Author Archives: theovershow

Siddhuey Reviewy: ParaNorman

“Paranorman” is different than your usual animated children’s movie. For starters, this isn’t one of those Pixar animated films; this is a stop-motion animated film (this is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second stop motion film to be shot in 3D). Second, and most importantly, this is a comedy-horror film. Parts are funny and there are parts where you wonder, “What the fuck? Is this really PG?”

“Paranorman” is about a kid growing up in Blithe Hollow and this kid, Norman, has a sixth sense; he can see dead people. Naturally, his gift makes him an outcast at school as he is always seen talking to people who aren’t alive- so basically, other students see him talking to himself. The setting for this movie is perfect. Blithe Hollow is a rundown, ghost town due to the town’s past history of burning witches. The town’s dilapidated nature is evidenced in Norman’s bizarre walk to school where he seen talking to a whole host of dead people.

Aside from Norman’s uncle and mother, his family is unsympathetic to his weird ways. However, all is not lost for Norman as Neil, classmate of Norman’s, befriends Norman. Neil is a fat kid at school who experiences the same bullying that Norman experiences. The only difference between the two is that Neil is comfortable with it and doesn’t mind the outcast status.

The movie is propelled by a plot involving the witch coming back to town to haunt the townsfolk and wouldn’t ya have guessed it, Norman is the only one who can save them. The last half hour of the movie is why the movie received a PG rating, but aside from this, the movie is quite adult and entertaining because of it.

“Paranorman” has a unique feel because of this stop-motion. At times it looks stunningly modern yet it has the wonderful old-school feel that keeps adults captivated. The plot is not perfect by any means but the haunting visuals hold your attention. The wonderful visuals coupled with the excellent cast make this a movie worth seeing.

I give this movie a 8.5/10.

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#HellaFunny Comedy Show Promo

Mark Smalls and Andrew Orolfo make their stand up comedy debuts on September 14th at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. You can find tickets here: jeffanayaatthepurpleonion.eventbrite.com/ … Jeff Anaya headlines live at the Purple Onion. Also performing Mary Elizabetth Estes, Mathew Groom, Destini Iron Bryant, Andrew Orolfo and Mark Smallhoover. Do not miss out.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: Avengers vs. Prometheus

-Avengers-
It’s taken awhile but Marvel has finally released “The Avengers”. The movie showcases Marvel’s biggest superstars in a two hour twenty minute epic.

Let’s start with the bad in this movie. Scarlett Johansson can’t act her way out of a paper bag and her character, Black Widow, is useless (Jeremy Renner is also useless in this movie. He is a decent actor though). Renner and Johansson are like the fat girls in a group of hot girls. The fat girls have no business being in that group, but for some reason they are all friends. You really want the fat girls to disappear but you realize that if they left, the hot girls would leave too. Therefore, you are stuck with them. In “The Avengers”, Renner and Johansson are the fat girls; they have no superpowers. Renner is a glorified Robin Hood and Johansson is Batman with tits (she also lacks the style and charisma of Batman. What’s particularly interesting about my last comment is that I seem to prefer Batman to a scantily clad Johansson. I should really take that back. Why am I not taking that back? Fuck it, I prefer Batman to Johansson! Sure, I would love to see Johansson parading around in a push-up bra and some sexy stockings but not in a superhero movie. What I am saying? I feel so conflicted right now.)

One of the best parts of the movie is Johansson. She is like a Batman with tits and it is awesome. I really enjoyed her performance- what an incredible actress. Captain America is a super cheesy rah rah American soldier and somehow, it works. Even though he is the one of the worst superheroes you can come across due to his lack of superpower- he is super funny and a great addition to the Avenger team. I like Edward Norton, just not as the Hulk. Mark Ruffalo is an improvement and he is excellent in this movie. Ruffalo hits the perfect key; he isn’t super funny or super serious- he’s just right, kinda like the porridge Goldilocks eats. Robert Downey Jr. is great as usual. His sarcasm never seems forced or venomous and that makes him the perfect star for this movie. Thor and Loki, played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston respectively, are hilarious because of their manner of speaking (you should keep in mind that I have not seen “Captain America” or “Thor”, so this is all new to me).

Lastly, I would like to give some credit to the director, Josh Whedon. Directing a movie like this is never easy. You have to come up with a way to give everyone equal screen time while massaging the egos of stars used to being the focal point of a movie. He is exceptional in both respects.

I really enjoyed this movie and I give it a 8.76548/10. Go see this movie.

-Prometheus-
Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film explores the origin of human life and the risks one takes to get the answers. This is an adventure movie that is at times haunting and grotesque, but is always epic. This is not some silly sci-fi film where ants become enormously large and attempt to devour a small town in Idaho. No, this movie speaks to the audience because almost all humans wonder why we are on Earth and if there are “engineers”, (term used to describe the beings that Noomi Rapace and the crew are searching for).

The movie opens with a simply gorgeous “dawn of man” sequence and thereafter we meet a man who drinks a liquid that causes body decay and eventually death. Or does it? After this man “dies”, we fast forward to 2093 where the crew of the Prometheus have landed on the planet of the “engineers”. The crew is led by Charlize Theron, an employee of the company that financed the trip. She is accompanied by Rapace and others, each with different reasons for being on this trip.

It does not take long for the crew to locate the “engineers” residence but locating the engineers takes a while. Rapace embodies the strong feminine role that Sigourney Weaver once embodied, and throughout the trying circumstances she faces, her faith seems to guide her through. Speaking of faith, this movie has a religion vs. agnostic thing going on. Basically, Rapace believes in God but her douchebag boyfriend is not sold. As they continue to investigate the “engineers” they discover their DNA is identical to ours. This leads to a number of questions that need not be posed, nor answered now.

As the movie progresses the horror scenes come fast and furious. Rapace’s medical scene stands out but certain people’s death scenes are equally gripping. And unlike “Alien” these horror scenes have way more action and artillery. Whether or not this is better than the standard horror scenes of “Alien” is up to you, but I really enjoyed it.

The movie is not a fast paced action movie, but it isn’t so slow that you lose interest. The reason you don’t lose interest: Michael Fassbender.

Fassbender plays David, an android who basically can do anything and although he cannot die, he exhibits many traits humans possess. One for example, is curiosity. Fassbender is curious throughout the movie and it is his curiosity that sets in motion a chain of events that result in extreme acts of horror and survival. Fassbender has not yet received an academy award nomination but this movie may change that. He is gripping in a way very few in supporting characters are. Fassbender delivers a performance on par with Heath Ledger’s “Joker”. When the movie starts to lose steam, Fassbender appears and the movie becomes gripping again. After leaving this movie, the first thought in my mind was how amazing Fassbender was. He was truly otherworldly. Given his work in this movie and movies such as “Shame” and “X-Men: First Class”, Fassbender could well be the next ridiculously superb actor who happens to be a movie star.

This movie should be renamed the Michael Fassbender movie that Ridley Scott directed. Scott is fantastic but his brilliance is dwarfed by Fassbender. This movie is epic. I give this movie a 8.5/10. You must see this movie.

P.S.: I did not see this movie in 3-D but some say it isn’t anything special. However, others say it must be seen in 3-D. There is one scene where David discovers something and all of a sudden a beautiful light show commences. This, and the opening “dawn of man” sequence are the two scenes I would have loved to see in 3-D. The light show scene (I have a better way of describing it but I don’t want to give anything anyway) is great and Fassbender’s reactions to the scene are Oscar-worthy. So basically, see it in 3-D for those scenes alone.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: Thoughts on Lebron’s 1st Ring

 

LeBron and the Heatles get their first championship thanks to LeBron’s otherworldly play and the Thunder’s inexperience. Do I still hate LeBron? Yes. As a basketball fan do I appreciate what he accomplished in this series and the entire postseason? Hell yes. Can LeBron be better than Michael Jordan? Sadly, yes.

There comes a point in almost every series where you realize one team is just better than the other. Regardless of what happens, the superior team will eventually win the series. Take for example the Celtics-Sixers series. It went seven games but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Celtics would pull it out. You could tell in game one that the Celtics were just better. In the NBA Finals, game three proved the Heat were superior to the Thunder. Game four might have been close but there was no doubt the Heat would win the series even if they failed to take game four.

The reason the Heat were superior is simple: LeBron James.

I have been lucky enough in my life to experience Kobe Bryant go through his “Revolver” phase and now we are witnessing LeBron’s “Revolver” phase.

Let me explain the “Revolver” phase.

The Beatles are the greatest band ever (I don’t want to debate this right now because it’s stupid to debate and because it’s not the point of this column). The Beatles were always a great band but they had a stretch where they went from great to godly. That stretch went as follows (my opinion and obviously you will disagree but you are stupid and I hope you die a terrible death): “Revolver”, “Sgt. Pepper”, “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The White Album”. During this “Revolver” phase, the Beatles were in a Jordan-like zone; they could do no wrong. Every guitar chord played was perfect, every drum kick was sumptuous and every vocal harmony was perfectly pitched.

Kobe went through his “Revolver” phase between 2004-2009. During that time not only was he the best player in basketball but he was evoking memories of Jordan and staring conversations of whether he could go down as the greatest ever (these debates were stupid as Kobe is a poor man’s Jordan but because he could spark such a debate is a testament to his prowess).

Finally, we have entered LeBron’s “Revolver” phase. I still think he is not the best player he could be and I still maintain he could be better if he worked harder. Nonetheless, he is BY FAR the best player on the planet and he his “Revolver” phase is just beginning. His dominance in the playoffs this year was flat out absurd. I won’t go over the numbers because they are ridiculous but merely watching him was awe-inspiring. He was the total package in a way Kobe could never be and in a way Jordan rarely was. His scoring was startlingly efficient, he dominated the boards and most impressive of all was his Pippen/Jordan-like defense on Durant.

LeBron blew me away with his aggression in this postseason. He never relented, never took a play off- he just kept attacking.

Now that he has won his first ring the question of whether he can be better than Jordan is officially on the table (the question was a laughable one before but now it is a valid one). If LeBron can win at least four rings, I might say he is better than Jordan. Given his ability to impact the game in a variety of different ways makes this debate a sensible one. If LeBron wins three or four rings he will surpass Kobe, Duncan and possibly Kareem, Magic and Bird. The guy is a freak and we have to give him his just due.

LeBron’s “Revolver” phase has just begun and I hope it ends soon. I would rather see Durant in his “Revolver” phase but Bron has to be appreciated. You can hate him, but you better acknowledge what he is doing and applaud. The only question that remains is when his “Revolver” phase ends.

2012-?????

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Siddhuey Reviewy: 2012 NBA Finals

My conference finals preview had me gushing about the Spurs thereby cursing them and ending their season. My powers are incredible, this is without question. With that being said, I will now festoon the Heat with praise (that way, they will be cursed and lose the finals.)

I hate to say it but it needs to be said: LeBron is dominating the NBA. He has been brilliant throughout the season and when D Wade decides to show up, the Heat are unbeatable. Well, that’s enough about the Heat.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat

Prior to the start of the NBA season, I correctly predicted that the Thunder and Heat would contest the 2012 NBA Finals. However, I didn’t think the finals would be a close contest. I couldn’t forecast (notice how I used a weather word in this preview. That’s because this year’s finals is the all weather final) the jump the Thunder would make from last year to this year.

The “jump” the Thunder have made this season has been startling. They share the ball more, they are more active defensively and most importantly, Durant has become a monster. He’s not as good as LeBron, but he’s almost there. His 4th quarter performance in game 4 was stunning; a performance fit for the basketball gods. Durantula has become the most clutch player in the NBA and in some ways, the most exciting.

Awaiting this improved Thunder team are the mighty Heat. LeBron is the best defensive player in the league and the Durant, LeBron matchup will be key (and it is this kind of analysis that you find anywhere else. I should also take the time to mention that if LeBron and Wade foul out in the first quarter the Heat’s chances of winning will slim to none. Furthermore, the team that scores the most points in the game has the best chance to win.).

For me, Westbrook and Harden are the keys to the Thunder success. Harden will likely be defended by Wade and if Wade can stifle the playmaking ability of Harden, the Heat will be at a serious advantage. There is no answer for Westbrook. He must continue to be a playmaker before a scorer and if he does that, the Thunder are the Heat’s equals.

Ultimately the finals will come down to the stars making plays (you’re probably thinking, “if that’s the case, then why did you spend so many paragraphs talking about other bullshit?”. I’m wondering the same thing myself). Can LeBron put his choking ways behind him and finally win a title? Can Durant go from great to legendary? I think LeBron will be great in the finals but D Wade will let him down. Therefore, I am going Thunder in 7 (I did choose Miami in the beginning of the year but whatevs)

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The Siddhuey Reviewy: NBA Conference Finals 2012

The second round is in the books and the conference finals are upon us. There was really nothing compelling in the second round as Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Boston were never really threatened (Don’t tell me about how the Lakers could have been up 3-1 or how Boston nearly lost their series. Bullshit. Great teams would actually be up 3-1. Great teams have players who understand what they do well and they also understand their limitation. The Lakers don’t possess these players. Boston was never going to fall to the 76ers. The only reason the series went as long as it did was down to Boston’s lack of effort (and injuries-more on that later). They didn’t see the 76ers as a genuine threat and just coasted throughout the series. I expect a much greater effort from the Celtics in the conference finals.)It’s time to give some love to the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sick and tired of people saying the San Antonio Spurs are boring. Is Halle Berry unattractive? I didn’t think so. The Spurs play the most exciting basketball in the NBA. Some say they don’t have a swagger or they don’t have the flash that accompanies the “cool” teams. The high scoring, free-wheeling Spurs don’t have a swagger? I’d argue they have a cooler style than Kobe, Durant and CP3 COMBINED. They have Hannibal Lecter swag. Let me explain.

Hannibal Lecter was suave, refined and rarely, if ever, got angry (this sentence sounds stupid because he’s a cannibal but let me explain. You know how when Kobe gets super pissed at the referees and his body language becomes demonstrative. Well, the Spurs and Lecter, are rarely so expressive). Lecter was smart and dangerous; he would often toy with people mentally and no matter what you did, he was always in control. The Spurs are in control even when they are losing! With the Staples Center rocking and the Clippers up 24, the Spurs just slowly chipped away. They never panicked, never forced a shot or had some guy wanting to play hero ball (talking to you Kobe)- they just slowly chipped away as a team. At half, Parker, Popovich and Duncan were sitting on the bench laughing and lounging as if they were in a Corona commercial. AND THEY WERE LOSING BY DOUBLE DIGITS AT THE TIME! That’s fucking swag. That’s fucking style. By the way, they proceeded to go on a 24-0 run in the 3rd quarter and kill off the Clippers. Basically, they ate the Clippers liver with some fava beans and nice chiante.

The Spurs play smart basketball, as they always find the open man and never beat themselves. They are dangerous because anyone on their team can drop 20. The Spurs are flat out sick.

Now go on my faithful readers and appreciate the Spurs. Their swag level exceeds Tom Haverford’s.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

This series will be the most exciting because both teams are high scoring. The Spurs are deeper but the Thunder possess the best player, Kevin Durant. The matchups are absolutely mouthwatering: Parker vs. Westbrook, Harden vs. Ginobili, Durant vs. Leonard, and Duncan vs. Perkins. The Thunder have had a more difficult run up to this game than the Spurs, but they won’t be fatigued because of their youth. Given the way the Spurs destroyed the Clippers, it would be easy to say the Spurs will do the same to the Thunder. I won’t say that though. The Thunder are extremely talented and should make this a long series but I’m not sure they have enough. I’ll pick the Spurs even though I picked the Thunder to make it to the finals in the beginning of the season. Enjoy this one America.

Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

Prior to the postseason, I gave the Celtics an outside chance at beating the Heat. After the Sixers series, I give them no such chance. The loss of Avery Bradley and the injuries to Allen will kill their chances. Sure, Garnett has a huge advantage down low, and the loss of Bosh will certainly help the Celts, but it won’t be enough. Bradley was critical to the Celtics chances in this series; he could disrupt Wade’s rhythm. Here’s the key thing the Celtics have going for them; they don’t fear the Heat. They look at the Heat as a bunch of fake tough guys who they can boss around. Earlier this year when the Celtics were playing the Heat in Miami, the Celtics had their choice of what jersey they wanted to wear and Garnett made the choice. He said, “We are gonna wear are home jerseys, cause this is our fuckin house.” The Celtics went on to win that game.

The Celtics are also going to need Rondo to be simply brilliant. The Heat have nothing at the point guard position and Rondo can dominate. Problem with Rondo is, well, he’s Rondo. He’s really moody and tends to fade out of games for no reason. However, he loves the big stage and there is no bigger stage than the Eastern Conference Finals vs. East Hollywood. I hope he shows up, simply for the sake of the series. The Celtics struggled against the 76ers because of injuries to Pierce and Allen. Both have to be at their A game for the series to be a long one. Allen has to force Wade to defend; otherwise, Wade can save up all his energy and go H.A.M. on the offensive end.

LeBron James is unguardable. Against the Celtics, he is absolutely, positively, without question, fucking unguardable. If he doesn’t let the moment affect him, he will obliterate the Celtics singlehandedly. You could literally just have him against all five Celtics and he would drop 75 pts, 40 rebounds, and 30 assists (all the assists would be to himself. I’m convinced he could do this.). I think James will be affected by Garnett and he may not be great. Boston has to hope this will be the case.

Part of me says Miami can win this in 3, (I know what I wrote) and the other part says this will be seven. Either way, I got Miami.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: Warriors to Move, Lakers to Blow up?

Warriors in SF

The Warriors have secured a move from Oakland to San Francisco. The privately financed arena will be located at Piers 30-32 on San Francisco Bay, south of the Bay Bridge, between the Ferry Building and AT&T Park. The mockups look nice and the Warriors promise the arena will be as beautiful as the view that surrounds it. But how will this affect the Warriors going forward? Fans want to win and the owners have assured the fans of success. But the owners also guaranteed fans they would make the playoffs this past year. The owners guarantee a lot but will this move help them deliver on their promise to make the Warriors a championship team?

Let’s talk free agents and desirability. Free agents want to play in major markets to maximize the money they make in their careers. The Warriors in Oakland are a small market team, but the Warriors in San Francisco are a big market team, or so the owners claim (If you watched the press conference for the new arena, Jerry West kept mentioning the effect the move would have on free agents.) Therefore, the Warriors believe that moving to this new arena will allow them to attract the superstar free agents capable of delivering them the Larry O’ Brien trophy. It would be amazing to see a LeBron James-esque player lighting up the Bay Area night in and night out, but I’m not optimistic such a player will arrive.

Being in a major market with a great arena does not guarantee success. The Knicks play in the biggest market with the most famous arena, yet they haven’t won a ring in decades. Hell, they haven’t won a playoff series in a decade. Why have the Knicks struggled? They have a horrible front office guided by an owner who has no clue how to win. The Warriors front office is not much better than the Knicks. They amnestied Charlie Bell (they cleared $4 million off their books for the next two years) instead of Andris Biedrins (makes $9 million a year for the next 3 years). What the fuck? And here’s the kicker. They amnestied Charlie Bell with the expectation they would sign DeAndre Jordan. Jordan never arrived and even if he had, he would stunk up the joint (In Jordan’s five years in the NBA, he has scored only 4 points outside of the paint. I’m not fucking joking. He also shoots 44% from the free throw line). So in some ways they dodged a bullet, but that’s not the point. The front office thought that was a good move. Who cares if you move to a nice arena if you are going to fill that arena with the likes of a DeAndre Jordan?

Most of the top NBA teams right now are from small markets: Indiana, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. What do all these organizations have in common? They all possess a great front office and a smart owner. When the Lakers ruled the world they had a fantastic owner, Jerry Buss, who put in place one of the best front office teams in the NBA.

Location doesn’t matter- a smart owner and a solid front office do.

I don’t think the fans win with the Warriors move to San Francisco. The owners win. They get to raise ticket prices because of the new arena. They may change the name to the San Francisco Warriors and make millions off of the new merchandise. They may renegotiate their TV deal and earn more money. All of this is going to be great…for the owners.

What’s next for the Lakers

The Lakers crashed out to the young Thunder and now Laker fans feel more uncertain about their future than ever. Even when Shaq left the team, fans never felt so bad. Back then, we still had Kobe entering his prime and watching him torch teams was thrilling. And just a few years later we acquired Pau Gasol and Kobe captured his fourth and fifth championship rings. Let’s briefly review why the Lakers season ended.

First, there is no bench whatsoever. A lack of depth on an aging team can only mean bad things. Second, the Lakers had no idea what they were going to receive night to night from Andrew Bynum and Gasol.  I don’t put the blame entirely on Gasol and Bynum for their lack of consistency, but they must accept their role in the Lakers’ failure this season. Bynum will never mature. I accept that. Still, at the very least,  he needs to show up in key games. Gasol’s struggles are not down to the erosion of his skills, but to his positioning on the floor. The triangle offense is a fluid offense that allows every player a chance to operate in the post and Gasol thrived in that system. In Mike Brown’s more traditional offense, Gasol rarely finds himself in the low post. Instead, he is always in the high post. That’s like taking a Ferrari for a test drive in a cul-de-sac. Sure, it will still look good, but you aren’t getting the best performance out of it. Third, Mike Brown is not fit to be the Lakers coach. Brown has yet to come up with an offense that gets the best out of his key players; Gasol, Bynum and Kobe. Furthermore, Brown doesn’t have the respect of the players. Kobe is the offensive coordinator, which means he will shoot and shoot, thus, taking the other players out of rhythm. And that brings me to my fourth point. Kobe Bryant. Kobe is no longer the best player in the league. But he thinks he is. The toughest thing for a superstar is to accept they are no longer the same player. Tim Duncan has accepted his reduced role and consequently, the Spurs are achieving more than they ever did. If Kobe could accept he is no longer a top player, the Lakers would be better.

Sidenote: If Duncan were to win his fifth title with the Spurs this year, it would have some impact on the ordering of the ten greatest players of all time. Here’s my list right now: 1. Michael Jordan 2. Bill Russell 3. Magic Johnson 4. Larry Bird 5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6. Kobe Bryant 7. Tim Duncan 8. Wilt Chamberlain 9. Hakeem Olajuwon 10. Oscar Robertson.

If Duncan wins then he goes ahead of Kobe and unless Kobe can win another championship, or end up as the all time scoring leader, Duncan will finish his career ahead of him. Duncan has been the driving force on all his championship teams (except this one, should they win), Kobe has not. Duncan has had a more consistent career and winning at this age would only strengthen that claim.

Now let’s explore what the Lakers need to do going forward.

The Lakers need to decide what style of basketball they want to play. Once they decide that, they can get the players to fit their system. The Spurs always rebuild because they have a system and they find players to fit the system. We have no style right now. We need to decide a style first, and then proceed.

Something needs to be done with Kobe. The only team that would trade for Kobe is the Brooklyn Nets. They need a star name when they move to their new building and Kobe would fill that role. Outside of that, no one wants an aging superstar making the kind of money Kobe is (making about $60 million over the next 2 years). That leaves the Lakers with one option: amnesty. Yea, I said it. Kobe may move merchandise, but his presence is hurting the Lakers. With Kobe there, the team has to reload to help him win a championship. Problem is, Gasol and Bynum do not have enough trade value to bring Kobe a championship. Furthermore, thanks to Kobe’s salary the Lakers cannot acquire any top notch free agents. If Kobe is amnestied then the Lakers become a lottery team- this is not a bad thing. The new CBA makes acquiring superstar free agents difficult; therefore, you have to build through the draft. Obviously the draft is a crapshoot and not every year is a player of Anthony Davis caliber available, but still. In the end, the Lakers can only move forward if Kobe goes.

Gasol’s trade value is decreasing everyday because of his age, but if the Lakers can parlay Gasol into Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, they should make it happen. Or trade Gasol for an unprotected 1st round pick- Lakers need picks because they keep trading them away for idiots like Sessions (he is a backup point guard on a great team, not a starter).  Bynum also needs to go. Here’s an interesting trade for you. Bynum for DeMarcus Cousins, John Salmons and a number one pick. Salmons is only in the trade to make the numbers work. Cousins and the number one pick are the prize. Bynum and Cousins are both troubled centers who may benefit from a change of scenery. I love Cousins’ potential and with the right coaching (Brown has to be fired) he can be better than Bynum. If he turns out to be anything like Bynum, the trade works out for the Lakers.  (Bynum has reached his ceiling. He isn’t getting much better than this). Plus, they get the number one pick from the Kings, which will likely be a high pick. Lastly, they will save money in this deal as Cousins’ new contract will be less than Bynum’s. That would be a dope trade.

All in all, the Lakers are facing a bleak future. The only way it will change is to somehow come up with the next Kobe Bryant. This can only be achieved through the draft and for us to get such a player, we need to lose and rebuild. Rid ourselves of Kobe and we can do that. It’s not bad that Kobe doesn’t finish his career with one team. Not even the great Jordan did. There is no quick fix. Just a few years of shittiness. Every team goes through it and the Lakers time has come.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: NBA Playoff Predictions – Round 2

The first round is in the books and not much to talk about other than injuries, great games, stupid coaching decisions and one monumental collapse.

Derrick Rose’s injury is THE talking point in this postseason. The thing that hurts me the most is the uncertainty surrounding his recovery. Will he be the same player when he returns? By the time he becomes the same player, will it to be too late; will the Bulls window to win a championship close? Earlier this year I had a fantastic discussion with Fats about who was the best player under 25 in basketball. We had narrowed it down to two names: Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose. We thought you couldn’t go wrong with either and now, it’s almost impossible to go right with Rose- especially considering the season Durant has had. I seriously hope he recovers and can light up the league as he once did- because as a basketball fan, the NBA is better with Rose at his best.

The first round had quite a few great games but only one great series; Memphis vs. LA Clippers.  The first two games in the Oklahoma City – Dallas series were epic but the series fizzled out after that. Game 1 in Memphis saw the Clippers win after being down 24 points in the fourth quarter. The Lakers loss in Game 5 of the series was a great game due to Kobe singlehandedly bringing the Lakers with back with shot after shot (I hate to say it, but his self-confidence is also what saw them lose that game. He missed three crucial shots down the stretch).

I nailed almost all of my picks in the first round but choosing Memphis is what really kills me. With Z-Bo only semi-fit for the series, there was no way the Grizzlies were going to the NBA Finals, but they should have beaten the Clippers. They gave Game 1 away in historic fashion and they should have won at least one, if not two games in LA (talking about Games 3 and 4). If you give away games in the playoffs, you will lose that series. Simple and plain.

The second round matchups are somewhat tastier than the first round ones, so let’s jump into it.

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

The affair series. Let me explain why I call it the affair series. Before a person has an affair they think the affair is going to be awesome, or at least better than their current situation. The possibility of beautiful orgasm dances through your mind and finally the moment arrives. It’s going be as great as you expected or it’s going to let you down- and I mean seriously let you down. This series is an affair. Indiana has superior depth and they possess a player that Miami simply cannot defend, Roy Hibbert. Not to mention they are also superior at the point guard position and with Paul George, they have a lock down defender. So Indiana will win this series or at the very least, push Miami to seven, right? Well, maybe not. Indiana is inexperienced and has been blown out by Miami due to Miami’s up and down style. Plus, Roy Hibbert has never taken control in a game, let alone a series before. If Roy Hibbert and the Pacers perform the way they usually do then this series is going at least six. In other words, this affair is going to be everything you imagined; the sex is going to be mindblowing and maybe, just maybe, a real relationship will come out of this (i.e. Indiana will in this series and you will forever be an Indiana fan). Or this affair could be a dud; the foreplay is great but the sex is bumpy and ends way too quickly. I’m hoping for a great affair but I’m picking Miami.

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

This will be the most boring series of the second round because Boston is head and shoulders better than Philadelphia. People will tell you that Philadelphia’s regular season record against Boston (2-1) suggests Philadelphia is better and could make this series a long one. Don’t listen to them. With Boston’s veteran experience and coaching advantage, Boston will win this series.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Metta World Peace or the Artest formerly known as Ron, will be greeted with a chorus of boos in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, MWP’s presence is not going to turn this series in the Lakers favor- it will be Kobe that decides this series. Will Kobe take a backseat to Bynum and Gasol and allow them to dictate this series? I seriously doubt it. That’s the Lakers only chance. Kobe has to defer for the Lakers to have any chance in this series. The Lakers must keep the game a halfcourt game and pound it inside (I could’ve said, “they need to get the ball down low”, but then the sexual reference would be lost and Fats would have nothing to laugh at). Double teaming Bynum and forcing Kobe to shoot contested jumpers will be the key to success for the Thunder. Also, when Sessions runs those high pick and rolls with Gasol or Bynum, the player guarding Sessions needs to go under those screens to prevent the screen and roll and force Sessions to shoot. Sessions is not a shooter the way Fish was and will struggle. Thunder have the superior depth and they possess the best player in this series, Kevin Durant. Thunder will win this series.

San Antonio Spurs vs. LA Clippers

The Clippers are in dreamland as they have advanced to the second round by winning a game seven on the road. The sad reality for the Clippers is a second round exit is near. The Spurs are far more talented and Tony Parker will prove to be extremely difficult to defend. Should I go on record and say sweep? I should, but I won’t. Spurs will win easily but not that easy.

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Siddhuey Reviewy: NBA Playoffs 1st Round Preview

Let’s quickly review my division picks from the beginning of the year. In the Atlantic Division I chose New York yet once again the Boston Celtics won the division. Philadelphia started strong but then fell to a low playoff seed while the Knicks spent most of the season quitting on D’Antoni and riding the roller coaster that is Jeremy Lin. Surprisingly, or not, the Knicks have been at their best without Lin and look semi dangerous going into the playoffs, although a first round exit is likely. I picked Miami and Chicago to win their respective divisions and they won with ease. Although, it should be mentioned that Orlando could have made a run of the division if it wasn’t for Dwight Howard’s soap opera that gave us THE awkward moment of the year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y08gvGpGCwA).

In the Western Conference, I was again two for three with the only missed pick coming in the Southwest Division; I picked the Mavericks and the Spurs won the division as well as the number one seed in the West. The Thunder and Lakers won the other divisions and will be going into the playoffs as the number 2 and 3 seeds respectively.

I would just like to take this moment and recant an earlier statement I made about a player. Earlier this year I deemed Kevin Love merely a stat stuffer. I said he was someone who put up great numbers but couldn’t translate those numbers into wins for his team. I was wrong. Love is by far the best power forward in the NBA and if he and Rubio could have stayed healthy, the Timberwolves would be in the playoffs. I’m still not sold on Love being the kind of guy that can drive a team to a championship but I’m not going to be an idiot and put it past him. The guy is a monster and was a MVP candidate before his injury. All the Minnesota fans are singing, “We found Love in a hopeless place.” That really wasn’t funny at all, but I liked saying it anyway.

My finals picks- Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat- are looking good but not as good as they looked before the start of the year. The Spurs are the NBA’s best team right now but they are old and may struggle against certain teams. Miami is lucky that Rose is injured because I don’t think he will be 100% healthy this season and the Bulls will be unable to overcome the Heat. With that being said let’s move to my playoff picks.

Let’s start in the Eastern Conference because the 1st round matchups are likely to be very boring.

Chicago vs. Philadelphia

Philadelphia has played Chicago tough this year and on one occasion, they almost beat the Bulls with Rose in the lineup. Rose’s health is the big question in this postseason- if he is 100% healthy and in game shape, then the Bulls are one of the favorites. Without Rose at his best the Bulls will squeak by the 76ers (if you wanted to win some big money quick and in order to get this money you were willing to take a sizeable risk, not an impossibility, but a sizeable risk, then betting on the 76ers to beat the Bulls- assuming Rose isn’t a 100%- is the bet for you).

Miami vs. New York

The New York media, basically the national media, will hype this up as a huge series that could go either way. If the Knicks are able to win a game in the series, the media will say they have figured them out and will surely go on to the next round. Don’t pay no ‘tention to dem. The Heat have been erratic since the all star break but they are better than the Knicks and LeBron doesn’t choke until the finals (well, at least usually- although, if there ever were a time to choke in the 1st round, wouldn’t choking against the Knicks be the perfect story? The man who spurned the spotlight of New York to join forces with Wade commits his greatest failure in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, would be the story of the century. Years from now, assuming they lost in the 1st round, people would remember LeBron as a complete waste of talent). Sadly, the Heat will win this series.

Indiana vs. Orlando

Indiana is the hottest team in the NBA right now. They have found their groove and with Howard missing from the proceedings, the Pacers will kill the Magic. Danny Granger has been poor this season and I think the Pacers should move him for some roster depth and slide Paul George to the 3 spot and then sign Eric Gordon, Indiana native, and play him at the 2 guard. We’ll see what happens.

Atlanta v. Boston  

Celtics tanked at the end of the season as they had already wrapped up the division and getting homecourt versus the Hawks meant nothing to them. I’m worried about Rondo’s health after that ugly fall he had a couple of weeks earlier but all reports suggest he’ll be fine. Atlanta’s homecourt won’t make any difference because they are unable to sellout even for playoff games. The Celtics will get through this series with minimal effort.

Let’s move the Western Conference where we may see some upsets, although it is unlikely.

San Antonio vs. Utah

San Antonio have become favorites to win the West but I am not so sure because of their potential second round matchup with the Grizzlies. Utah might be a tough out for the Spurs if Al Jefferson plays the way he is capable of playing, but that a huge if. The Spurs are focused but Utah may give them some trouble because of their size.

Oklahoma City v. Dallas

Last year Dallas beat Oklahoma City en route to their first championship ring. Things will be different this time. Dirk has not been Dirk this year. Conversely, Kevin Durant has never been better and the Thunder have really improved this year because of his production. However, we shouldn’t gloss over the fact that they have been poor as of late. Luckily for them, the Mavericks have been poor all season. The Thunder will win this series.

LA Lakers v. Denver

Denver had a promising start to the year but injuries and a relatively key trade has the Nuggets in more of a rebuilding mode than being in contender mode. The loss of Wilson Chandler just recently, killed any chance the Nuggets had of winning this series (Note: Charles Barkley actually picked the Nuggets to win this series and that makes me nervous as a Lakers fan). Gallinari is still not fully healthy and Javale McGee can’t be trusted in the playoffs. The Lakers will likely have Kobe shooting a ton with Bynum and Gasol getting a few touches. This strategy will seem them eliminated in the playoffs but not now. The Lakers should win this series.

Memphis v. LA Clippers

The best first round matchup in the playoffs. Memphis will have homecourt and that might be the extra edge they need to win this series. I think the Clippers will be the Grizzlies toughest opponent in the playoffs. I’m clearly in the minority with that thinking but let me explain. The Spurs struggle against size and with Z-Bo and Gasol, the Grizzlies matchup extremely well against them. Furthermore, I think the Grizzlies matchup really well against the Thunder. With Tony Allen and Rudy Gay, they possess the perimeter defenders necessary to beat the Thunder. All that being said, Memphis could lose in the first round. Rudy Gay has superstar talent but he lacks the mental focus to be a superstar every night. If he is focused and if Z-Bo is 100% healthy (all reports suggest he is not), then Memphis will be representing the West in the finals. Let me repeat: Memphis will represent the West in the finals. Those are some big ifs, I’ll grant you that, but every team in the West has a bunch of ifs. Chris Paul makes the Clippers a difficult matchup for the Grizzlies and Blake Griffin will cause some problems as well. I’m going to pick Memphis but I’m not sure.

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The Siddhuey Reviewy: 2012 MLB Season Preview

I don’t know much about baseball but my one regret in life is not playing the sport professionally. Albert Pujols just signed a 10 yr/$254 million contract. That could have been me! The salaries for baseball players are ridiculous and for what? Standing around 90% of the time and hitting occasionally. C’mon man.  Unlike basketball and football players, baseball players don’t even have to be in shape. They can keep their round bellies and get paid $20 million a year. Anyway, let’s pick division winners and the World Series participants.

AL East

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

Terrible news for Red Sox fans as their closer will miss three to four months (yea, I did my research bitches) and given their lack of depth in the pitching department, this injury could really hurt the Sox. The Yankees are heavily dependent on CC Sabathia (Bay Area native) but Rivera’s return really helps the bullpen. Blue Jays are actually talented this year but the toughness of their division will kill their chances.

Division Winner: Yankees- there the Yankees for fucks sake.

AL Central

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

Chicago White Sox

Kansas City Royals

Minnesota Twins

I though Detroit was struggling economically. It sure didn’t seem like it this offseason when they awarded Prince Fielder a nine year, $214 million contract. This division sucks and the Tigers should take advantage when their new signings and overhaul of the team. The Indians have good pitching staff although strikeouts aren’t their forte- ground balls are. White Sox were injury plagued last year so were the Twins but I don’t see them edging the Tigers.

Division Winner: Tigers- Prince baby.

AL West

Oakland A’s

Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers

Anaheim Angels (refuse to call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)

Cespedes will be a fun watch all year for the A’s even while the A’s lose… and lose and lose. The Mariners will likely finish ahead of the A’s, relegating the A’s to division losers in every sense of the word. The Rangers are turning into the Buffalo Bills with their losing appearances in the World Series and the Angels are looking to capitalize on the Rangers’ failings.  CJ Wilson is a big signing for the Angels and will improve their pitching staff while Pujols upgrades the offense. Yu Darvish, Ranger’s pitcher, is my favorite player in this division and probably in the league. The 6’5” Japanese phenom is fucking dope for reasons I cannot explain. Just watch him and you will be like, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m watching baseball right now.”

Division Winner: Angels- Michael Young is on the decline and no way will Mike Napoli have as good of a season as he had last year.

Wild Card Winners: Devil Rays and Rangers (interesting how I talk shit on the Rangers, with the glorification of Darvish aside, then pick them to get the Wild Card spot over the Red Sox. In reality, it’s not interesting at all but it is something of note.)

The National League is considered far weaker than the American League this year with many people believing there won’t be a single 90 win team this season in the league. I just wanted to throw that out there for A’s fans looking for an argument with a Giants fan. The exchange might go a little something like this.

Giants fan: You guys fucking suck. You haven’t won shit since the Pill Popper Brothers and La Russa. Man, your franchise is a joke.

A’s fan: Who has more World Series titles, dude bro? Yea, I thought so, Jabroni. Lince-cum on a man’s face cause he is so gay is such a fucking loser and all of your fans are bandwagon fans.

Giants fan: At least we have fans (a clear shot to the declining attendance numbers at the Colisuem). Man, you guys suck so much we will probably double your win total.

A’s fan: Man, your league is so fucking terrible that if we were in your league we would double your win total (this person has lost all sense of reality. He/she (if women talk like this I would be very shocked and oddly turned on- what this says about me I would rather not delve into purely out of fear) is either drinking way too much, or knows they have lost the argument and will continue to say outlandish things just to end the argument).

Giants fan: Want to make a bet on this season, man? C’mon man, don’t pussy out (if this isn’t female dialogue, I don’t know what is.)

A’s fan: Man, fuck off, you are so lame.

Giants fan: You are scared man. You are so scared man. You’re so scared, you’re scaring me (laughs…alone).

A’s fan: No you’re scared.

Giants fan: Why would I be scared? I am the one trying to make the bet.

A’s fan: You’re scared man. Plus, it’s not a fair bet because you play in a weaker league.

Giants fan: Fine. Let’s alter the bet to make it fair. How about…..

A’s fan: Shut up man. (Muttering under his breath) Making it fair. (still muttering) Who does he think he is? (muttering still in full effect) Making it fair. (muttering will not stop just yet) We have more World Series titles and HE wants to make it fair.

Giants fan: Will you stop muttering? So, you wanna bet?

A’s fan: Can’t do it. Saving my money to help my grandmother get a transplant (says it rather matter of factly). See you later, man.

(As a side note- it’s clear both of these people aren’t ones for conversation as they only speak one or two sentences at a time. Also, they say man a lot which gives me the impression they are either Rastafari’s or the person they are conversing with really isn’t a friend but through the use of the word man they are hoping to develop a friendship).

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

New York Mets

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

Miami Marlins

Marlins got a new stadium, got some new players and most importantly, got some wealthy owners. For these reasons, I say they win the division. The Phillies will be strong but the injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will make it difficult for them to keep the pace with the Marlins. The Braves, like the Phillies, are loaded when it comes to pitching and pitching wins championships. I think this is the best division in the NL and hopefully a tight division race will strengthen that claim.

Division Winner: Marlins- Miami is the new hotspot for stars.

NL Central

St. Louis Cardinals

Houston Astros

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates

Defending champion Cardinals are coming off a bittersweet offseason. While it may have been fun to celebrate the title, it must have hurt to watch the La Russa and Pujols leave. The Reds have gotten stronger since last season and are the trendy pick to win the division.

Division Winner: Cardinals- I don’t do trendy, expect for my Marlins pick.

NL West

San Francisco Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks

Los Angeles Dodgers

Colorado Rockies

San Diego Padres

The Giants were smart this offseason when the resigned Cain to a long term deal. The return of Posey will make them stronger than last year and with Cain’s contract status settled, he could win the Cy Young. In Justin Upton the Diamondbacks possess their own MVP candidate and they are loaded across the board with great young talent. This will be another great division race, although it won’t be as compelling as the NL East, unless of course, you are a Giants of Diamondbacks fan.

Division Winner: Diamondbacks- I am being neutral here, honest.

Wild Card Winners: Braves and Phillies- Giants just miss the cut.

World Series: Phillies and Yankees. Yankees win.

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