THE GAME: Lakers vs Clippers
Let the Lonzo Era begin.
Even though I have no idea what to expect over the next couple of years.
My guess is that he will repeatedly get destroyed on defense. Probably pushed around a lot. And at times he will look woefully out of shape.
But he's also going to make some highlight-reel plays that will lead off SportsCenter and bring a fun to Staples Center that has been missing for a long time.
At any rate, for the first time in many years, I am excited to watch the Lakers again. Once upon a time, watching their games was my single favorite thing in the world. I won't go into the main reason why that stopped, but now it's back in my life. I feel like an old friend has turned up at my doorstep with a six-pack and a pizza and said "Hey there, remember me?"
I'll have the Dodgers and Cubs on one screen, but the volume and the big TV belong to Lonzo and the Lakers tonight.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
I've long considered Jack in the Box's burgers close to the bottom of all burgers in America. In my memory they always tasted freezer-burnt and flavorless, though to be honest it has been so many years since I've had one that I can't be 100% sure of that.
But for the last couple of weeks, we - meaning those of us who watch as much sports on TV as I do, which I guess probably isn't very many people - have been bombarded with advertisements for Jack's new burgers, made with "100% ribeye."
One of the flavors is Havarti cheese with grilled onions and a red wine glaze. I was intrigued enough to take it on.
- The bun: I gotta give it to Jack. The choice of a soft potato bun is better than the brioche that I used. Point, him.
- The cheese: They both tasted the same. But I used more. Point, me.
- The onions: Ditto.
- The red wine glaze: I tried to make mine high quality, using brown sugar, balsamic, and a reduction of an Oregon Pinot. Jack just tried to make his tastier, which he did by adding a ton of sugar. That bastard. Still, point, Jack.
- The beef: While this Jack in the Box burger was much, much better than any beef I have ever had from them before, it still can't hold a candle to the USDA Prime that I used. I accidentally overcooked my patty because I was watch a key moment in the Dodgers game, but it was still 10x juicier. Point, me.
- The Winner: GameDay Eating
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- How excited am I to care about the Lakers again? I've bought not one but two Lakers t-shirts this past summer. Before that, I cannot remember the last Lakers souvenir I purchased. I guess it was some Lakers beads I got on Bourbon Street in 2004. (That night I also bought a zebra-striped umbrella and a cigarette lighter in the shape of a penis, neither of which I still own, unfortunately.)
- Chris Webber informs us that there hasn't been this much excitement for a Lakers rookie since Magic Johnson in 1979. That seems a little unfair to Mark Madsen, but whatever, we'll go with it.
- Good to see Patrick Beverley still acts like a punk. Now that Chris Paul is gone, Beverley can slide right into that "obnoxious player who has never won anything" role.
- Halfway through the first quarter, the Lakers are 1-11 from the field. Lonzo attempted two free throws and missed them both. They have six points. U-G-L-Y.
- I forgot Danilo Gallinari was on the Clippers. Remember in 2008 when the Knicks used the #6 pick on him and the crowd at Madison Square Garden almost rioted?
- Lonzo followed up his missed free throws with a missed three-pointer and a missed layup. Not a great beginning, kid.
- Finally he hits a three with five minutes left in the half.
- Followed up by his first assist with 90 seconds left - though that's not a knock on Lonzo, as the Lakers team is shooting terribly in the first half.
- Clippers by 11 at the half. Brook Lopez is easily the least enjoyable of the Lakers so far. He's 2-10 in the first half with TWO rebounds. Jesus Christ, he's 7 feet tall. Lonzo has four times as many rebounds as the Lakers center.
- The 3rd quarter has turned into an All-Star game: no defense, sloppy offense. Blake Griffin has been looking good and the Clippers have stretched their lead to 17.
- After 3 quarters, it's kind of become an ass-kicking. The Clippers are looking good, the Lakers are looking sloppy, and the lead is 24.
- Webber on the Lakers performance: "It's a pickup game playing with guys you don't know." I think that sums it up nicely. This is the first game of 82 the team will play this season - 82 exactly; there is zero chance they will be playing in the postseason in this year's ridiculously-loaded Western Conference - and I'm not sure there is any way it could be any sloppier. With 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Lakers have the same number of turnovers as assists (16).
- The Clippers win by 16 but it feels like a lot more.
- The Lakers will definitely play games where they look a lot better.
- Hopefully they won't play too many more where they look worse. Hopefully.
- It was still entertaining, and that's something I haven't said about the Lakers in 6 years.