-season knee surgery.

The 32 year old Regehr is a very physical, stay-at-home defenseman, who should also help improve the Kings 15th ranked penalty killing unit, down from 4th best in the league last season.  Regehr is earning a $4 million salary this season, and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

Although the 2nd round draft picks seems like a hefty price to pay, this was a much needed move for the Kings.  Jake Muzzin and Keaton Ellerby’s play have been a very pleasant surprises for the Kings thus far, but it’s unrealistic to expect such a high level of play from these inexperienced players when you get into the playoffs and start seeing quality opponents over a 7 game series.

Interestingly enough, with the acquisition of Regehr, the Kings are one player over the maximum roster size of 23, which means one player will have to be sent to Manchester, or another trade would have to be made.  Given the fact the Kings will not have a 1st round pick this year (Sent to Columbus in the Jeff Carter Trade), Dean Lombardi may even look to move Alec Martinez or Davis Drewiske for a pick or two.

Although some fans were hoping the team would add more fire power up front by acquiring a Jerome Iginla or Jaromir Jagr, the Kings aren’t in desperate need of offense, and the price for those veterans was enormous.  The Kings have scored the 6th most goals in the NHL this season, much improved from last season’s 29th place finish.