Friday, March 3, 2017

DeMarcus Cousins Does Not Fit in Uptempo Offense

The New Orleans Pelicans might have gotten a steal in the DeMarcus Cousins transaction with the Sacramento Kings; however, they now have the wrong pieces to run an uptempo offense that coach Alvin Gentry is familiar with during his stints with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.  The Pelicans lost most of their three-point shooters, a key ingredient for the modern NBA.  The top 4 teams in the league have a plethora of 3-point shooters.  Last year, the average amount of 3-point attempts per team was about 30 per game.  During the early 1990s, teams only averaged about 10 from downtown.  The fact that players are more proficient from behind the arc than ever before and the less physical nature of the game has sped up the game and encouraged 3-point shooting.  The Pelicans will need more outside shooters to open up the inside for Cousins and Anthony Davis.
An uptempo offense requires a lot of running up and down the court.  Cousins won't do that consistently.  The Kings have run one of the fastest offenses in the league during the last two seasons, but Cousins has shown lack of interest to hustle back on defense, particularly when he feels he deserves a call but did not receive one.  That's going to be a huge problem.
Cousins hearkens back to old school greats like Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain, an unstoppable big man.  He's also a great passer and can shoot 3s.  However, defense and hustle are huge liabilities.  Maybe a full training camp session with the Pelicans will fans know whether or not Cousins is a good fit with the team.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Georges St. Pierre is Underserving of Middleweight Title Shot

It has been recently announced that Georges St. Pierre (GSP)'s first UFC fight after about a two-year layoff will be against Michael Bisping for the middleweight title.  GSP will step over more deserving fighters like Yoel Romero and Ronaldo Souza because the UFC lately runs like the WWE: mainstream popularity matters.  Even though earlier Dana White says the UFC will have to promote GSP all over again because of the fighter's long layoff.  Romero and Souza are not getting the title shot because they are not household names.  It's similar to how John Cena, the Undertaker, and Randy Orton are always vying for the WWE belt when there are other wrestlers just as deserving but not as popular or well known. 
The UFC matchmaking used to be better when mixed martial arts was not as mainstream as it is today.  Now, if fighters know how to talk, they'll have a better chance of earning bigger fights. Everyone has to be good on the microphone like Conor McGregor.  McGregor got the lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez last year over someone like Tony Ferguson, who was on a 9-fight winning streak.  Nine wins in a row and still no title shot?  There's a good chance Khabib Nurmagomedov would have been the #1 lightweight contender against McGregor if McGregor didn't decide to take first half of 2017 off.  That's because Khabib threatened to quit the UFC, yet he has not been as active as Ferguson.
Pierre getting the next middleweight title shot is even more perplexing when he has 0 fights in that weight class.  He was afraid to challenge then champion Anderson Silva when there was all this talk of a super fight between the welterweight and middleweight champions.  Majority of fighters want a crack at the middleweight title because they all believe Bisping is an easy matchup.  But regardless of their lack of respect for him, there are more deserving fighters than one who has never fought at that weight class and has been inactive for two years.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kudos to Holly Holm for Taking a Risk

The majority of people, including UFC President Dana White himself, predicted that Miesha Tate was a bad matchup for then champion Holly Holm.  White actually blasted Holm's management for accepting the fight rather than wait for the rematch against Ronda Rousey, which would have reaped a bigger payoff.  But it didn't play out as one-sided as many people believed.  Holm was winning more of the rounds compared to Tate.  She had some good takedown defense and pressed Tate to the fence more frequently.  That's a sign of octagon control.  She lost round 2 when she got taken down, but she defended the rear naked choke well there and survived.  She made a little mistake in the final round which led to her eventual defeat.

Tate was a tougher matchup because she was patient and can mix up her takedowns.  Rousey usually gets opponents to the ground via upper body clinches.   Meanwhile, Tate can duck under strikes and take Holm down.  She was also relentless in that final sequence.  She held onto Holm like an anaconda and it paid off.

Holm will definitely grow from this loss.  Styles make fights.  It was a tough matchup but she held her own.  That's a sign that she has grown a lot when it comes to mixed martial arts and that she's not just a kickboxer.  Holm does not have the luxury to face Rousey all the time.  Might as well fight a good wrestler now rather than later.  She didn't shy away from a disadvantage and she deserves a lot of credit for it.  After the loss, she wanted to fight Tate again, not Rousey.  Money doesn't drive her; greatness does.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Blake Griffin Did Not Deserve An Ejection

When the Los Angles Clippers played at Chicago against the Bulls, Blake Griffin whacked Taj Gibson on the head while swiping for the ball and was ejected because the foul was deemed a flagrant 2.  In a different game, the Toronto Raptors' point guard, Kyle Lowry, throws an elbow that hits 76ers' power forward, Nerlens, Noel, right in the eye.  Lowry just gets a technical foul.
To me, Griffin should have been given a flagrant 1 since he at least attempted to make a play on the ball and he immediately held Gibson up after the foul.  On the other hand, Lowry made no attempt at the ball and thus should be given a flagrant 2.  It was unnecessary and excessive.
Now, here's ruling on flagrant fouls.
Flagrant 1: unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.
Flagrant 2: unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.
Other factors officials will look at to determine which foul to give include:
1) Severity of the contact
2) Whether or not the player was making a legitimate basketball play
3) Did the fouling arm have a wind up or follow through
4) Potential for injury (blow to head or was foul committed when player was in vulnerable position)
5) Severity of the injury suffered by the offended player
6) Finally, was there an altercation.
There's also a set of rules on elbows.  A technical foul is given only if the elbow was swung and misses.
According to these rules, I could see why Griffin was given a flagrant 2 because of #3 and #4, but the officials' call on Lowry was just terrible.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Holly Holms vs Ronda Rousey is not PPV Worthy

UFC could of had the biggest fight to start next year if they somehow agreed to book bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to a fight with Invicta's Cris "Cyborg" Justino.  But nooo, the UFC is scared of Justino so they went with a boring fight in matching Rousey with former boxer Holly Holms.  Look, Holms may be 9-0 in her MMA career, but she's still raw and has no ground game.  Rousey will finish her with a submission in less than a minute.  Remember at UFC 118 when Randy Couture embarrassed James Toney?  Couture got Toney to the ground easily and made sure Toney couldn't get up nor land a single punch.
An agreement to a catchweight 140 lb non-title fight is all it would take to have the best female MMA fighters compete for superiority rights.  But UFC wanted to stand firm at 135, even though Rousey has fought at 145 initially before she moved down to 135.  I guess Dana White wants to protect Rousey.  He said there's no featherweight division because there's not enough depth.  The bantamweight division isn't going anywhere either if Rousey is finishing everyone off in less than a minute.  Rousey is on a whole another level compared to her peers and Justino is the only fighter out there that can match her skill level.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jurassic World is a Terrible Sequel to Jurassic Park

Jurassic World has so many things going wrong for it because of the themes that are present in it.  You've got the military involved, one who wants to turn the dinosaurs into soldiers.  There's some hypocrisy involved in Bryce Dallas Howard's character and family.  She was peeved at one employee for wearing a Jurassic Park T-shirt, yet she is carrying out John Hammond's legacy.  Then she and her sister are squabbling over not being there for the children, when both are not there for the children.  Howard's company is gene splicing a dinosaur, because obviously consumers want a dinosaur that can't be under control.  Lastly, there's no dinosaur expert working there.  What all this means is a lack of interest on the people in the movie.
  Yes, people will be in danger.  But all this hypocrisy and greediness creates a lack of connection between viewer and the characters in the movie.  I had a similar problem with Katniss in the "Hunger Games" because she was a bitch.  Since she was, I would not root for her.  Jurassic World may be the best sequel to the original, but that's not saying much.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rebuttal to use of Rape in Storytelling

Author John Scalzi recounts a lesson he learned about the incorporation of a rape scene in storytelling, as seen here.  In summary, when he first began honing his craft, Scalzi had a story where an investigator matched wits with a serial killer.  He added a scene where the serial killer tortured and raped the investigator's wife.  His writing mentor was a female, Pamela Wallace, who left disgusted after reading that scene.  Scalzi said that was the last time he ever thought of using rape in a novel.

What did he learn from Wallace's reaction?  That rape was bad?  Of course rape is bad, but why was it bad in this story?  She didn't say nor did he say what else she may have said.  The good advice Scalzi added at the end was from Robert Jackson Bennett, who stated that before a scene gets added in ask yourself what purpose does it serve.

I still believe Scalzi could have used that rape scene if he explained why he wanted to use it in the first place.  It also was not the main plot device that makes a story one dimensional.  There are plenty of movies were murder leads to revenge and that's basically all the movie is about.  There are plenty of movies that have cheesy sex scenes with no purpose.  That is lazy writing.

In Stephen King's Rose Madder, the titular character, Rose, was an abused wife who endured it for nine some years.  Was it wrong to show that she was abused? No!  It would have been extreme, however, to have several chapters about her abuse.  The abuse was the driving point for Rose to develop a spine and escape her abusive husband.  The abuse served a purpose.  King wasn't being sexist nor did he throw it in just because he could.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.