The Morning Column: December 6, 2021
After 24 games this season, the Lakers are 12-12 and the Clippers are 12-12. The Clippers are without Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers are on their way to the most disappointing season in franchise history.
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1. After 24 games this season, the Lakers are 12-12 and the Clippers are 12-12. Considering the Clippers are playing without Kawhi Leonard for most (if not all) of this season, that’s about where they were projected to be. The Lakers, on other hand, look destined to surpass the 2012-13 Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace as the most disappointing team in franchise history.
At some point, we have to stop looking at the players who are out and just admit that the pieces (even when everyone is fully healthy) just don’t fit on this Lakers roster. The Clippers beat the Lakers on Friday even though the Lakers had LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony, five future hall of famers, and Malik Monk scoring 20 points off the bench.
2. While the Clippers have exceeded expectations at times this season without Leonard, they have been in a funk recently. The Clippers’ 119-115 win over the Lakers on Friday is their only win since beating the 4-18 Detroit Pistons the day after the Thanksgiving. The Clippers have lost four of their last five games, including two losses to the 10-14 Sacramento Kings and getting blown out at home, 123-104, by the 6-17 New Orleans Pelicans.
3. Remembers when pundits and fans were saying the Lakers’ two wins over the Detroit Pistons in one week could become a turning point in their season? After all, they rallied together on the road after the LeBron James-Isaiah Stewart incident and came back from a 12-point deficit and held on to beat Detroit again one week later. Well, the problem is the Pistons are 4-18 and have lost eight straight games (including those two pivotal Lakers victories) and haven’t won a game since Nov. 17. I’m not saying the Lakers won’t have a turning point this season and go on a run but it won’t come as result of rallying back to beat one of the worst teams in the league twice in one week.
4. LeBron James took to Twitter on Thursday night and commented on watching his son, Bronny, and his Sierra Canyon teammates playing with masks underneath their chins, effectively serving as nothing more than chin straps. I’m still not sure who it was directed at. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is following the guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in mandating masks indoors. Of course, that means wearing masks properly and above your nose. Anyone who wants to bring it down below their chin should either bring it up or just take it off unless they are just trying to start some new fashion trend that has nothing to do with stopping the spread of a virus.
5. The worst USC football season ever ended appropriately with the Cal Bears defeating the Trojans 24-18 late Saturday night in front of a televised audience on par with a public access call-in show, which might have actually been more entertaining than this game. USC finished the year 4-8 and it seemed like most of the players threw in the towel on this season during the second half of the second game of the season against Stanford. It was a fitting end to the Clay Helton era at USC as Lincoln Riley now looks to revive a program that hit rock bottom this season.
6. They certainly didn’t plan for this when the game was announced back in September when Clay Helton was USC’s coach and Ed Orgeron was LSU’s coach but the Vegas Classic scheduled for Labor Day weekend 2024, will now feature Lincoln Riley’s USC Trojans against Brian Kelly’s LSU Tigers at Allegiant Stadium, the new $2 billion home of the Las Vegas Raiders. The game is scheduled to be aired on ABC. USC and LSU have met twice previously with the Trojans defeating the Tigers in Baton Rouge in 1979 and LSU beating USC at the Coliseum in 1984.
7. Here are some odds if you’re thinking about placing a wager today brought to you by Circa Sports.
8. Here’s the local pro sports schedule today brought to you by Yaamava’.
4:00 p.m. Anaheim Ducks at Washington Capitals – Bally Sports West
7:00 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers – Bally Sports SoCal
7:00 p.m. Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks – Bally Sports West
9. Here are the “get in” prices for tickets locally on TickPick if you’re thinking about going to a pro sports game Tuesday.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers – $79
10. On Friday’s The Arash Markazi Show, we talked about the Lakers and Clippers facing each other at Staples Center and why ESPN pulled their game off national television.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you on Wednesday.