On the surface, it may seem like the L.A. sports scene has had a tough time after the Sparks and Dodgers fell one game short of winning championships. But if you take a look at the Rams, Kings and Lakers, L.A. is actually doing pretty well.
Brian and Andy Kamenetzky join Take Two's A Martinez to talk about the local teams to watch with pride this season.
The Rams: Last season they averaged 14 points a game, the worst in the NFL. Now, they're the highest scoring team at 33.
Their quarterback, Jared Goff, is the same and their star running back, Todd Gurley, is the same, but a lot else is different. The offensive line which was horrific last season has been completely revamped. It’s anchored by new all pro left tackle, Andrew Whitworth. They upgraded their receiving options around Jared Goff who’s also taken a step forward in his own growth. And most importantly, new head coach Sean McVay, who is 31 years old and the youngest coach in the NFL. He is a far more creative, innovative, and frankly, fun offensive mind than Jeff Fisher was last season. This in particular marked a comeback for Todd Gurley, their star running back who is coming off a down season. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm that’s been infectious. And culturally the Rams are in a significantly different place whether you’re talking about as an organization or just overall atmosphere than last season. And culture matters a lot in sports.
The Kings: They’ve won two Stanley Cups in recent seasons but they’ve actually missed the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. And in the other, they were bounced in the first round.
To hear the full interview with Brian and Andy Kamenetzky, click on the media player above.
This year, they’re eleven (wins), two (losses) and two (overtime losses). They’re leading the Pacific Division. And the story lines around it are great. Anze Kopitar, their outstanding center, is fifth in the league in scoring which is always great to see. Jonathan Quick, who was the Olympic caliber goal tender, played for Team U.S.A. and helped win the Kings their Stanley Cups. He’s currently second in the NHL save percentage. But I think Kings fans are particularly excited about longtime right winger Dustin Brown. This is his fourteenth season with the team. He has only played for the Kings. He’s long been their heart and soul, but Brown’s performance on the ice has diminished a little bit over the last few years This season, though, he’s on pace to produce his best year since the Kings won the Cup in 2012. It’s not just that they’re winning. It’s that guys like Dustin Brown and Kopitar, and then younger players like Tyler Toffoli, are playing well and could bring the cup, certainly the playoffs, back to the Staples Center.