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I’m Back! With Terrible Analogies!

May 7, 2011

So it has been a really long time since I blogged about anything. Lots of tweeting. Lots of reading. Lots of writing for work and school. My creative outlet and hobby fell by the wayside.

But it’s the weekend! And I’m done with exams! Unstructured free time is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that it reminded me that I could start blogging again! It might take me a while to pick it back up even semi-regularly, but I figure I’ve got to start somewhere.

That somewhere is a bunch of terrible analogies. The human brain likes comparing things to other things so you can better file away senses of familiarity and understanding in your squishy gray matter. I had 3 NBA-related analogies pop into my gray matter this week. I’ll relay the first two here, and the third in a later post.

Every Marvin Williams backdoor cut off the glass is 2 pair on the river, when he was only in the hand because he was big blind.

So the first one came during the first half of Bulls/Hawks game 2. Inspired by Matt Moore’s commentary of the Hawks erratic-yet-unexpectedly-effective play, I tried to think of a situation where erratic and unpredictable behavior produced effective results against more competent and inspired opponents. So I came up with the fact that the playing against the Hawks must be a lot like being an experienced poker player that plays against a novice: you have absolutely no idea how to gauge their talents, abilities, and skillsets. And you have no idea how to measure your own talents, abilities, and skillsets against theirs.

“Oh hey look! I have 2 pair! Is it better when the pairs are the same?”

“Oh cool! I win again. That fifth card that gets laid down seems to help me every time. I keep getting 7s AND 2s!”

“Sweet, another win! That’s funny. I was only in this hand because I was blindest. I mean big blind! Silly me!”

Now think about that every time you see Marvin Williams score a bank shot off the glass, while backdoor cutting Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Then Josh Smith taking an ill-advised-post-jog 3pointer. Then Jeff Teague crossover Derrick Rose.

So my second terrible analogy is also Hawks-related, but it came after watching game 2. A hoops-head friend of mine at work were discussing the game and talking about the various levels of contribution one sees out of the big men in this series. Then we both started gushing about Al Horford. Great on offense. Great on defense. Underplayed. Underpaid. Undercomplains, even though he’s on a team with a bunch of guys with “meh” attitudes, that has an owner who is currently trying to sell their arena and partner hockey franchise. Distractions? For normal people, maybe. But not for Horford.

So here’s my terrible analogy for Horford: He’s like that one roommate in college that hangs out all night at a house party. Everyone seems to like him enough, but no one pays much attention to him or hangs out with for a long time. In a short while, everyone gets wasted. The apartment is trashed. The other roommates pass out, and then they wake up in the morning. Horford has cleaned the whole apartment, taken out the trash, and bought bagels and coffee for everyone before they’ve even woken up. Sounds awesome, right? Well he does that after EVERY party, so at this point, the other roommates are just used to it and don’t even notice. He doesn’t get any thanks, but he doesn’t ask or want to be thanked either.

He does all the dirty work so his “roommates” can stay in every game. While Josh Smith is passed out on the coach, and Joe Johnson’s unconscious with Sharpie drawings all over his forehead, Horford’s on his way to drop off 3 bags full of empty beer cans at the local recycling plant.

He doesn’t get plays run for him but scores. He sets screens. He gets offensive rebounds. He doesn’t complain. He just goes out there every night with energy and does what needs to be done. That might make him an enabler, though. Maybe if he didn’t clean up after everyone, they’d realize how terrible they were and strive to make an effort themselves. But for now, all we can do is try to pay attention to Horford, appreciate his talents, and hope that someday he gets surrounded by teammates/roommates that pass him the beer bong the night before, and buy him some coffee the next morning.

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