bustin on h-ween
Bustin' makes me feel good.

Let me apologize up front for not going all-out for the first Worst of the Weekend of the season. I was busy Halloweening to the extreme. Seriously, my Halloween weekend was like the Mountain Dew commercial of Halloween weekends. In fact, this post is being typed by the handful of bloody chunks that were left of me after the weekend.

To compensate for the lack of WotWknd, I've posted a picture of me and Basketbawful co-founder Statbuster. (I'm sorry I couldn't find a pic of us in our Halloween costumes.) And shortly, I'll be posting Dan B.'s epic review of NBA 2K10. But, for the heck of it, here are a few thoughts about the weekend.

1. Trouble in paradise? On Friday night, the Cavaliers broke out of their season-opening slump by smacking around the lowly Timberwolves. However, the team didn't seem to gel until the third quarter when Shaq was exiled to the bench after picking up his fourth foul. Said LeBron: "We kind of know how to feel off each other and go off each other. When Big Fella got into some foul trouble, that cohesiveness that we’ve had in the past regained itself."

Make of that what you will.

2. The Knicks still suck: I said it last season and I'll say it again...for all the blame Isiah has taken for ruining the Knicks, they don't seem that much better without him.

3. Things that make you go hmmmmm: During the offseason, the Lakers essentially swapped a roleplayer (Trevor Ariza) for a former All-Star (Ron Artest). Currently, one of them is averaging the following line: 23.5 PPG, 50% FGP, 52% 3P%, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG. The other is averaging the following line: 8.3 PPG, 32% FGP, 23% 3P%, 5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.0 SPG. Think that second line belongs to Ariza? Think again. To sum up: the Lakers ditched an efficient roleplayer who could spackle in any hole for an inefficient alpha dog wanna be who needs a lot of touches to light it up. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Although, of course, Ron-Ron can still turn up some defensive pressure from time to time.

4. The Bat-Manu: This has been covered pretty much everywhere, but Manu Ginobili's smackdown of a live bat during a live game on Halloween night ranks up there with Wilt's 100-point game, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' 72-win season and Shaq's "number of former coaches/teams/teamates thrown under the bus" as pro basketball's never-again-to-be-seen accomplishments.


Said Ginobili: "When you can't dunk anymore, you have to find a way to make it into the news. So that's what I did. I grabbed a bat. I didn’t think it was a big deal."

Added Spurs coach Greg Popovich: "He never ceases to amaze me and he just did it again. The legend grows. It's incredible on Halloween night. You would call someone a liar if they told you that story."

injury report


5. Possible sign of the apocalypse: Zach Randolph dished out seven assists last night. Seven! WHO IS THIS MAN AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH ZACH RANDOLPH? Fortunately, Allen Iverson is expected to make his Grizzlies debut tonight, so I expect order will soon be restored to the universe. (EDIT: And our very own Chris will be attending the festivities, with "practice" well on his mind!!!)

UPDATE! Chris's lacktion report:

Failtacular Friday

Knicks-Bobcats: Toney Douglas bricked once and fouled once as well for a +2 suck differential in 2:26 for New York. While Charlotte's Nazr Mohammed blocked one shot to avoid a suck differential of his own, his 3:14 stint of a giveaway and a brick led to a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Wizards-Hawks: Dominic McGuire becomes our first two-time lacktator of the year, racking up another +2 (via missed shot and foul) in 2:41. Dishonorable mention goes out to his teammate Nick Young, whose singular board marred an eight-brick appearance.

Raptors-Grizzlies: Amir Johnson has merely returned to form, with a +2 via fouls in 2:07 to put him back in his usual spot within the fine print of the sporting section.

Heat-Pacers: Yakhouba Diawara makes his 2009 lacktion debut with a all-fouls +2 in 5:36, the longest stint of non-contribution in the young season so far. On the other half of the court, Indiana's AJ Price clearly has the right last name to celebrate his 1.3 trillion take tonight!

Kings-Hornets: Sergio Rodriguez may have taken down a rebound for the purple paupers, but a mere 14 seconds of court time is all that's needed to reboot a dusty NES console for a Mario.

Bulls-Celtics: With Brian Scalabrine out, Doc Rivers called on JR Giddens to be tonight's human victory cigar, and he gave up the rock once for a +1 in 3:58. Conversely, Lindsey Hunter let Vinny Del Negro down by making one assist after a stellar statline of two fouls, one turnover, and two unsuccessful tosses from downtown.

Magic-Nets: Anthony Johnson had his nightly stretching session on WiiFit, a non-intense 30 second Mario that no doubt burned fewer calories than any cheering he might have done on the pine all game long.

Crabs-Wolves: Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson finally gets a shot at living up to his moniker and providing LeBron and Shaq with a reliable human victory cigar. He pinched out two bricks and a giveaway for a +3 in 1:46.

Thunder-Pistons: Detroit rookie Austin Daye fouled once for a +1 in 1:12.

Clippers-Jazz: Wesley Matthews makes his second visit to the lacktion report for Jerry Sloan's squad, bringing home the bacon with a 2.3 trillion!

Warriors-Suns: Phoenix's Jarron Collins narrowly avoided non-contribution with a board, only to accrue a foul and giveaway for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 1:32. His teammate Alando Tucker was much more successful with his negatory ventures, tossing one brick for a +1 in 2:53.

Mavs-Lakers: With the game pretty much decided before the final frame, the sanitation crews were hard at work cleaning up with sloppy play, resulting in two non-notables from each squad accruing a +1 suck differential. Mark Cuban's finest Havanas were well-lit tonight, as rookie Rodrigue Beaubois bricked once in 2:49, while the headbanded Matt Carroll (whose head attire received guffaws from the NBA on ESPN crew) took 11 fewer seconds to achieve the same demerit from Broadway.

For Phil Jackson's team, putting on a feature more worthy of public access rather than Showtime, DJ Mbenga fouled once for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 3:11, while former 3rd overall pick Adam Morrison heaved some masonry in a stint 7 seconds shorter.

Scary Saturday!
Nets-Wizards:
New Jersey's Bobby Simmons put in 4:31 of tanktopped aerobics today, bricking once for a +1 suck differential. But the real story is the early star of lacktion this season, Dominic McGuire, who laid down a 3.4 trillion that will no doubt be measured against the size of Agent Zero's contract!

Bobcats-Crabs: With Cleveland crawling back up to .500, the game ended up being out of reach by the end of the 3rd - turning the match into a Powerball payout! For Michael Jordan's pet project of pain, DeSagana Diop cashed out at 1.25 trillion and Derrick Brown received a check for 1.55 trillion. Mike Brown's set-it-and-forget-it crustacean bake offerred up Jamario Moon's +1 via brick in 1:37, Jawad Williams's 1.55 trillion, and Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson's own reimbursement of 1.25 trillion.

Pistons-Bucks: Former 1st overall pick Kwame Brown did make four rebounds and one steal in 12:39, only to foul four times and give up the rock thricely for a 7:4 Voskuhl. Meanwhile, Milwaukee's Roko Ukic switched on his Game Boy briefly for a 12 second Mario!!!!!!

Mavs-Clippers: In his second straight night of lacktion, Matt Carroll invested in two fouls for a +2 in 5:47, while Dunleavy's doofuses DeAndre Jordan and Steve Novak showed up on the ledger with respective statlines of +4 in 2:04 via a brick and three fouls (also good for a 3:0 Voskuhl) and a +1 with a 32 second Mario, after getting lost on Olvera Street downtown. Novak's brief masquerade as a baller makes him the first multiple Nintendo devotee of the season, adding a Game and Watch to his collection.

Snoozin' Sunday
Magic-Raptors:
While Marcin Gortat did help out on a basket and take down a board in 14:05, he also fouled and bricked thricely for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Grizzlies-Nuggets: Hamed Haddadi's 2:52 on the hardwood unfortunately featured a couple of boards and a block, but by fouling twice and handing the rock to Denver once, he earned himself a 3:2 Voskuhl. Malik Allen on the other hand burned up the court with a Fireflower for a 6 second Super Mario! Allen's brief night is all the more noteworthy as he is the first to reach a state of Doki Doki Panic with his second consecutive Super Mario, after a four-second 1Up on Thursday - two stints that combined would each still qualify as one Super Mario on its lonesome!!!!!!

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41 Comments:
Blogger Dan B. said...
That picture made me laugh a lot harder than I expected it would. Good job.

Are people honestly surprise that Trevor Ariza is outplaying Ron Ron? Ariza is wildly underrated, even if he is just a role player. He contributed a lot to their championship run last season. What has Ron Artest contributed to in his career? You know, aside from being the source of many jokes and getting into awesome fights.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Fantastic random picture from the SI Vault. From 1992, Bird, Magic, and MJ pose together. Apparently they didn't bother to coordinate hand signals first...

Blogger BadDave said...
You've got the tools, you've got the talent!

Blogger Don Ebay Mølse said...
Isnt it just the curse of the triangle. I expect Artest to get better as we continue through the latter part of the season when he's more comfortable with the system.

ps. Manu once again prove that argentinian players are just straight up bad-asses!

Blogger 49er16 said...
I'm honored to say I saw the Manu bat swat live.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Memphis had 27 and 24 assists over the weekend bringing their total to 61 assists in 3 games. Things are not looking good for the new all low assists per game. They are currently 16th in the league and Charlotte is at the bottom with 15.66 apg.

Blogger chris said...
See how close the Kings were playing San Antonio before the bat-splat? I'd call it "The Curse of the Bat" but...uh...the Kings were failing to win well before that, so yeah, no curses here, just ownership moronitude.

Michael Hsu: And just when I was looking forward to witnessing rock-hogging in person tonight...oh well. It IS the return of the Not-Answer, that might help lower those way-too-large assist numbers!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yea, The Grizz Watch is on life support right now. I'm more interested in my prediction that Channing Frye would end up with more 3s and a better % than Larry Hughes.

Anonymous G.Zeppelli said...
It seems that when the lakers trade something they think is inadequate, that person gets rather godly at their next team. For a time anyways.

Anyone remember Caron Butler?

Blogger geremy said...
if you get a second to recover from your halloween weekend, check out who the number one 3pt shooter has been for phoenix thus far....channing frye with 65% having buried half a dozen in each of the last two games! i'm sure this won't hold up all season long, but i've seen nash make other players look amazing before as well (diaw, bell, marion). think frye is heading for a career year thanks to the nash factor??

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL and geremy -- Funny you guys should bring Channing up. That was originally going to be one of my other observations...the fact that Frye is putting up 20/7 and shooting almost 60% from the field and 65% from three.

Meanwhile, Shaq is 9/7 and shooting 47 percent.

As always, just sayin'...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Three games in and apparently the Ariza-Artest swap is already confirmed to be a big mistake for the Lakers, eh? Methinks it's way, way, WAY too early to make any such proclamations. Ariza went to a team that's missing any other real offensive players, and as such he's being counted on to score, score and score some more (something he wasn't really asked to do in LA, due to him being the fifth option on the court most of the time). Now he's arguably the #1 option, so of course his scoring has shot through the roof. That said, I expect it'll come down to earth a bit when teams figure out he's the focus of the offense and plan their defense accordingly due to the new scouting reports.

Meanwhile on the Lakers Artest is not being asked to score much at all, seeing as how he's only the fourth or fifth option on offense now. Artest has most definitely had a very rocky start so far though, there is no denying that, so don't think I'm saying Artest is a better fit than Ariza was. All I'm saying is that their roles for their respective teams are much different, and that it's only three games into the season. Artest actually had a phenomenally great game last night, not because he scored a lot, but because he completely shut down Joe Johnson once he was switched over to guard him following Johnson's 18 point first quarter (he had 9 the rest of the way). I'm not saying Ariza couldn't have done the same thing, since he's a great defender in his own right, but I'm just saying you've gotta give Artest more than three games to see if he's fitting in.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the Lakers have said that Ariza was their first choice this summer, and that Artest was officially "Plan B". Ariza's agent was an idiot though and thought his client was worth far more than he actually was, so rather than get more money to stay with the Lakers and vie for another championship, Ariza ended up with a smaller contract than what LA offered just so he could go play for a Rockets team which is probably going to be lottery bound this year. So don't make it out like the Lakers cast him aside so they could land Artest, because Mitch Kupchak has said that if he'd have had his druthers he'd have re-signed Ariza for the money they gave to Ron-Ron. Nevertheless, Artest might end up as a better fit on the Lakers when all is said and done, and it's folly to try to say it's already a failure only three games in, no matter how much you're itching to toss dirt on the graves of the defending World Champs.

Now, regarding your Halloween costume, Mr. Bawful, please tell me you didn't have one of those silly inflatable proton packs that I saw people going as Ghostbusters wearing this weekend. Considering the authenticity of your Indiana Jones costume, I'm expecting much more from you than that. Now go ahead and make my day by providing photos of some geektastically awesome homemade proton pack! :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- Artest will be great defensively on demand, but he isn't and will never be an efficient scorer. The Triangle, amazing as it is, isn't going to change that any more than it changed Glen Rice or Isaiah Rider. Artest is a rhythm shooter, not a spot-up shooter like Ariza. He needs touches that he simply isn't going to get in L.A.'s offensive scheme.

So he's going to be a slight defensive upgrade and a minor offensive downgrade.

As for my pack, it was, of course, movie-accurate and took me quite a lot of time and pain to build. Here it is, from Saturday night,
with lights and without.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Holy crap, that proton pack is beautiful. If I had seen that when I was seven years old, I would have pitched a fit if you refused to make me one just like it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan B. -- It was total fantasy fulfillment. I always wanted one as a kid, so I built one as an adult. I have to tell you, it's pretty sweet to put that baby one. And while walking around Chicago in it, I was treated like a solid C-list celebrity. Even homeless people were pointing and screaming "Ghostbusters!" or "Who ya gonna call!"

Anonymous Andrew A McNeill said...
Can we get a Worst of the Weekend for PETA giving Manu shit about hitting the bat?

http://blog.peta.org/archives/2009/11/manu_ginobili.php

Hell, they gave me shit on Twitter for questioning their sanity about the whole issue.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - I knew you wouldn't let me down with your costume props (I'm only disappointed that there's no pic of you going full stream with that thing). The guys I saw with the inflatable packs kneel in the face of your awesomeness. I shoulda popped their packs when I saw them.

I think you're right about Artest being a rhythm shooter versus a spot up shooter, which is really more what the Lakers need from him when it comes to three pointers. That said, he might be able to learn how to do that. It's kind of hit and miss when players do try to make that switch. Artest does do a lot of other things that Ariza did not do though, things that are especially good for the Lakers on offense, like being able to handle the ball and create for teammates, as well as being able to work out of the high and low posts (Ariza was basically a spot up shooter who would occasionally slash if he had a really open lane). However, Artest definitely does on occasion try to do too much, like shooting threes off the dribble, or trying to split a double team. It's not smart when Kobe does those things (even if he can pull them off with a surprising degree of success), so it's really not smart when Artest does so. As a Laker fan I hope he settles in more and goes away from a lot of that, but the jury's definitely still out.

As for Ariza, he's honestly nothing more than he was for the Lakers last year: a very quality role player. He's just playing on a team that only has role players right now, so he's stepped up and is being a #1 option (and he's doing a good job). But he'll ultimately be a better fit for Houston once T-Mac and Yao come back and he can go back to filling in offensively while focusing more on defense. I suspect if the Rockets are able to trade T-Mac's expiring contract for something good, and Yao comes back healthy next year with a high draft pick to boot, next year's Rockets could be very, very good. But for now Ariza gets to try to be the alpha dog for a team that's going nowhere this year.

Also, not everyone who gets traded by the Lakers has a lot of success. Anyone remember Kwame Brown?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
You know what, that costume needs more attention, Mr. Bawful. I think it deserves the Larry Bird Shorts/VHS tapes treatment. Do you have any pics of the pack as you were making it? That must have been quite a procedure. Also, I'd love to see a front shot of those goggles I see you wearing in the last two pics. Did you have any other great accoutrements hanging from your belt or anything? A walkie talkie so you could tell Ray that Slimer was looking at you, perhaps? Were you throwing out quotes all night ("the flowers are still standing!")? Give us more details.

If you ever go as a Ghostbuster again, you should seriously consider covering yourself with marshmallow fluff and go as one of the guys from the end of the movie. I'm just sayin' :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- No, sadly, no build pics. Originally, I was going to do something like that, like a builder's diary, but then I ended up with that damn eye tumor and lost almost two months of build time.

I'll try to get you a front pic with the goggles.

As for other accoutrements, I had a yellow hose running from the back of my belt to a rubber fitting in the leg of my jumpsuit. I also had some keyring chains and this belt gizmo, all of which were from the movies. I also have the same walkie-talkie the used in the movies, but I left that off because it was dragging my belt down.

I didn't have to throw out any quotes, because everybody else was doing it for me. I had hundreds of people come up to talk to me about the pack. The funniest thing was a group of 'busters with homemade (but lesser) packs showed up at one of the bars I was at, and they were all bummed because they knew I would knock them out of the costume contests. And, in fact, I won some Bulls tickets. Unfortunately, the organizer at another bar forgot to bring me to the state for the $1,000 contest until they'd already chosen the finalists. In other contest, I lost to a fat guy in drag. That's how these things go.

Blogger Dan B. said...
If anyone saw you in a public bathroom while you had your Ghostbusters costume on, I damn well hope they made a really bad "don't cross the streams!" joke.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan B. -- I didn't even try to go to the restroom with that pack on. I waited until late in the evening and peed on the roof of the parking garage...so no streams were crossed.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, don't feel bad, it's tough to beat a fat guy in drag.

OK, let's talk turkey. I'm gonna go way out on a limb here and just state this for the record: Ghostbusters II is nowhere near as bad as it's made out to be. That movie is actually quite good (though, naturally, not as good as the original). Much like The Godfather: Part III, Caddyshack II and Alien³, it is unfairly maligned simply for not being as good as the movie(s) that came before it. If you want to see a truly awful sequel, go see Jaws: The Revenge or Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.

Blogger Cortez said...
"so don't think I'm saying Artest is a better fit than Ariza was."

I am.

Unless Artest starts choking teammates in the locker room (which is a definite possibility) the Lakers are going to be just fine come May/June.

Looking at Ariza's stats again, I confirmed that he simply got hot in the playoffs at the right time and he's now on a team that has no other options but to throw him the ball as a primary option and hope for the best, which, by the way, won't be good for them [Rockets] long term.

Good for him.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I agree about GBII. The movie was about two-thirds good as opposed to 100 percent awful, as some people maintain.

IMHO, here's what killed GB2:

1. Success. That is, Ghostbusters became very popular...especially among children because of Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Therefore, they had to clean the 'busters up. No more smoking, cursing, womanizing, Ray dreaming about sex with a ghost, etc. In other words, all the things tha made the characters three-dimensional. Not only did that emasculate the characters and give the movie a made-for-kids feel, it robbed us all of comedy that might have been.

2. "Low" budget: The original Ghostbusters had a budget of $30 million. GBII had a budget of $25 million. In the ballpark? Yes. But...it was five years later. And, as you can imagine, the actors' salaries went up, which meant the budget for everything else went down even further.

3. Story: The glory of the first movie was that it more or less bucked conventions and broke new ground. The second movie was kind of a retread without the fun of the group's origin. They stuck to the formula of the original film, with montages and an evil bureaucrat who was opposing them. Kinda been there, done that.

Of course, they had to throw in the failed relationship budding back into an actual relationship cliche with Venkman and Dana.

Also, they took a step down in terms of villain and conflict. In the first movie, they faced a god. In the sequel, they fought a dude in a painting. And the whole, "We need the people of New York to pull together an feel love in their hearts" solution wasn't one-tenth as cool as crossing the streams.

What I'm trying to say is they could have overcome 1 and 2 if the story had been tight throughout. It wasn't. Especially the Statue of Liberty part.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- The Lakers will be fine because they have so much talent they can't be sunk by this move. But Ron's not a triangle guy, nor is he efficient offensively. If he embraces his role as the team's defensive stopper and occasionally chips in 10 points, then whoopie, it's an even swap. But he's not the amazing upgrade that people made him out to be. Even if he does end up being a good fit for the triangle -- which I doubt -- it probably won't matter this season, since (as Phil Jackson has often pointed out) it takes most player a minimum of two years to pick up the intricacies of the offense. Since Artest's basketball IQ is questionable, I don't see him being a triangle savant.

Don't judge Ariza on his stats. He's a glue / intangibles guy, similar to Battier, whereas Artest is a tangibles guy who inflated his stats by holding onto the ball and shooting without conscience or care. Ariza regularly filled whatever hole needed filling in the Lakers' schemes. He was a perfect fit similar to how Posey was a perfect fit for Boston's 2008 title team.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Btw, Cortez, when are we going to play basketball?

Blogger Dan B. said...
Bawful -- Thank you for mentioning The Real Ghostbusters. I loved the hell out of that show when I was a young'un. I'm with you 100% on your rundown of Ghostbusters 2. It's not that it was bad per se. It merely didn't live up to its brilliant predecessor. Everything felt a little lazy, a little flat, a little too "cute" even. But it still had some good lines, some good action, some decent special effects, and it was still the Ghostbusters, damnit. If I sit down and watch it, I feel decently entertained.

(On a related note, has anyone tried out that Ghostbusters video game from a few months ago? Despite the fact that I just did a video game review, I'm actually not much of a gamer. I heard it was a worthy follow-up to the movies, and was genuinely funny and interesting from a plot standpoint, not to mention good gameplay. But then again, compared against the original NES Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 games, they could have given us a freshly dropped dog turd and convinced us it was a fine delicacy.)

Also, your summary of why Ariza was a better fit than Artest is spot on. It seems like a cop-out to say so-and-so is good for a team just because he's a glue guy, but sometimes it's true. He got out there and did whatever the team needed him to do, but he also kept everyone playing as a team, played smart basketball and didn't make many mistakes. You can't measure that impact in numbers very well.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Cortez - I think that you're probably right, that if Artest can keep all his trademarked craziness away from the Lakers, then he should be a better fit for them. I'm sure his shooting (especially his FT shooting) will improve and he'll get more used to spot up shooting as opposed to always trying to create off the dribble, but that's gonna take some time. The other stuff Artest does on offense though, working out of the post in particular, and his ability to playmake and handle the ball, are really HUGE in the triangle offense. In a way he works offensively sort of the same way that Luke Walton does when he fills those roles, except that he can also drive to the basket, shoot the three (at least the last couple years he has), and of course he isn't a total negative on defense. Ariza's strengths offensively were basically to be a release valve and hopefully hit a three if people sloughed off him to double someone else, or to finish on the break. It's easier to be "seamless" when your job is mainly to kinda stay out of the way, but that can only help facilitate the offense up to a point. Obviously Artest is gonna need time to figure out the triangle and his place in it, but he really should be a better fit, just from a basketball standpoint.

Mr. Bawful - I think that if Artest was showing the mindset of ballhogging out on the perimeter, and mainly looking for the type of inefficient offense we've all seen from him over the last few years, then I'd agree with you. However, so far this year I've seen Artest playing in the post far more than I ever have seen before, and from there he seems so far to be mainly looking to set teammates up, rather than score. There are definitely a few times where he takes ill-advised shots or when he tries to go 1 on 2, but they've been pretty infrequent thus far. While it does take time to learn the intricacies of the triangle, keep in mind that they were still running the triangle in Chicago when Ron was playing there, so this isn't his first go round with it. I've actually been pretty impressed by how much he seems to understand his role and placing in the offense so far. He deviates on occasion, but that's looking to be the exception more than the rule. If he keeps that up, he'll ultimately be a big upgrade over Ariza simply because he can help create for his teammates while also exploiting a mismatch (neither of which Ariza ever did). Also, defensively Artest will be much better at matching up with guys like Carmelo, LeBron and Pierce (all players too big and strong for Ariza to realistically check). The jury's still out, IMO, and probably will be until we see who wins this year.

Now, about Ghostbusters II, I think you're definitely right on all of those points. What helps save the movie for me (other than just the genius of the actors from the first one) is Peter MacNicol, and his character, Dr. Janosz Poha, especially when playing off of Bill Murray. He's not particularly menacing as a bad guy, but he's damn funny. He was definitely the Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) of the sequel, despite the fact that Louis Tully was also in the sequel.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan B. -- Oh, yeah, I loved RGB too. Hell, I even collected the comic and learned to draw all the characters. Of course, even that got ruined when they made it Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters...and the GBs became Slimer's mascots instead of the other way around. Blech.

And Dan, c'mon, you're posting a comment on the blog of a guy who BUILT a movie-accurate Proton Pack and Ghostbusters costume. Is there any question I bought the game?!

If you love Ghostbusters, you'll love the game. The original actors all voice their characters, and you get almost constant interaction with them as opposed to simple cameos. That's right: you bust with the actual Ghostbusters for almost the entire game (and they have some great lines and exposition).

The game sports a better story than GB2 and has actual meaningful connections to GB1. The game designers also did a fantastic job simulating the experience of busting ghosts, even down to the fact that if you're aim is off -- and let's face it, it will be -- you're gonna destroy shit and/or set the shit on fire.

If you're a serious gamer and don't like or know of Ghostbusters, you would probably find the game boring and repetitive. But if you've ever wanted to BE a Ghostbuster, this game is as close as you're gonna get...which is awesome.

It is impossible to measure Ariza's impact by the numbers. BUT...if you check 82games.com, you'll note that Ariza was part of L.A.'s most-used and most successful lineup (Fisher-Bryant-Ariza-Odom-Gasol) last season.

The same can be said of Artest and the Rockets, but that's almost by default, since Ron-Ron was one of Houston's main players and had to log extra minutes due to injuries to Knee-Mac. To me, the feat is much more impressive for a roleplayer like Ariza.

Anonymous Arlen said...
Next year you should grab 2 friends and go as Pro Stars:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prostars_title.jpg

You could definitely pull off an MJ.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I have yet to see an inefficient rhythm shooter become an efficient spot-up shooter. Can you name one? I can't. Even Reggie Miller, one of the all-time great three-point marksmen, struggled (and, ultimately, failed) to do so when the Pacers were easing him out to pasture (and his game took off again during his final season when they stopped spotting him up). Let me put it this way: Could you talk yourself into beleiving that Allen Iverson could become a spot-up shooter? Probably not. It's similar to how I realize that Kevin Garnett is never going to develop a post game that doesn't rely on fading and/or falling AWAY from the basket.

Also, there really is not comparison between a Phil Jackson triangle and a Tim Floyd triangle. I was living here in Chicago during that era, and the stories were always along the lines of "young Bulls struggling to learn the triangle." And eventually, Floyd scrapped it. So I'm not sure that counts toward Ron's triangle resume.

I agree and think that MacNicol did a great job. What I didn't like was how, because he was working for Vigo, he obtained unexplained (and in some cases) useless powers. Like when he suddenly had flashlight eyes, or when he kidnapped Oscar in drag as a ghostly nanny. To me, that was lazy writing. Like, "We need to throw in some supernatural stuff for this guy. Make him seem creepy and scary even though he'll never really have any powers when the GBs face him." It just felt gimmicky to me.

But his run-ins with Venkman and various other bumbling lines were classic.

I'm also not a fan of bringing characters back for no reason. Like Rick Moranis. Fine, have him be their stupid lawyer and leave it at that. Instead, he spent all his time at GB headquarters and eventually had to wear a proton pack even though his actions were ultimately meaningless.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Arlen -- The only problem is that everybody would be afraid to be Bo Jackson.

Personally, I've wanted to do the Three Amigos for a long time.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - "if you check 82games.com, you'll note that Ariza was part of L.A.'s most-used and most successful lineup (Fisher-Bryant-Ariza-Odom-Gasol) last season."

Come on, that's one of the biggest examples of cherrypicking stats I've ever seen. The only players the Lakers used at SF last year were Ariza, Walton, Radmanovic and Adam Morrison (Odom played SF for a few minutes in one game against the Spurs due to massive Laker injuries having shortened the bench). Kobe occasionally played SF too, but only when Vujacic was playing SG (and maybe Shannon Brown a couple times right at the end of the year). Is it really any wonder that the Lakers did better when Ariza was in the game as opposed to Luke Walton, Vlad Rad, Ammo or The Machine? You're better than this.

The last three seasons Artest has shot the following percentages from 3-pt land: 36% in 06-07, 38% in 07-08, 40% last year. Do you realistically expect that his 3-pt shooting percentage will plummet into the 20s or worse simply because now he'll be more open than he was before? I don't. He may not suddenly become an efficient scorer, but the Lakers don't really need him to be a scorer at all. It's way early in the year, but so far Artest is taking more than 5 shots per game less than he did last year (and more than 7 less than he did the year before). Artest has never taken less shots per game for a season than he has thus far (once again, it's an incredibly small sample size, so take it for what it's worth, but I'm not the one who wanted to start this comparison 3 games into the season). Let me ask you this: do you think Artest's shot attempts are going to increase once Pau Gasol starts playing for the Lakers? I don't.

Like I said: Artest appears to be setting up more in the post than I've ever seen him before; but he seems to mainly be doing it to pass to teammates or to exploit a mismatch (like when Bibby was covering him last night). Artest being able to handle the ball is a real key thing in the triangle offense (look at how Scottie Pippen initiated the offense at SF in Chicago), and that's something Ariza couldn't do. Phil has hinted that due to Artest's ball handling abilities he might consider going with a lineup of Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Kobe and Artest - a big lineup he couldn't use last year for not wanting to put all the ball handling duties on Kobe and Odom. Artest can also playmake and set up his teammates, which was also something Ariza never showed any abilities in. Artest doesn't have to score or take a lot of shots for him to make a big impact for the Lakers offensively, and from everything he's saying and doing he seems to understand that. He's filling up the box score in other ways though, and his man defense is far better than Ariza's was. Also, for anyone questioning his ability to check perimeter players and shooting guards, just look at what he did to Joe Johnson last night when he took over on him after the first quarter (1-8, 9 points).

I say we wait and see what is going to happen with Artest before proclaiming that it's a failure three games in. Inserting a new player on a team into its starting lineup is gonna take a while before you really know whether the chemistry is working or not, but it looked every bit as good last night as it looked bad on Friday.

Speaking of that Lakers-Mavs game on Friday, I'll be curious to see how effective that small lineup Dallas used with Nowitzki at center and Marion at PF will work against the Lakers when LA can go with Gasol at C and Odom at PF to counter it. On Friday the best thing it did was force Phil Jackson to take Bynum out of the game, despite the fact that Bynum was one of the only Lakers who was playing well.

Anonymous Baal said...
have you seen the NBA.com powerrankings? here's a quote: "After a rough start to the season, the Cavs got an assist from the schedule. The Wolves and Bobcats are here to help you when you're down."
how bad do you have to suck, when even your own emplyoer, that desperatly tries to make money with you, says: "Well, you just suck..."

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yams, you sound so much like a dude trying to justify his rebound girl to his buddies after a long-term relationship breakup, that it feels awkward to use the word "rebound" because of how uncanny this analogy is.

Blogger Will said...
Basketbawful- How did you feel about these ghostbusters?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filmation's_Ghostbusters

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I just wanted to come in here and mention how awful the Knicks-Bobcats game was. It takes a special kind of suck to have a 102-100 final score after double overtime.

I just...ugh.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AnacondaHL - Hey man, what can I say, I root for my team :) I'm perfectly content to wait and see with Artest (and Ariza), but Mr. Bawful wanted to imply that the Lakers made the wrong choice after just three games. My main two points are: A) that the Lakers' choice actually was Ariza, but Ariza's agent screwed that up; and B) that it's too early to tell whether Artest on the Lakers is a good thing or not. Most of this debate is just pure conjecture cause the sample size is too small to really tell us anything. I'm trying to reassure myself as a Laker fan just as much as Mr. Bawful is trying to reassure himself as a Laker hater, but really at this point neither one of us knows anything for sure.

Generally I feel like you don't really know how good a team, any team, is gonna be till about the All Star break. We'll have to wait and see. As far as the Lakers go, we'll definitely have to wait, if for no other reason than to see how the team looks once Gasol returns, which looks like it might be a while.

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: to think, Mike D'Antoni came in to introduce 7SOL, and not a return to hand-checking...

Anonymous Ignarus said...
"an efficient roleplayer who could sparkle in any hole"

teeheehee...

(sorry, I'm apparently 12)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I have things I might say, but the "cherry picking" and "you're better than this" comments turned me off. If you want to debate, fine. But I'm not going to put up with condescension from you. You're better than that.

Baal -- Even better than that was the fact that the press starting gushing about Cleveland's performance against Minny and Charlotte. They're back, huh? Really?

Will -- Gak! Hated 'em. Gorilla's can't bust ghosts, okay?

Ignarus -- No need to apologize. That made me spit up a little. I meant "spackle" of course...

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