Monthly Archives: June 2021

Monday Morning Coffee

June 28, 2021

This time the Clippers look like they are in trouble.  After an ugly game 4, the Clippers are down 3-1 in their best-of-seven series against the Suns.  That game was so ugly, if we were going by Lawler’s Law, the game might still be going on.  It’s also apparent that the crime rate in LA goes way up during Clipper playoff games because PG-13 is stealing Steve Ballmer’s money.  Ok fine….PG has had some good playoff games this season, but he’s also had numerous chances to help the Clippers take hold of this series.  Saturday night was also the 11th playoff game of his career where he shot 25% or worse.  Only Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinson have more.  I also can’t understand why Patrick Beverly and Luke Kennard can’t combine for more than a couple of baskets when making almost $30 mill combined this year.  With all that being said though, it’s still an admirable run for the Clippers, who have had their share of injuries to deal with. Steve Ballmer isn’t exactly thrilled with Playoff P though.

Meanwhile the off-season is starting off rough for the Lakers.  Alex Caruso got caught with some pot at an airport, and KCP got robbed at gun point.  Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come for the remainder of the summer.  You also shouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers make a call to the 76ers about Ben Simmons.  It makes too much sense since he’s a Klutch Client.  I doubt the Lakers have the pieces to make it happen, but I think the Sixers are going to be very disappointed when they learn that Simmons trade value is about the same as a Happy Meal from McDonald’s at this point.

This Dodgers took 3 of 4 from the Cubs over the weekend, but the season is becoming frustrating to watch.  The Giants and even the Padres don’t seem to be letting up.  However, here’s some perspective: the Dodgers are 47-31.  That still gives them the 2nd best record in the NL, and 3rd best record in baseball with 84 games left.  They’ve also done that with only 7 home runs combined from Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager.  The last week has been especially annoying after getting swept by the Padres, with the Giants continuing to pile up wins.  Still, there’s time, and lots of head-to-head games against both the Giants and Padres. They are only 3.5 games back of the Giants, and their hated rivals are coming to town next.  There’s also no glaring trade deadline need.  They just need to play better and they have the pieces to do that.   I’m usually the one bitching about the Dodgers, but I’m in rare form being positive.  I’m even optimistic that Andrew Friedman’s computer will get a nice software refresh for the 2nd half of the season, so you won’t have to keep bitching about Dave Robert’s decision making.

As for the Angels, so much for thinking they were turning things around. Despite salvaging a win yesterday,  they got thrashed by the Giants and Rays last week, reminding us that they just can’t hang with good teams with or without Mike Trout.  Speaking of those Giants, It’s pretty incredible that a team like that and the Red Sox can go from trash to elite in 1 year, yet the Angels stay consistently trash every single season.  It would be also be nice if Angels media actually asked questions and tried to get answers on questionable moves by the team. I’d like to learn actual insight about some decision making in the organization, not what song Joe Maddon listened to on the ride to the stadium.  This type of media coddling would never happen in the Laker or Dodger locker rooms.

Finally, The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight. Last week’s episode had it all: gossip, drama, betrayal, unionization, group therapy, and discussions about consent. The faces that Justin makes are priceless. It’s like he’s experiencing his own personal episode of “The Office”. This episode was also a reminder that Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore, which is upsetting considering most of us were told it was in school. I could tell Karl was going to be annoying just by his face and the fact his name is Karl. I think Thomas is a good guy, but dudes in the house are just salty. At this point I think Greg is either going to win, or be the next Bachelor. Nick Viall showing up was actually pretty funny. If I were the bachelor or the bachelorette, the first people I would eliminate are anybody with duplicate names. I’m not going to sit there for 13 episodes calling somebody “Mark C”. I never really thought Nick Viall’s run on the The Bachelor franchise would would outlast Chris Harrison’s. Also, since when is Nick a licensed therapist? Also, Katie what’s with the suit jacket you showed up with at dinner? Looking forward to next week’s episode.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 21, 2021

It took 43 years, but the Clippers are finally here: The Western Conference Finals. It doesn’t matter that they lost game 1 to the Suns. Let’s be honest, the Clips have been the punching bag of Jock Talk LA for almost a decade, and the red-headed step child of LA Sports Franchises for four decades. However, no matter what happens against the Suns, they deserve every bit of credit for what they’ve accomplished. It’s safe to say they “Mann-ed” up! Sorry that was too easy. However, the team could have packed it in and booked their flights to Cancun after Kawhi got hurt. Instead, Paul George actually played like the elite player he’s capable of being, while Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson turned into Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Also, for those of you that think Ty Lue is just some ex-player that ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy a clipboard and a whistle when Lebron and Kawhi picked him to be their coach, think again. Lue has out-coached both Rick Carlisle and Quin Snyder with his small ball lineups, and made brilliant adjustments after trailing 0-2 in both series. Without Kawhi, they are playing with house money against the Suns. Nobody expects them to win, but don’t be surprised if they do. They hung in yesterday, but Devin Booker was just too much. Still, they are starting to believe in themselves, and frankly, it would almost be weird if they didn’t start this series down 0-2!

Ty Lue made a very “matter of fact” comment regarding the Lakers after the Clippers advanced to the Conference Finals. Lue said “I always look at it differently. I know the Lakers are out and there’s a lot of Laker fans here. But once the Lakers are gone, if we’re not playing the Lakers, you should be cheering for the Clippers because it’s all in one city.” This is not an unreasonable take at all. The problem is, the most die hard NBA fans, including Laker, fans aren’t always reasonable people. NBA fans often cheer for outcomes dictated by their experience with opposing fans they know. So there’s plenty of Laker fans out there that get peeved when their Clipper fan neighbor says “I think this is the Clippers year”. They take it personally, and just want the Clippers to lose. Not because they hate the Clippers, but because they just want to stick it to their neighbor. The is a very common and bizarre NBA fan occurrence. In reality though, it’s inspirational stories like the Clippers overcoming adversity that actually make people want to watch sports.

Elsewhere around the NBA Playoffs, Lebron is going to have a lot of fun with KD, Kyrie, and Harden when he sees them this week in Cancun. The Nets super team was super injured, but props to the Bucks for taking advantage of it and coming up big on the road in game 7. Giannis approaches every free throw stressing like his life is on the line, but nevertheless, he still made some big plays to get the Bucks to the Conference Finals. Ben Simmons disappeared like Emilia Earhar, and Joel Embiid had more turnovers than Betty Crocker, and the Sixers were sent packing, while the Hawks are headed to the East Finals. Also, Dick Vitale needs one of his grand kids to teach him how to use acronyms on Social Media. Either that or he’s been spending too much time on Porn Hub.

To baseball, where we are just a few weeks away from the All-Star break and the Dodgers are playing well. The problem is they are still chasing the Giants for 1st place in the NL West. Other than the “new Dodger Dogs”, this team has no glaring weakness that needs to be addressed at the trade deadline. Sure they could use a bullpen arm here or there, but who couldn’t? They just need to get healthy, and need the Giants to come back to earth, and something tells me they are playing way over their heads and overachieving. All of the solutions to the Dodgers problem are internal. Better approaches at the plate, better situational hitting, and a clean bill of health are what this team needs to repeat. Remember when we thought Kenley Jansen was done? Funny, I don’t hear anybody screaming from the mountain top anymore that he needs to be sent packing. He’s looked like the Kenley of old. They’ve got some big games coming up against the Padres, Cubs, and Giants, so hopefully they take these games just as serious as if it were a pivotal game in September. They count just as much in the standings.

As for the Angels, just when you think they are playing a little bit better and might do something, reality hits that they aren’t going anywhere in the standings. Heading into Sunday, the Halos had won 7 of their last 10, but were still 7.5 games back of 1st place Oakland in the AL West. They are also 6 games back of the Wild Card, and they’d need to climb over 4 teams to get there. I get it’s only June, but this is one of the softest parts of the schedule, the Halos are now .500, but can’t even make up any ground in the standings. The most exciting thing this team has to celebrate is Shohei Ohtani participating in the Home Run Derby. Then again they might not be celebrating come September when he goes in a massive slump like many Derby participants usually do. I also love how Taylor Ward has become a useful player, and suddenly people think the Angels know how to scout. You can’t scout if you don’t have scouts. They would uncover a lot more useful players if Arte Moreno spent some money on player development.

So let me get this straight……Sofi Stadium is now the host of another College Football Glorified consolation game, as I like to call them? It will feature the fifth place finisher in the Pac-12, against the first place finisher in the Mountain West. In this instance, Jimmy Kimmel is putting his name on the game, in what will be a called “The Jimmy Kimmel Bowl”. Well as long as UCLA keeps Chip Kelly as their head coach, they might as well call it “The Jimmy Kimmel UCLA Bowl”.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight for episode 3 of this season, and last week was filled with drama. On one hand, it was probably very premature to send Cody packing, but on the other hand, Katie saved us from having to deal with two weeks of nonsense drama. Plus, now Cody can go focus on being famous in the zipper sales industry. Katie is really going to miss out on free zippers for life though. I admire Karl and his resilient approach to creating drama, and even giving Katie a tutorial on how to be The Bachelorette. That guy actually gets paid to speak for a living? I would pay just to have him not speak. I love how John was just grinning while getting absolutely demolished in the mud pit. Katie feels like she might pull a Clare and just go home with Greg right now. What exactly are “the right reasons” to be a contestant on The Bachelorette? I wonder if Chris Harrison is actually watching this season. The man is still missed by everyone on every episode. Katie hasn’t done anything wildly unpopular yet, so looking forward to seeing what’s in store next.

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.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 7th, 2021

Don’t over think it people. The Lakers best players weren’t healthy enough for them to defend their title. It’s as simple as that. Anthony Davis had been falling apart all season long, and Lebron James couldn’t dominate like he usually does because of his ankle. It’s not about father time catching up with Lebron. It’s also not even about Anthony Davis being too injury prone. It’s about having the shortest off-season in NBA history, and not enough time to recover. Sure the Lakers could use more shooting. Sure they could use another shot creator. Sure Anthony Davis could work on his body. However, don’t lose sight of what this was about: lack of health and lack of time to recover. In the meantime, between now and the start of the season, Laker fans can fantasize about trading a couple of bags of chips, some expired cans of soda, and hand sanitizer for Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal. I’m sure there will be changes, but don’t expect anything of that magnitude this off-season. That’s perfectly fine because this team should still contend.

The Clippers were not going to let it happen. No way were the Clippers going to let themselves lose game 7, and then be subjected to all-time levels of slander on Monday Morning Coffee. The Mavericks gave the Clippers a hell of a series. However at some point the home team was due to win, and it makes perfect sense that it was going to happen in game 7, when 80% of home teams win. Props to Kawhi and even Paul George for stepping up when they needed to. Also props to Tim Hardaway Jr, who’s beard and jump shot were both immaculate in this series. If Luka Doncic just gets a little bit more help, the Mavs can win an NBA Championship. It would help if Kristaps Porzingas weren’t a more expensive 7’3 Kyle Kuzma. As for the Clippers though, they survived, but they are going to have to come up even bigger against a tough Utah Jazz team if they plan on making it to their first conference final in franchise history.

The Dodgers had a tough time with the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. The Boys in Blue might be one of the better teams in the NL right now, but they have two big problems that won’t go away: the Giants and the Padres. I realize there is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but given the Dodger injuries and their inconsistencies at the plate, there is a very realistic scenario where the Dodgers are in a one-game playoff on the road against the Giants or Padres. If I earned a dollar for every time Albert Pujols hit a meaningless home run after the 7th inning, I feel like I would be as rich as Pujols right now. This is exactly why the Dodgers offense is so deceiving. They lead the league in runs per game, but their situation hitting is keeping them out of 1st place in the NL. Up next is a 3-game set at the Pirates, where they’ll try to get back in the win column.

The Angels had a so-so series against the Mariners over the weekend, splitting a four-game set. It’s now or never for this team. They began last week with a stretch of 17 games against teams that are a combined 17 games under .500. The Angels began yesterday 7 games back of 1st place in the AL West. There’s some signs of life with their pitching and bullpen. However, now Anthony Rendon looks like the new Albert Pujols. He’s got as bad of a contract as Albert did, and now he’s hitting exactly like Albert. With Rendon slumping and Mike Trout out of the lineup, even against in a stretch of weaker opponents there is no margin for error. If the Angels don’t make up ground before the end of the month, they might as well start booking their ski trips for the winter.

Who really paid $50 for that Floyd Mayweather v Logan Paul fight last night? I streamed it illegally and I still want my money back. Who knew that there was a difference between Logan Paul and Jake Paul? We saw what happened the last time Floyd fought a non-boxer in Conor McGregor, yet many of you took the bait anyway. Paul was ready to go back to making YouTube videos after the 1st round. Of course that fight ended in “a draw”. Floyd could have ended it anytime. I’ve seen him exert more effort walking around his club on a Sunday night. Somebody please bring heavyweight boxing back to life because we desperately need it instead of these gimmicks!

Finally, are you ready to watch a live train wreck on TV? That’s right folks. A new season of The Bachelorette premieres tonight on ABC. The Bachelorette will be Katie Thurston, who was a big fan favorite that got eliminated early in the last season of The Bachelor. That season ended up being a lost cause for The Bachelor himself. I’m sure like every season, we’ll go into it with high hopes, end up criticizing The Bachelorette once we find out she’s far more flawed than we anticipated. Then we’ll be completely unsatisfied with the ending. We’ll then vow that we’ll never watch it again. Of course we’ll be back to watch the next season after that. Rinse and repeat right? Not sure how we just keep getting sucked in.