Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 2nd

EDITORS NOTE:  The Lakers section of today's entry ran way too long so I moved most of the Lakers comments into the "comments" section.  The abridged Lakers comments follow, along with my other thoughts.

The Lakers are a continual work in progress, but this has been a dismal production from the start.  Pieces that don't fit together.  Personalities that don't mesh.  A coaching philosophy that presents the complete opposite of the roster's strengths.

Expectations for this team were simply unrealistic.  I don't think Howard is fitting in so well at Center either.    He came from a system in Orlando that also feasted on three point shooting.  It works if you have shooters to get you there, but the Lakers aren't close.  I'm not even wasting my time talking about how the 76ers backcourt burned the Lakers all night long.   Perimeter defense sucks and only a boob like Jim Buss could fail to see a need to upgrade that with faster, better defenders.  I fully blame Busstie here because moves like D'antoni, Nash, and Howard all seem to have his fingerprint.  Kupchak strikes me as a guy who would prefer to go after defensive players and feisty contributors, even guys like Matt Barnes who now plays for the Clips.

The bottom line here:  the Lakers just aren't that good!

Onward...

I never got that porterhouse steak, but I did get some great tri tip and roast beef, home made from my uncle.  That was some great food, he's the best with the red meat folks!

I was on a mission to get a free holiday latte and I only had until January 2nd, or today, to do so.  (ok it's "today" on the East Coast as I write this but bear with me).   I was going to Starbucks nearly every day to get the five required Holiday Lattes that earned me a free one.  It was a good experience most of those time except the bogus trip to the Starbucks inside a Vons where the (rare) lady with an attitude claimed only the stand-alone Starbucks' honored the latte rewards program.

This is, by the way, completely bogus because both the Albertsons in the area and the nearby Target store both had Starbucks outlets that honored the latte program.   The Vons lady was full of it and she did not get any service from me.  All I did was ask for a plain coffee.  I shouldn't have even done that much but it was the holidays so I elected to go the generous route.  Finally, after several trips to the available Starbucks locations throughout the week, I earned my free Gingerbread Latte today.  It was a victory drink to be sure!

That whole adventure cost me over 25 bones, but I have to say, I had a good time with it!

It's time to get some more Keurig K-Cups.   Amazon to the rescue.

Major props to College Football for a phenomenal day of bowl games.   I've often been disappointed by New Years Day football but today several bowls delivered:  The Capital One Bowl, at least for a few quarters, was fun to watch.  The Outback Bowl was fantastic.  The Rose Bowl was pretty good too.  All in all a great day!   I can bet the other remaining bowls combined won't equal the excitement of today's bowl games.  If you factor in the stellar ending to the Chick Fil A Bowl on New Year's Eve, there is *no* way any bowl game this week comes close to that excitement.

On paper, the Cotton Bowl looks really exciting but color me unconvinced.  However, I still think Johnny Football and A&M should win it.   

A seventeen game win streak finally ended for the LA Clippers.  Tremendous run by all, and I learned a lot about the team all the while.  Two things that I thought were interesting about the Clippers:  in most of those games they were not challenged a whole lot and they won many of them by double digits.   I'm not sure if that is going to help them for the playoffs but the W's are big time.  I just get the feeling the other shoe is going to drop with the Clips, and it's only a matter of time before they fall back into the 4th or 5th seed.  Nonetheless, what a month for LAC.

The Clippers were great at sharing the basketball and were red-hot from three point land.   That's what got them going but that's also the formula that could lead to major problems in the playoffs.  IN the 'offs, games slow down and defenders are hounding every shooter.  3 point shooting is simply not going to be that great for any team and if LAC gets too trigger happy it could be a short playoff year for Lob City.  I'm still not impressed with the Clippers' defense.

Drat... work today.  Ah well, I do like it here.  My job is pretty good and I hope it stays that way.

Why do I feel like Kansas State will beat Oregon tomorrow?    I've felt like this for a month.   Oregon has yet to show up in a big BCS game IMHO.  I forget whether they won one recently.

I *will* have that porterhouse sometime soon but first I must get back in shape, swimming wise.  I got some new gear for the upcoming swim season.    I kinda feel like going to all the swim meets this year but that would be outrageous!   To travel to every swim meet in California like the Harlem Globetrotters?  That's way too expensive, but it was fun to think about.

That's all I have... great to start the new year with you all.  Hope you don't mind  the lengthiness of this week's edition.

Um... "The Hobbit" was really good by the way, go see that movie!  You won't even believe it's just "Part One."


1 comment:

Dave Medina said...

Here is the *full* version of the Lakers comments from today's post, which are now presented here: The Lakers are a continual work in progress, but this has been a dismal production from the start. Pieces that don't fit together. Personalities that don't mesh. A coaching philosophy that presents the complete opposite of the roster's strengths.

What, specifically, are the issues? I think the problem is, D'antoni is trying to force a quick paced, 3 point oriented offense on a team that hasn't had good 3 point shooting in years. Either the front office is going to need to give up what has been a good front court for some perimeter shooting via trade, or D'antoni is going to need to make a concession and try to institute an inside-outside game.

It's entirely possible for a coach to completely change his identity. Did anyone fashion Pat Riley as a tough, grind it out kind of coach in the mid-80's when the Lakers were running Showtime in Basketball Stadiums everywhere? (Not playing at a courtside near you!) Now the question is, will D'antoni be willing and keen enough to adapt to a new style of basketball?

Next up, people are trying to set up a style without the talent. Who would be able to make a cake without flour? I've tried them... I think they're called "flourless cakes." Nothing against the anti-gluten crowd but those flourless cake are abysmal. It has no volume at all, and doesn't even taste that good. I thought maybe it'd have the density of a brownie but the thing just seems to be lacking in all sorts of flavor.

Put another way, the Lakers are attempting a pick and pop offense without the reliable outside shooters that can bring it to them. Even Pau Gasol has been hit and miss with his shooting range lately. D'antoni's system is so warped he has him AND Metta World Peace forcing 3 point shots. It's only recently that the Lakers have won a few games in a row and that occurred when both guys were burying the outside shot.

Frankly, neither of those guys are going to get that kind of performance for more than 2-3 games at a time every four weeks. Frankly, the Lakers look shot unless there's a monster trade deadline in effect.

Expectations for this team were simply unrealistic. I don't think Howard is fitting in so well at Center either. He came from a system in Orlando that also feasted on three point shooting. It works if you have shooters to get you there, but the Lakers aren't close. I'm not even wasting my time talking about how the 76ers backcourt burned the Lakers all night long. Perimeter defense sucks and only a boob like Jim Buss could fail to see a need to upgrade that with faster, better defenders. I fully blame Busstie here because moves like D'antoni, Nash, and Howard all seem to have his fingerprint. Kupchak strikes me as a guy who would prefer to go after defensive players and feisty contributors, even guys like Matt Barnes who now plays for the Clips.

The bottom line here: the Lakers just aren't that good!