Friday, August 28, 2009

Overrating Trevor Ariza

As a Laker fan who is one of Trevor Ariza's biggest supporters and whose friend had him dubbed Trevor "the future" Ariza, it was sad to see him go. He was a key cog in the Lakers' championship wagon and delivered some of the most exciting and timely plays of the season. He is still young and will probably get better.

But let's not get carried away. Trevor was a 9 point, 4 rebound a game guy this past season who was a great wing defender. This is not to diminish what he brought to the Lakers, but ;rather to put it in it's proper place. Ron Artest put up superior numbers and played a more vital role for the Rockets, but everyone is talking about how Ariza is ther better player. It's silly.

This leads me to my more general point that it is easy to overvalue a player based on one playoff ;performance and playing on the right team. Ariza benefitted from coming alive at the right time (the playoffs), playing in a huge market (Los Angeles) alongside one of the all-time greats (Kobe Bryant) and for the best coach of all-time (Phil Jackson). His accomplishments shined in the LA spotlight and he was deified for his performance. He had some great moments, no doubt. His late-game steals against Denver in the Western Conference Finals were magical, and his top of the key heave against Orlando in game 5 of the NBA Finals was the most underrated ;play of the 2009 playoffs.

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