Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Redemption of the Thorpe

Gotta Fight the Laziness...

Damn, it is way too fucking easy to not post. Spring break... then the rugged party times of the the first week back. Lots of opportunities to post, lots of good stuff to talk about, and where does it go? Well, those times are over. Posting is back. Daily songs, other shit as often as possible. Coachella previews coming soon, maybe some mixes, who knows - and if you're one the elite few who read this blog, we want your contributions. Be it a cool song you found, an interesting thought about the NBA, or just a fucking funny story - pitch in!

So back in the day, before things done changed, I sent some questions to esteemed analyst and pro baller trainer David Thorpe, and sadly thought he wasn't gonna get back to me... well, as you could probably guess by now, he did! And it was actually a while ago, and it's just been me being lazy that's prevented this post from going up. So here we go, offical first april post: Barely Educated talks Trevor Ariza w/the Thorpester.

(Barely Educated): Trevor pretty clearly is a valuable contributing member of the Lake Show, and I remember him always playing well in his brief chances in NY (where he was held up as part of Isiah's drafting acumen.. and can't hate on that! [just everything else]), and Orlando... basically noone's every denied he's a talented kid... so why did it take this long for him to get some consistent minutes?

(David Thorpe): I think Ariza has just been a little unlucky in terms of who has been in front of him and who is coaching him. He's in a great spot now, so seeing him blossom is not surprising.

(Barely Educated): How many Brian Cooks is Trevor Ariza worth? 3? 5? Also, why does Brian Cook have the facial hair of a vagrant? Laker fans have only contempt for the Cookie Monster.

(David Thorpe): [Thorpe didn't answer this. Perhaps Brian Cook's playing for the Magic, and hence his close promixity to DT (who is based in the Tampa area) means he didn't want to start beef. I stand by Cook's worthlessness]

(Barely Educated): Let's assume that Orlando traded him b/c they thought he couldn't shoot the 3 (so vital in SVG's system). Although Ariza is no Ray Ray/Peja/etc., he's making about 30% of his attempts this year, and from my perspective at least, his stroke looks decent - maybe he'll never be a 40% guy, but 35% doesn't seem improbably to me, with more reps. Was this more a case of him always having had the fundamental ability but not being given the chance, or does his form look actually improved since his days in Orlando? Trevor seems to be a hard worker, so I could see either one.

(David Thorpe): He looks smoother and more confident in his jumper, and I expect it to get better for 3 or 4 more years straight. Learning when to shoot and where to take the shots from will help his % increase as well

(Barely Educated): On that note, could you briefly assess his progress as a ball handler? When we traded for him the rep was that he was a jumper, that's all, but he's shown more than that in LA.

(David Thorpe): [I think Thorpe just answered this question in his answer to the the next one. Maybe. I'll take it.]

(Barely Educated): Finally, given all of the above, what do you see as Trevor Ariza's ceiling? Very-good non-All Star (a la battier/bowen)? Couple time all-star? Essential key to title runs (Dennis Green/Michael Cooper)? Something else? I'm driver of the Trevor Ariza Will One Day Be An All Star Bandwagon... let's hope I didn't jinx it.

(David Thorpe): I've always thought of him as a basketball player that is a phenomenal athlete, not the other way around. He just needed to grow into the player we expected him to be, just like everyone else. I expect him to keep getting better at all aspects of the game and turn into a very good starter. It's possible that he earns an all-star birth one day, but not so likely. But I'm a big fan of his game

(Barely Educated): Bonus Questions: what's your favorite food? favorite hip-hop song if any? favorite opera? favorite seinfeld episode? favorite character? Is Lamar still Elaine with the way he's been playing? Who wins in a fight, Ronny Turiaf or Josh Powell (a.k.a. ronny 2.0)?

(David Thorpe): I'd have to say my favorite food is most kinds of sushi or sushi rolls (especially from Ban Thai). Not sure about favorite hip-hop (there are many) but I really like "Miss Independent" right now, reminds me of my wife when we met 22 years ago. I love "Turandot" and specifically the aria "Nessun Dorma". Best Seinfeld episode is impossible to name, but I love "The Switch" because I got to know it's lead writer, Sam Kass, and he sent me a copy of the script. George's dad is amazing, but I love all of them. No, Lamar is definitely not Elaine right now, and I hope he never returns to that role (Batgirl either, for that matter). Powell is a tough kid, very tough.

There you have it! Pretty politically correct, but you probably don't want to rip on the huge athletes you work with every summer. And I think we all new Powell was gonna win that one. Now if only Lamar can keep not being Elaine when Bynum returns...

1 comment:

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