THE GAME: Lakers vs Celtics
A few years back, the Celtics looked at their roster, saw they weren't close to competing, and traded their assets for draft picks to build for the future.
A few years back, the Lakers looked at their roster, saw they weren't close to competing, and signed a 35-year-old ball hog (who couldn't stay healthy and played almost no defense) to the largest annual contract in the league and then let their two All-Star 7-footers walk away with nothing to show for it.
That's why today the Celtics have the best record in the NBA and a slew of draft picks over the next few years.
And it's why the Lakers, on the same day, are .500, praying that their young players develop and that they can sign a big free agent next summer, and don't have their first round draft pick next season, no matter where they finish.
It's the NBA, so there are no guarantees, and the Lakers always seem to land on their feet - the Celtics have won 1 championship in the last 32 years; the Lakers have won 7 in that time - but they sure as hell made things a lot harder on themselves than they needed to.
Still, it's the Lakers and Celtics, so I wanted to watch for a bit.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
I ate at Whataburger in Texas and liked it so much that I ate at one again a few days later in Florida. (And liked it just as much.)
So I still look at their website from time to time. A couple of weeks ago I noticed they were featuring a "chorizo burger." That sounded great but didn't look as good: it contains two patties with a little bit of chorizo smashed in-between. What the hell? That's not a chorizo burger. (Although I bet it tastes good.)
So I decided to make my own version.
I believe I have mentioned before that my local butcher shop makes my favorite chorizo. It's not really a secret to their process: they grind high-quality sausage devoid of giant chunks of fat, and they don't overload their seasoning blend with salt. (Salt is much cheaper than paprika, chili powder, cumin, etc,. so some places use mostly salt and skimp on the other spices when making chorizo .)
I bought a half-pound of their chorizo, and set it out with some other ingredients: grilled bell pepper and onion, pepperjack cheese, pickled jalapenos, and a homemade sauce (basically a clone recipe of Carl's Jr.'s "Santa Fe sauce," perhaps the only thing from Carl's that I have ever really liked)`.
- I grilled the onion and bell pepper in a pan for about ten minutes. Orange bell peppers don't taste any different, but they look cool.
- The chorizo patty cooked for about ten minutes as well. There's plenty of fat in it, so it's hard to overcook chorizo (and even if you do, it's still delicious, thanks to all the spices). But if you undercook it, it won't taste as good.
- The last two minutes of cooking, I melted a slice of the pepperjack on top.
- And I spread a large amount - much more than I probably needed - of the Santa Fe sauce on a potato bun.
- The onions and peppers went on top of the patty, followed by half-dozen of the jalapeños.
- I roasted some fries in the oven - I wasn't in a mood to use the deep fryer - and dusted them with the same spice blend I had used to make the Santa Fe sauce.
- This was one of the top 10 burgers I have ever made.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- This is the first of three games in four nights on the road for the Lakers - Washington tomorrow and Milwaukee Saturday. I would be surprised if they win any of them.
- Lonzo Ball gets booed loudly on the first possession, presumably for saying he only wanted to play for the Lakers. Or maybe because his dad is a jackass. You never know.
- Andrew Bogut enters the game and gets called for two offensive fouls in less than 30 seconds. How many times has a first-overall pick played on five teams in a six-season span? I'm guessing not a lot.
- The Lakers end the 1st Quarter with 16 points and 10 turnovers. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that if they end the game with 64 points and 40 turnovers, they will not have won.
- Hell, I'm gonna guarantee that if they don't play better in the 2nd Quarter, I won't be watching.
- That must have scared them. The team scored 36 points in the 2nd Quarter and committed only two turnovers.
- Halfway through the 3rd Quarter, the Lakers have cut the deficit to two. I will say this about this Lakers team: they don't get blown out by anyone and they never give up.
- I hate the way nobody follows their shot anymore in the NBA. They shoot and more often than not stand there with their hand in the air. Then they watch the shot miss and the opposing team get the easy rebound.
- I also hate how nobody boxes out. Marcus Smart just took a rebound away from FOUR Lakers because they just stood there expecting it to land in their hands.
- I guess this is just what the NBA is now - players don't give a fuck about fundamentals, and the coaches don't care either. That makes me the old man yelling about how much better the game was back in my day. Oh well.
- The Lakers cut it to a three-point game, but then Kyrie Irving came back into the game and the Lakers had no answer for him.
- They just couldn't overcome that atrocious 1st Quarter that put them in a 21-point hole.
- If the Lakers ever learn to be aggressive on the boards, they could be a really fun team to watch.
- Lonzo ended the game with 1 steal. Same as his brother.
- I know that was an obvious joke, but I couldn't resist.