Z-Bo ten years ago. I... am speechless. (via SI Vault)

It's Thursday. It's TNT game night. It's Jersey Shore night. But most importantly, it's time for Bawful After Dark! But first, a little video game talk. A few of my co-authors will be familiar with the rest of this, but I feel everyone else might learn something too...

I'm sure everyone remembers my NBA 2K10 review. I've been playing the hell out of the game since then, because My Player mode is stupidly addicting. Since I've been playing it so often, I'm discovering more and more problems with the game (oh, how I can't wait for the patch that's supposedly due in January...). For example, does anybody here have an explanation as to why Chauncey Billups is un-friggin-stoppable in this game? He's the single hardest person to guard in that game, and shoots roughly 80% from three point land even with a hand in his face. Chauncey Goddamn Billups! The Nuggets absolutely ruin my shit, and it's all because of Chauncey Billups. And that, my friends, is just sad.

However, my biggest problem so far is the way my teammates act. I'm playing for the Spurs right now. Coach has me coming off the bench as point guard, and Tony Parker usually plays shooting guard while I'm on the floor. However, in the fourth quarter, Virtual Gregg Popovich likes to switch things up sometimes and put me at the 2-guard spot, and lets Tony Parker run the offense. This is not good because Parker's virtual doppleganger has no sense at all of clock management. He's an AI drone, but if he could actually think, I would imagine it'd be something like this: "Okay, we're down by 5 points with 30 seconds left, what play should I run...? Got it! I'll stand in place at the top of the key and dribble out the shot clock, and jack up a horrible, double-covered jumper with nobody under the basket to get my rebound! Brilliant!" It's like watching that horrendous Rajon Rondo possession from a few weeks ago over and over and over again. It's only slightly less painful than the worst possession ever by Zach Randolph. (Starting to understand why I hate my team?)

If I somehow manage to get the ball out of Parker's hands late in the game, it doesn't really help us any. I'll have to pass the ball at some point, because my jump shot isn't good yet, and I can't just drive the lane at will. However, if the ball so much as touches Manu Ginobili's hands, it's pretty much a lock that he will instantly put up a three pointer, no matter what. During the first three quarters, this is tolerable, since he usually hits them. Unfortunately, I don't think I've seen Virtual Ginobili hit a crunch time three pointer yet, and I'm already almost to the All Star break in this season. So yeah, we've lost a lot of close games so far this season.

But I did recently beat the Lakers by swatting down Kobe's shot attempt with four seconds left in the game, then forcing a five-second call on their final possession. So that makes it all worth it, even if I spend entirely too much time yelling at the screen for Ginobili to pass inside to Duncan.

Nationally Televised Games:
Celtics at Wizards Generals: Boston's road game record this year is 9-1. Washington's home game record is 4-5. Why is this on TNT again? (Per the Stats LLC preview, "The Wizards, though, have trouble shutting teams down." ...Insightful.)

Magic at Jazz: Anyone else not really in the mood to watch the Jazz stumble through the second night of a back-to-back after being thoroughly humiliated in the 4th quarter by the Lakers last night? Oh, and the Magic are on an eight game road winning streak. Just sayin'...

All The Other Games:
Nuggets at Pistons: The Pistons beat the lowly 76ers last night. ...Hurray? I don't think they'll be celebrating anymore after tonight. Just a hunch.

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42 Comments:
Blogger chris said...
I'm guessing those shorts represent a long-term endorsement from Randolph?!

Anonymous Lucas said...
I only just recently purchased a Wii, and I own no other game systems. Does anyone know if they have a version of 2K10?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I hope Barkley's back with the TNT crew tonight, it just wasn't the same without him last week. Also, if he is back, I'm hoping he'll make good on his promise to drink some Mad Dog or Thunderbird on TV to help celebrate the Nets finally winning a game. After all, we're gonna need something to keep us entertained since neither basketball game looks like it'll be very competitive.

Nice picture of Z-Bo there. That's gotta be back from when he was playing for good ol' Moe Smedley and the Marion Giants. For anyone else who's ever been curious about how Randolph got his nickname, here's a quote from the man himself: "I had that nickname since I was youngster in 7th and 8th grade. I had a buddy who gave everyone nicknames one day, and mine just stuck." Wow, that is one hell of a story! You may want to read that again just in case you missed some of the subtle subtexts he wove into recounting that fantastic tale.

Blogger chris said...
Lucas: It just came out in November!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_2K10

The game is the first PSP and Wii release of the NBA 2K series, and the first on a Nintendo system since NBA 2K3 for the GameCube.

Blogger Beez Kneezy said...
I feel your pain. I play for the hated Lake Show. Fisher runs the point and jacks up as many shots as Black Mamba. It's especially awful because the opposing bigs have absolutely no answer for Gasol (77% FG for the season). I also want to leave the team and Stephen A Smith tells me I "have a big decision to make" coming up regarding the team I play for but I'm never actually given the option to walk!

Anonymous Lucas said...
@chris: Much obliged.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
"He's an AI drone, but if he could actually think, I would imagine it'd be something like this: "Okay, we're down by 5 points with 30 seconds left, what play should I run...? Got it! I'll stand in place at the top of the key and dribble out the shot clock, and jack up a horrible, double-covered jumper with nobody under the basket to get my rebound! Brilliant!" It's like watching that horrendous Rajon Rondo possession from a few weeks ago over and over and over again. It's only slightly less painful than the worst possession ever by Zach Randolph. (Starting to understand why I hate my team?)"


Wait. By "AI drone" do you mean "Artificial intelligence," or "Allen Iverson?" Because by your description, it could be either.

Blogger Mike said...
The video link to the worst possession ever presented by Zach Randolph didn't work but here is one equally as impressive against my Crabs that you can use instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A13PKLR-HyY

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I have a question for the resident Kings fans (chris and 49er16): what happened to Sacramento's attendance? I mean, yes, I know the Kings are, uh, not very good, but didn't Sacramento used to sell out every game in the 90s even though they were far worse then than they are now? All through the Mitch Richmond years I would always hear about their consecutive sellout streak and all that. Did them being a great team earlier in this decade spoil the fans or something, and now people only really want to support them if they're good? Or have ticket prices just gone up so much that people can't afford it anymore?

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Just got a 360 and NBA 2k10 a while ago. Game is great but frustrating as hell. My first online game Carmelo dropped 39 on me and I got wrecked. Now HE doesn't miss. I think its a safe bet the nuggets are unstoppable

Blogger Will said...
Reggie Miller just described Rasheed Wallace as being "very long down low". If that's not a UDQ (unintentionally dirty quote), I don't know what is.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh hell yes. About to watch Jersey Shore, ETA 40min. All aboard the trainwreck.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: First off, DESPERATION $1 BEER NIGHT AT THE BARN IN NATOMAS NEXT WEEK IN TIME FOR ESPN COVERAGE! Cue up that Marv Albert Yes!!!!!!!

(second, LOL at Oberto's 3 fouls in 2 minutes, and 0 boards by the Generals in the 2nd quarter. Also cue up Antawn's non-guarding of Garnett on that one possession!)

(third, Barkley trying to stick up for Tiger Woods is one of the reasons TNT's halftime show and its non sequiturs are so amazing.)

I have always felt that the Maloofs alienated the city hard by demanding a few years ago that the public pay for a new downtown arena, when they of course have billions (and flaunted it in a Carl's Jr. ad around the time that their bond measures were up for vote). When that got voted down (the public believing that city funds should be better spent on, say, fixing crime issues in Del Paso Heights and the Meadowview), it came around the time of the inexplicable dismantling of the team post-Webber (couldn't we have, you know, not ended up treading water between Adelman and Westphal?) - and I don't know if the residents of the state capital have ever regained their adoration of their team. (Since then, there's been that whole discussion of putting an arena at the state fairgrounds, who knows what'll happen with that, though the location is nowhere as ideal as some think.)

Now, also factor this in: the economy here is driven plenty by state employment, and many state employees are currently suffering from furloughs (in which they get a certain number of unpaid days off). Makes it hard to want to put in your discretionary spending towards basketball, considering you have to pay $10 for parking, a 7% or so convenience fee per ticket, etc.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The Wizards grabbed ZERO rebounds in the second quarter. How is that even possible...?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
http://www.nba.com/2009/news/12/10/allstar.vote.update.1/index.html

I don't proclaim to know much about basketball, but why does Knee-Mac have 281,545 votes when he hasn't played a single game this year? For that matter, when was the last time he actually played a game?

And the Not Answer getting 136,976 votes, despite quitting on Memphis, then crying his way back to Philly only to get his ass kicked by TWO of his former teams? I mean, Billups scored 31 on him. Get him out of the league.

I give up.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: I think the Generals are taking this "professional opponent" duty a LITTLE too seriously...I can't believe I just watched that quarter of fail.

Then again, I bet you Oberto got more camera time tonight for his potential Voskuhl than he did at any other point in his career!!!!

Blogger Will said...
Come on, Basketbawful, anything is possible if you don't try!

Blogger Dan B. said...
Beez Kneezy -- Fisher is surprisingly easy to defend against. I can usually force him into a couple backcourt violations per game, and steal the ball right out of his hands a time or two as well. As far as moving to another team, I turned off the Fake Stephen A. Smith guy, so I don't know what's going on with me. I just keep an eye on the NBA.com Headlines section, but haven't seen anything yet. I do know from checking that, however, that Greg Oden got traded straight up for Ramon Sessions in my game.

Wormboy -- Nice.

kazam92 -- Yeah, Carmelo is a beast. I have yet to figure out how to shut down the Nuggets in this game...

AnacondaHL -- Jersey Shore is queued up on my DVR. I didn't get to see last week's premiere yet, but I'm going to watch it all this weekend at some point. After all I've heard on Twitter, blogs, Bill Simmons' podcast, etc. about the show, I am beyond excited.

Bawful -- Zero rebounds... Jesus. If you stand in one spot long enough, you'll eventually have a clanked shot bounce in your general direction. It seems like you would have to intentionally try to NOT get one rebound in a 12 minute stretch among five guys on your team.

Blogger chris said...
WOW! Washington leads 72-70 as the C's go ice-cold all of a sudden!!!!

But then Ray Allen gets his 20,000th career point on a three.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Like, I could literally drive 30 miles to meet these people. Oh my god the pickle eating. Does her hat say "Pornstar in training"? THIRTY MILES.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Okay, since this freaked me out a little, I Google Maps'd it. Like ~80 miles, but still, wow.

"Guest Room" now has a whole new meaning.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Anon - "why does Knee-Mac have 281,545 votes when he hasn't played a single game this year?"

According to BDL: "His hundreds of thousands of votes are presumably coming from China, where fans of Yao Ming tend to also back other Rockets on the ballot. (Case in point: Aaron Brooks has more votes than Chauncey Billups, Brandon Roy and Deron Williams.)" So there you go.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: So will they vote the first 0-second man in the league, Brian Cook, as a reserve?! (Please!!!)

Blogger chris said...
Robin LOLpez 0, Glass Door 1.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Kenny just said "They got the Princeton offense and the junior college defense".

chris: That's totally R-Lo 1, glass door 0.

Hey, Taj Gibson is almost at Oden level fouls, per game and per minute.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Guess who elicited a minute of stunned silence from Marv Albert and Mike Fratello tonight by asking an asinine question? Yes, it was Reggie Miller. What prompted him was the flagrant foul called on DeShawn Stevenson when he shoved Kendrick Perkins on a fast-break layup. After Perkins missed the first flagrant foul free throw, Reggie asked, "Why is Perkins shooting? Doesn't Boston get to pick who it wants to shoot these free throws?"

.........crickets from Marv and the Czar

Blogger James said...
I just got a call from the Pistons:

They said they're still celebrating, and you're welcome to join.

They left you a piece of humble pie, next to the infirmary that holds their 27 injured players. :)

Blogger chris said...
Hey, has anyone here other than me and the rest of the Bawful writing crew seen the Apple Daily's funny animation of Tiger Woods' accident?

What does that have to do with bawful, you ask?

Well, watch their latest local incident reenactment, and notice the jersey of one of the perps in the cartoon, which resembles that of a certain former Memphis-based bench whiner!!!!!

Blogger Andrew said...
Let me help you out here: start to drive to the basket, crossover-spin move. At this point, you either have an easy shot close to the basket, a relatively regular foul call, or an open man or two to pass to. Welcome to averaging 30/15 and getting so bored of the game that you stop playing and go dig out GTA: San Andreas.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4731136

Shaq says LeBron could coach in the NBA, RIGHT NOW... I wonder if Mike Brown has anything to do with his thoughts...

Anyhow I don't put too much stock into him saying LeBron has the best basketball IQ, he said that Kobe was one of the best players when he was with the Lakers, he said Dwayne was the best when he was with the Heat, and he said Nash and Stoudamire were awesome when with the Suns. This is nothing new... just Diesel running his big mouth like usual

Blogger Wild Yams said...
chris - The fans don't vote in the All Star reserves, that's up to the coaches to do, so unfortunately you're gonna have to probably wait another year before Brian Cook gets his shot.

OK look, as a Laker fan I've been kinda going on the assumption that the Nuggets and maybe the Spurs represented the biggest threats (outside of injuries) to the Lakers making it back to The Finals this year, but the way Denver is looking lately am I wrong in making that assumption? I mean, a loss to a Pistons team that was missing just about everyone after losing to the Bobcats the other night? The Nuggets were even rested, having lost by 12 to Charlotte on Tuesday, while Detroit was on the second night of a back to back tonight!

BTW, since Mr. Bawful mentioned LA's home-heavy schedule thus far, it should be pointed out that according to ESPN's Strength of Schedule computation, the Lakers have had the third toughest schedule so far (behind Houston and OKC). It should also be noted on that list that Orlando's had the 8th easiest schedule, while Cleveland has had the 6th easiest, Boston has had the 5th easiest and Denver has had the absolute easiest schedule of any team in the league so far. Just something to think about when you're griping about how "easy" the Lakers have had it so far this year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't forget this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A13PKLR-HyY

Go Z-Bo!

Blogger Leo said...
I got addicted to 2K10's My Player mode too but stopped because of my frustrations with the AI. Eventually it just became too much.

My biggest gripe was the atrocious (or non-existent) interior/help defense AI and how bad the AI is at denying post position. It's just way too easy for player and AI to make cuts to the basket and receive the ball in an extremely good position. It seems like every single team in the league plays defense like the Golden State Warriors.

And like you touched upon, clock management is horrible. And don't even get into the ridiculous substitution patterns that occur.

Blogger Vasco said...
0 offensive and defensive rebounds in a entire quarter?

I would bet a lot of money on how that would be impossible. And it seems that I would lose.

NBA2K10 My Player mode must be nice if you're playing for the spurs. My fortune is a little bit different. The great VDL and his staff apparently saw some potential in me, a 5'10 guard with no shooting touch at all and now I am backing derrick rose after some 10 games playing for the Stampede.

It's awful playing for the bulls we've got zero defense, we only win when for some reason hinrich is hitting 100% from the field in a couple of quarters with a bunch of threes (it happened more than once).

My games are with 5min quarters, do you know how to change it?

More than once I had games with 10 assists and 2 turnovers, my agent says: "you turned the ball way too much out there, mediocrity isn't gonna cut it in the NBA"

It's all about getting a teammate grade of A. And that's not too hard, it happens if i don't risk anything at all make a lot of chest passes, get a couple of easy assists and my man decides not to drive or to shoot for the entire game.

And yes all players are unaware of the clock, teammates or opponents, i don't get it why the game developers didn't spend a little more time on that aspect.

But it can't be worse than NBA LIVE 2005 (best basketball game of all time even with this awful fault), 4th quarter I am up by 2, 44sec on the clock I dribble in mid court until there is 24sec left in the game 4 sec on the shot clock, the CPU decides to intention foul.

Anonymous Geert said...
Apart from the surprisingly high vote amounts of the likes of T-Mac and AI, what also surprised me was the fact that Lebron wasn't the number 1 votegetter in the east. It's not that I want him to be, I didn't even vote for him but with his populairity I kind of expected it but Wade beat him to it.

I see a few possible explenations after thinking about it. Maybe there are more good/deserving (James, KG, Bosh, Pierce, even Smith) forwards then guards so the choice for that position is more difficult? OR maybe people are finally catching up with the fact James is a whiner. I hope it's that one.

Blogger Dan B. said...
James -- NOTHING went as I predicted last night. Not one single thing. I even expected the Steelers to stop playing fucking idiots for five minutes and beat the Browns, but that didn't happen either. I can't remember the last time I saw a team just quit that blatantly before. They've just totally stopped trying.

Andrew -- I've tried that in the past with little luck, but now that my player is more skilled, maybe it'll actually work now. I definately need to be close to the basket to make a shot. My jumper is so bad, I get yelled at for "bad shot selection" for basically ANY jumper, even if I'm completely wide open for several seconds when I take the shot.

Leo -- The complete lack of defense is just embarrassing. The part that really burns me is when the interior defenders just stand flat-footed, or lazily raise one arm at best, when someone drives to the basket for a layup. That's why my defensive efforts usually focus on keeping the ball in their point guard's hands, so I can personally cover him and take the AI out of it as much as possible.

Vasco -- There's some info on the forums at 2ksports.com on how to hack the game to change quarter length if you're using the PC version of the game (I don't know about the console versions, but don't think you can change it on there). It seems most people that change it go with 8 minute quarters, since the stats are more true to real life then. (Again, no clock management, poor defense, etc. sways the stats a little)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If China is fixing the vote for Knee-Mac, then why is Yao Ming nowhere to be found for Western Conference Centers? I know the fans are dumb, but is the NBA that dumb that they would leave McGrady on the ballot when he clearly cannot play?

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Vasco - There is a trainer for the PC version of the game that edits memory addresses. I can't remember what it's called, but you just open it up, add the appropriate memory address, and edit the value, and you're good. For console versions, I believe the only way to edit quarter lengths is to get that 2K10 Combine downloadable (for something like $10). You go through the combine and the entire draft process, and can improve your player to start off with way better stats. In there, I believe you can set your quarter lengths as well. If you are playing on a console, do look that one up to make sure.

Anonymous - Candidates for the ballot must be unveiled in early November, and it doesn't change once it's unveiled. The popular thinking back then is that Yao is gone for like the next 8 reincarnation cycles (even though it's just a surgery on the foot...), while Knee-Mac will be back soon to fanfare and fireworks. Of course, we now know the Rockets don't even want him back, but it was hard to say that back when the season was what, like 5 games old?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
anon: Bot automation.

Anonymous The Dizzle said...
I just started player mode, it is a ver addicting time suck.

Blogger senormedia said...
My hoops game is waiting for me to finish my Madden season. There are some awful computer/coaching/AI decisions there, too. EX: I am a running back for the Jets; in many games I average 7 or so yards per carry.
In the previous season (and so far in this one) I lead the league in rushing (about 250 per game). During a drive I'll have first down runs of, say, 9 yards. So, what do we run on the next two plays? Long McNabb pass attempts. Drive after drive is squandered on failed 1 yard conversions, resulting in a lot of field goal attempts.

Drives me yelling-at-the-TV crazy.

Blogger Vasco said...
Dan B, NarSARSsist :
thanks for the NBA2K10 tips.

I haven't had time to try it but I will.

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