Why you should appreciate Ariza

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Published: February 27, 2011

This play from Friday’s game against the Wolves just stuck in my head.  Maybe two months ago, I was on the Podcast saying I was done with Ariza.  This play is a perfect example, however, of why I should have swallowed my tongue, and appreciated our starting small forward.

Ariza is the guy who chases Beasley to the side of the court near the bench,(top of your screen) then defends him during the high-scoring forward’s foray to the hoop:

“Wait,” you say, “That’s terrible! He just let Beasley get an easy layup! What stupid sort of blog is this!?”

Here’s the thing, though:  Watch Ariza’s reaction to the layup. Go on, watch it    .   .   .   He’s disappointed in himself, right? Upset? Then, absorb the context:

The Hornets are up 18 with 5 minutes to go. To that point in the game, Ariza has crushed Beasley, holding him to 3-15 shooting for 6 points, zero free throw attempts and 5 turnovers.    Most players, they’re satisfied and looking ahead to the end of the game.  Ariza isn’t, he’s still locked in defensively. I love that.

What do you think?

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