I took the liberty of gathering some data about the Rockets by cross referencing Clint Capela's game log with that of PJ Tucker, who was active for every game this season for the Rockets. I'm sure there was an easier way to do this but whatever. Regular Season Record: 44-28 Record w/ Capela: 22-17 Record w/o Capela: 22-11 Record w/o Capela before trade: 10-1 Record w/o Capela after trade: 12-10 Record w/o Capela after trade (without the seeding games): 8-6 Seeding Games Record: 4-4 Playoff Record: 5-7 Bubble Record: 9-11 Losses during regular season while playing "Micro-Ball" line up for entire game:
12/29 @ NO (127-112)
2/7 @ PHX (127-91)\\**
2/9 vs UTA (114-113)
3/2 @ NYK (125-123)
3/5 vs LAC (120-105)
3/7 @ CHA (108-99)\\**
3/8 vs Orlando (126-106)
Losses during seeding games:
8/4 @ Portland (110-102)
8/11 @ San Antonio (123-105)\*
8/12 vs Indiana (108-104)\\**
8/14 vs Philadelphia (134-96)\\**
\ - James Harden inactive* \* - Russell Westbrook inactive* Based on the regular season record w/o Capela before the trade (10-1), the Rockets probably felt very confident that "micro ball" would be a success. It was a gamble for sure, but they had two elite guards in Westbrook and Harden paired with the high power offense of Mike D'Antoni, so they decided to go all in on "small ball," perhaps a bit too far. They finished the season 8-6 after the trade. Tbf, they started out 7-2 before going on a 4 game losing streak then winning the final game of the season against a KAT-less T-Wolves squad. I attribute this to fatigue. Their last win before losing 4 straight occurred against the Celtics at Boston in an overtime victory. The Rockets actually were only outrebounded 54-53, so clearly they put it in a lot of effort grabbing boards that night considering their size disadvantage. In retrospect, "micro ball" seems like it may not have been the best idea. It's egregious to me that they didn't at least have a contingency plan if they were getting destroyed in the paint. I know D'Antoni is the type to double down on his methods and he's been known not to make many adjustments when his schemes don't work, hence why he's never been able to make an NBA Finals despite coaching multiple MVPs (Nash, Kobe, Harden, Westbrook). So what the solution to Houston's problems? I think it's glaring that they need a legitimate stretch 4 who could guard multiple positions. The Rockets have Tucker, Green and Covington who can guard most 4s and some 5s, but not the elite ones like AD and Bron, who are the ultimate matchup nightmares. The Lakers are arguably the only team equipped to absolutely dominate the Rockets. Clippers, Bucks, Celtics and Heat would be good matchups but these teams only have elite perimeter players and no one who can really dominate the Rockets in the paint, both from an offensive and defensive standpoint. Giannis would be great defensively but he really needs to add more to his offensive game to truly open up the game for himself and his teammates on that end. Interestingly enough, AD would be a monster as a Rocket and in theory, would probably make them title favorites if he were swapped with, lets say, Westbrook. AD can score from anywhere on the floor and guard all positions. A Harden/AD pick and roll would destroy the league. AD is probably the best example but clearly he is not a realistic choice. I'm no expert, but I'm certain the Rockets have little wiggle room as far as salary cap space considering how much they're paying Russ and Harden. So who else would realistically be a good fit? Ideally, the player needs to at least be able to shoot the three and legitimately guard 1-5. Here's a list of players set to become free agents this upcoming off season. Only names that come to mind are: Serge Ibaka
Can control the paint but not a great perimeter defender
Shot 38.5% from three on 3.3 attempts per game in regular season
Shot 51.1 from three on 4.1 attempts per game in 11 playoff games
can defend multiple positions but not great paint defenders
Any other names that come to mind? Or do they need to completely overhaul their style of play? D'Antoni is gone but it seems like Daryl Morey is staying. They're stuck with Harden and Westbrook for at least a few years, so whatever they decide to do has to incorporate their strengths. I think the microball line up should still be used for stretches but eventually, they need a "big" with defensive versatility who won't clog up the lane.
NBA Draft: 1st round pick and Notable Misses 2007 - Aaron Brooks (Notable miss Marc Gasol) 2008 - Through Trade Donte Greene, Gave away Nicholas Batum (Notable miss Goran Dragic) 2009 - Through Trades Omri Caspi, Jeramine Taylor, Sergio LLul 2010 - Patrick Patterson 2011 - Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons (Notable Misses Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler) 2012 - Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, Terrence Jones (Notable Misses Draymond Green Khris Middleton) 2013 - Isaiah Cannan 2014 - Clint Capela (Notable Miss Nikola Jokic) 2015 - Sam Dekker 2016 - Chinanu Onuaku, Zhou Qi (Notable Miss Patric McCaw) 2017 - Isaiah Hartenstein 2018 - De'Anthony Melton 2019 - Null Notable Trade/Signing : James Harden Dwight Howard Chris Paul Russell Westbrook Trading Away Clint Capela Complete Small Ball Regular Season 640 - 400 61.5% Missed playoffs 3 times Finished Number 1 Seed Only ONce 2017-2018 65 - 17 Playoffs 51 - 72 41.4% 0 Finals/NBA Championships 2 Conference FInals (One 4 -1 Loss to Warriors 2014- 2015 and One 4 - 3 Warriors 2017 - 2018 Houston Market Size Approximately 9-10th Teams with a comparable or smaller market size that have won championships during Morey Tenure Miami Heat Boston Celtics San Antonio Spurs Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers (Basically, Except LA, Dallas & Toronto all championship teams have the same or less market size as Rockets) Taking into Consideration the Basketball Knowledge/Eye Test on a scale of 0-100 : 0 Statistically speaking, the chance of the event "Winning an NBA Championship for the Houston Rockets under Daryl Morey" based on prior data is close to but not zero. What do you guys think, especially rockets Fan? Source 1 Source 2 Source 3
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in san diego. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in san diego. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
2020.08.29 23:41 DreadmakerComprehensive guide to picking your MyCareer team in 2K21 (long)
Since this post was so popular last year, I decided to bring it back and update it for this year - I hope you guys enjoy it! Strap in - it's a long one. :D This year in MyCareer, we're not really sure how the drafting process will go - yes, you'll go through high school and college and be drafted, but last year you picked where you'd go (your top three, anyhow) based on your workouts, and they have said that the combine is back - so this year, it's not clear. But, given that trades are a thing, and we may be able to pick teams, I figured it'd be a good idea to bring this post back for another year and help out those who haven't been able to follow the crazy NBA season that we've been having. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The season is weird this year. The draft is happening on October 16th, and it looks like the new NBA season won't start until December - that means that everything here will be similar to last year, but not the same, because there have been some pretty major trades. If you have a favorite team you want to play for - ignore all of this advice and just go do the thing. However, for everyone who doesn't have any particular team preference, or for those folks who want to play as little of MyCareer as possible so they can get into park and rec, I've assembled here a comprehensive list of who the projected starting five are for every team, what team needs what, and where you can have the most impact. In general, before we get to the breakdown, here are a few general points/disclaimers:
This is not gospel - I'm just one basketball nerd who both follows basketball closely and plays a lot of MyCareer - these are my opinions, and your mileage may vary.
All of my information on starting lineups and depth charts comes specifically from ESPN, and you can see the full data here. (just click a team, then go to the depth charts).
You have always gotten rewarded in points/experience in some capacity for WINNING the games you play. This means to maximize, you probably want to go with a reasonably successful team in the Eastern conference, as you'll have the most easy games. Even 'easy' games in the West can be tough.
2K uses injury-free rosters for MyCareer. That means KD, Hayward, and any other injured stars ARE playing, and they will have an impact on the overall team construction.
If you're a player who likes to control the game, and have the ball in his hands a bunch, Don't pick a team where their offensive game is already incredible (for example, the Raptors or the Rockets). By calling for the ball a ton, you're going to screw up their offensive flow, and may inadvertently make the team worse, rather than better.
If you're a big who will be looking to get a bunch of rebounds, be careful going to a team with other rebound-dominant big men - you will absolutely have lower rebounding numbers than normal.
Be careful about teams with no bench depth - you can have the greatest starting lineup of all time, but when you sub out, that's prime territory for the game to put you down by 20 when you were up 10. Depth is good, in real life and in the game.
My method of determining 'best fit' is essentially feeling out where you'll have the potential to impact the game the most. I'm looking for teams with holes in them, and for teams where a player in 2K could help them in some capacity. Not every team has a good fit for every role, and some teams don't have good fits for any role. This system is totally subjective.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short version: For the time-pressed, here's a super fast list of the best teams for each position. These are teams where you have the best chance of winning a bunch, and being generally the most needed/useful - bolded teams are especially excellent fits. Be sure to read the relevant deeper section below for more specific player types needed. Note that this year, both the PG and PF position are pretty thin on recommendations, because it just so happens that basically all of the teams who need them are not good choices for MyCareer - and all of the good teams for MyCareer have pretty solid PGs and PFs, with some exceptions - read the long version below for details. Point Guard: Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat Shooting Guard: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, LA Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers Small Forward: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors Power Forward: Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz Center: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, San Antonio Spurs --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Long version. Every team here has the projected starting five listed, and my opinion on what they need most. If a position is in parenthesis (), it means that it's a secondary need - not urgent, maybe not even at all, but would be a fine role to take.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SG, SF Comments: Despite a really poor showing last year (14th/15 in the east), Atlanta got better this year as far as 2K is concerned. They upgraded from Alex Len at center to Clint Capela, and kept the other major pieces. This year, like last year, volume scoring as a spot-up SG or a 3-and-D SF seem perfect because Trae will be able to dime you up really well. I would heavily advise against going with a big here - Collins and Capela will make your life difficult in terms of getting boards and blocks. The team even has some little bit of depth to it, with Jeff Teague and Dewayne Dedmon, so compared to other lower-tier teams, you might not even get murdered when you sit on the bench. The Hawks could be sneaky-good this year as a 2K MyCareer team.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: C Comments: Boston's in a great place this year. The biggest gap in the team is at Center, and since you already have a lot of scoring on the team, I'd imagine that a defensive C is what you're looking for here. Note that ESPN doesn't have Gordon Hayward on the depth chart at all, because he's out for the season - but he'll be there in 2K. I imagine it's Marcus Smart that gets bumped from the starting 5, Jaylen shifts down one, and Gordon goes in the middle. The biggest problem on this team from a 2K perspective is that you really don't want to bump that 4-man team - it's a great roster. I would really only consider the Celtics this year if you were a center - they're almost too good, otherwise.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: (SG) Comments: ESPN has KD listed in the starting roster again finally, and that's awesome to see. It makes the Nets a tricky team to actually approach in MyCareer - the starting five are all either superstars, or people that you'd definitely not be sad to have on your team in MyCareer. Caris LeVert will be the weakest in 2K; Joe Harris will be shooting lights-out 3s all over the place, and will therefore be an asset. This year, I'd be inclined to think about a playmaking/defending SG for the Nets - someone to distribute (Kyrie is really more shoot-first), and to help out on the defensive end. If you do this, you'll get a million assists, but probably have a lower PPG than if you were on most other teams. Jarrett Allen is actually a really solid center in 2K (and IRL), so although you could go for a C, it'd be a shame to knock him out of the lineup.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: PG, SG, SF, PF, C Comments: Last year, I said of the Hornets: "Probably Don't". This year... sorry Hornets fans. :( Probably Don't. When I said you should be looking to play for a better team in the eastern conference, it's because you're going to be playing against teams like the Hornets regularly, which will boost your win totals. If you're looking for a major challenge in MyCareer this year, you could play literally any scoring build on this team, and try to bring them to the playoffs, but this will almost certainly be a bad idea - you will get torched on offense, torched on defense, and generally lose a lot of games. I'd avoid this one altogether. One thing that's worth noting: ESPN has Nicholas Batum way in the back of the depth chart. It may be true in 2K as well this year, but historically he's started, and only injuries pushed him out - I wouldn't be surprised if 2K had him starting, so keep that in mind.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Wendell Carter Jr.
Positions of need: SF Comments: This may be another great team to play on this year, just like Atlanta, despite not performing well IRL. If you were to join them as a scoring, playmaking SF, you'd have a great time - you have a great second shooter in Lavine, competent rebounding bigs that can stretch the floor, and a versatile PG. Note that the team doesn't have much depth, so although the starting five is strong, when you start out on the bench, you're going to get cooked, and they may well be prone to putting you down a whole bunch of points while you're sitting on the bench. If you can look past that, they're in a strong place this year for MyCareer.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: PG, SF Comments: The Cavs aren't in great shape this year. Like the Hornets, I would probably stay away altogether. Unlike the Hornets, they do have a solid front court, which is something, but their back court is pretty rough. Cedi hasn't had the year anyone was hoping for, and Garland isn't there yet - Sexton's looking pretty good. Realistically, though, your player will quickly be better than any of the starting guards, and you will very quickly be the first option on offense. They're going to lose a lot of games.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Positions of need: SG, PF/C*, PG* Comments: Much like the 76ers, this team is a real challenge to actually write something for, because of how the positions work. Although ESPN Has Luka as a PG and Porzingis as a C, 2K hasn't historically done that, putting them at SG/SF and PF/C respectively. As a result, it's actually pretty hard to understand how best to play with the Mavs this season, which is a shame, because the Mavs are a super interesting team (which you can currently see by watching their playoff series against the Clippers). The easiest position of 'weakness' for them is SG. It's not a crazy position of need - Hardaway Jr and Seth Curry are both solid. But you could be better. The question mark is at PG - if indeed they put Luka at SG/SF, then a PG would be amazing on this team; however, if they put him at PG, you'd be better going with a SG/SF hybrid. The same goes for C - Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell aren't anything to write home about, and a strong center would be great here - but keep in mind that KP will steal all of your boards and blocks. Overall, I *think* this would be a solid team to play with this year, but it's difficult to theorycraft how they'll deal with the positions. Oversized players are hard, man.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Michael Porter Jr.
Positions of need: (SG, SF, PF) Comments: The big need here last year was SF - but this year they filled that position with a really promising player in Michael Porter Jr., who has been really good in the NBA bubble this year after the restart. Not sure how well 2K will represent that growth in their game this year, but likely he'll be stronger than Will Barton was last year. Overall, it's a pretty balanced team, and there's no immediate need here - the two weakest players are easily the SG and PF, though. I would advise against playing a C or a PG specifically, but anything else could work.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: SG, SF, C Comments: Unlike last year, the Pistons actually have a promising shell of a team. Drummond is gone, which means that there's space in the paint for a dominant big (especially one who's interested in offensive rebounds, since Blake tends to spot up for 3s in 2K these days). Svi is an interesting player in real life, but I suspect that 2K will do him (and Tony Snell) dirty this year - but as a result, the Pistons might be one of the best places you can go if you're interested in playing a scoring wing. With DRose diming you up and a reliable 3 point kick-out from Blake, you have strong foundations here (especially since the team is in the east).
Golden State Warriors
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: C Comments: This is another team where the 2K Injury free roster will be relevant. Klay Thompson still isn't even listed on the ESPN depth chart, but he will for sure be present in 2K. As such, SG is not what you want here - the only real position that doesn't have a star is the C. As last year, if you're interested in playing with these guys, a defensive-minded C is the way to go. With so much firepower hanging around with Steph and Klay, someone to collect boards and make outlet passes would be great. You'll get a whole lot of assists, and there aren't a lot of other gifted rebounders on the team, so it's likely you'll get a ton of boards, too.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: (PF), C Comments: What a stacked roster. Where it's weak, though, is the front court - now that Clint Capela is gone, there's definitely a void where an athletic, defensive rebounder could really make a difference. Just like with the Warriors, if you're interested in playing a board man and getting paid, this would be a fabulous place to be. Obviously, don't come if you're looking to play a guard - they have two of the best in the NBA.
Projected Starting Lineup:
T. J. Warren
Positions of need: (SF) Comments: Last year, I mentioned that this was a sneaky-good team, and the only weak link was really the SF - except that this year, TJ played really pretty well, and will probably get a bit of a buff in 2K this year. So, as a result, the team doesn't have a lot of obvious spots of need. That said, if you wanted to come to the pacers, joining as an SF is still probably the best idea. The Front court has very competent rebounders/defensive players, and the front court is already pretty great. A playmaking PG could also do well here, but Brogdan is pretty solid, so they certainly don't need it. These guys will win a lot this year.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Marcus Morris Sr.
Positions of Need: C, (PF/SG ?) Comments: this one is weird, like last year, because ESPN seems to think they're going to start the 6'9 Paul George, often listed as a SF/PF, at SG. What 2K is going to do with this lineup is really kind of up in the air - For example, if they go based on ratings, they'd likely have Lou Williams start at SG, and Paul George at PF. Hard to tell, though! With all the unknowns, the one thing that sticks out is that they could use a strong defensive center. Zubac is a very promising player, but if you were to put a defensive MyPlayer as the center, you would almost certainly lead the league in defense, and since Paul George and Kawhi are going to be scoring everywhere, there's going to be a lot of wins. This team hasn't changed much since last year, and if you enjoyed the experience in 2K20, it'll be the same feeling in 2K21.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: SG, PG (?) Comments: This is another one where 2K may have a different team make-up than in real life. Lebron may well not start at PG in 2K21, which would mean PG is a great position to have on the team, but obviously if he DOES start there, it will be a terrible place for a PG. The universally known good thing here is that the team lacks any good SG. Again, since Lebron's position is a little unpredictable, this one is a bit up in the air, but if Danny Green does indeed play SF, a good 3 and D SG would be a fabulous addition, especially if there was a bit of playmaking in there. Overall, you're likely safe with a playmaking guard, but again - bit of a weird one to predict. One last note: Lebron will, justifiably, get the ball A LOT. That means if you're a ball dominant player, definitely think about other teams.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: SG, SF Comments: Ja and JJJ are definitely solid players (keep in mind JJJ will almost certainly be starting over Anthony Tolliver), but otherwise, just like last year, the whole team is very much replaceable - you can thrive here in most roles. That said, I would be cautious picking the Grizzlies - they don't have much going for them this year outside of that promising future, and I suspect you will lose a lot of games in the Western conference. Probably steer clear. If you really wanted to go for it, the strongest thing you could do would be a heavily ball-dominant/scoring SG/SF - think MJ or Lebron - Ja will be able to feed you the ball and JJJ and JV will be able to get the misses.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Derrick Jones Jr.
Positions of need: PF, (PG) Comments: The Heat are in a pretty great position this year, but it'll be based on how much 2K buffs Duncan Robinson. He's been amazing in real life, and hopefully they'll reflect it in-game. Assuming that's the case, the weakest position here is the PF, although it'd probably work best as a Stretch 4, given that Bam will be pretty dominant around the rim and for getting boards. Additionally, although Goran Dragic is always consistent, and is playing well still, he's getting older, and presumably his 2K rating will be lower than before this year. The team doesn't need a better PG, but definitely you could pick PG here and do well. If you wanted to do that, you'd want to prioritize playmaking, because there's a lot of excellent shooters/finishers here.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SG, (C) Comments: Very little has changed between 2K20 and 2K21 here. The Bucks remain a great option this year for SGs, and potentially even Centers. Giannis will be great to dime up, and will get you lots of assists - Middleton will too. Although Lopez is a great shooter, he (and the team at large) isn't very good at rebounding - which means that if you played a glass cleaner, you could do some work here with outlet passes to Giannis. Also, the team will have a fabulous record this season, which means that it's quite likely you'll win the vast majority of your games and get those sweet, sweet free experience points.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SG, SF, PF Comments: In some ways, from a 2K perspective, this team is very much like the Pistons, the Hawks, or the Bulls - there's a shell of something great here. You have a great PG, a great C, and then mediocre everything else. If you put yourself in as a great scoring wing, you're going to have a really good time with the TWolves this year. Diming up KAT will be a lot of fun, too, if you opt to go more playmaking than scoring. The biggest problem for this team is that they're in the West, which makes them a substantially worse choice than something like the Hawks, and also, they have next to no depth, which means it'll be hard to win games.
New Orleans Pelicans
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: (C) Comments: Kind of like last year, the Pelicans are a giant pile of question marks this year. The issue is that in real life, the team has proven that they're not great - but in terms of 2K ratings, they have consistently given Ball and Ingram great ratings, and they've done a lot of marketing around Zion, which would indicate they'll give him a solid rating. Jrue is always solid, and the kinda weak link is Favors. Since they're in the West, and there's not a lot of natural holes to fill, my inclination would be stay away from the pels this year - they have a lot of scoring mouths to feed, and are pretty well covered offensively and defensively everywhere.
New York Knicks
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: PG, (SG), SF, PF, (C) Comments: Just like the Hornets, I would advise you keep distance between your player and the Knicks. It's going to be really hard to win games with them this year. If you're a masochist, and you're committed, almost any position would be perfectly fine here as long as it's all about volume scoring and heavy defense; this team needs a mega-all-star to save it. One thing to note - I'm not confident that Taj Gibson will be starting over Mitchell Robinson in the game, so if you pick anything, I'd be inclined to not go for C or SG.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SF Comments: OKC quietly became a great team this year, and the unfortunate piece for 2K is that there's not a ton of obvious need. Lu Dort is a rookie, but he's surprisingly an excellent defender in real life. If you want to see a live demo, watch him in his current playoff series IRL, where he's the only person on the Thunder capable of defending Harden 1 on 1. However, since he's a relatively unknown rookie, I would very much expect 2K will do him dirty, especially on the offensive end, and the SF position is actually the best place to get into this team. A player just like Dort would actually be excellent here - a defensive SF that can be dimed up by CP3, and can help to shore up the defensive weakness of the other wings.
Projected Starting Lineup:
James Ennis III
Positions of Need: SF, (SG) Comments: Orlando's front court is quite strong this year, as last year, and they could really use some playmaking and backcourt scoring to help them out. Markelle has grown a lot, and is a better player than Augustin is, but a strong SG or SF with some backup playmaking here could make all the difference and get these guys into the playoffs again. Beyond playmaking, another scorer would be really great, so the traditional 'playsharp' SG or SF would be a good fit. Fournier isn't bad, so you'd want to skew more towards SF, but either should world.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SG, SF, PG (?) Comments: Another of the nebulous teams when it comes to positions. Lots of players here have double listings - Harris is a SF/PF, Simmons is a PG/SF, and Horford is a PF/C. There could well be a lot of shifting around during the season, which makes positional recommendations a bit tricky. The most obvious position of need is a sharpshooting SG. They lost J.J. Redick last year, and he really was big for them. Josh Richardson is good, but certainly not irreplaceable. I suspect that if you wanted to make a Steph Curry kind of build, or Klay thompson - a sharp that can also play defense - this would be the best team in he league for them. It also has the benefit of being a solid eastern conference team, which means a lot of free wins.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: PG, SF, PF Comments: This would be a great place for a Playshot or a Playsharp PG, if it weren't a team at the bottom of the Western conference. You will have a losing record with the Suns, and that's a shame. I actually played with them on one of my PG characters two years ago, and it was fun - but we definitely did lose a lot. They're generally weak in the front court, but because they have Ayton clogging the paint, it's going to make it tricky as a big to get rebounds and blocks, so it will likely impact your stats. I would just stay away from this one.
Projected Starting Lineup:
C. J. McCollum
Positions of Need: (SF) Comments: This is a tricky one this year. The Blazers are a great team, and they have a great offense, and great players. However, for whatever reason, they keep on missing just that certain something to really make a serious playoffs run each year. I'm not sure that effect will show itself in 2K, but it does make it tricky to place yourself on the team. Both the Frontcourt and Backcourt are very strong on the team - the worst player here is likely Me7o at this late stage in his career, but even still, he'll probably be quite good. The Frontcourt is interesting - The Blazers in real life have indeed done some twin-towers stuff with Nurkic and Whiteside on the court at the same time, but I'm wondering if it'll happen in 2K, rather than putting Zach Collins. If you're committed to a big in Portland, I would suggest PF, but your rebounds and boards will absolutely be cut down because of the depth of Portland's centers.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of need: SF, C, (SG, PF) Comments: The real keeper here is De'Aaron Fox, and beyond him, there's a lot of average here. Bjelica and Bogdanovic are both excellent 3-point shooters, and remember that Buddy Hield is here as well, so there will be lots of kick-out opportunities. The Center spot though is especially weak, and this remains a great spot for a dominant paint beast (like, say, Demarcus Cousins...). The problem here is just that the Kings will almost certainly not place well this year, and will lose a lot of games. The pace will be high, but there will likely be more losses than wins, meaning that you'll suffer in terms of stats and experience on the Kings. This is a shame, because they're a fun up and coming team IRL - but probably not in 2K.
San Antonio Spurs
Projected Starting Lineup:
Lonnie Walker IV
Positions of Need: (SG), C Comments: Worth noting immediately that the ESPN Roster is not at all reflective of how this will look in 2K this year - LMA will be there in the PF position, and Demar will likely be at the SF, meaning that probably Walker will be kicked to the bench, though it could well be White, too. As last year, the Spurs have a very balanced team this year, and that actually is a bit of a turn off when it comes to MyCareer. Every position is a reasonable defender, and you have several elite offensive options, but unfortunately both LMA and Demar aren't spot-up types - Demar likes to size-up and iso, and LMA likes to size-up and go to the post, which means more often than with other teams, you'll probably miss assists here because of the amount of isoing/sizing up they do. Not great. If I was going to choose a role here, I'd be inclined to push for a sharpshooting SG - a Klay Thompson type would go really well here, and so would an all-around C or PF. Stretch or Inside would work fine - LMA tends to be everywhere, so he won't clog the paint, but he also won't leave it alone. He's not the best rebounder in the world, so he won't cut into your rebounding numbers as much as some other bigs would.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: (SG, SF) Comments: The 2019 champs have a reasonable hole on the wing, which is perfect for a player to fill. Both at the SG or the SF (though more SF), a dominant 3 and D player would fit absolutely perfectly, and this would be a decent place for a pure sharp SG, too. This is an absolutely great team to slot into if you're looking to be a ball dominant, scoring wing, and that goes double since they're in the Eastern Conference. However, I would stay away from PG here, and the Frontcourt is quite strong as well - keep in mind that Serge Ibaka is in the mix too. This year, it's probably wing or nothing with these guys.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Positions of Need: PF Comments: The Jazz haven't changed much from last year at all. The Jazz are in a great place this year, and their starting five is very strong. Easily the best option to fit with this team would be a stretch 4 - Gobert will 100% cut into your rebounding and blocking, though. Everywhere else is balanced - The guards and SF are all strong, competent players. You could fit in here with almost any smaller player, but there are better options out there for you at those positions. One other thing to note: The Jazz still play with one of the slowest paces in the league, so although you will have the power to push that pace, keep in mind that if you want to play with the offense the team already has, you're going to end up with fewer possessions, and therefore lower stats, than on most other teams.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Troy Brown Jr.
Positions of need: SF, (PF), C Comments: The Wizards are in the Knicks, Hornets, and Cavs camp this year - but not as badly as last year, because of Rui. SF and C are the obvious places to improve. In both, I'd think about playmaking and rebounding, since the team will lack a good chunk of both. However, even though they're a little better than before, I would still avoid the Wizards this year - it's going to be a lot of losing, and there's probably not much you'll be able to do to pull them out of it. ------------------------------ There you have it! Thank you for making it to the bottom if you managed it - that was a lot of writing :) I'm sure that lots of folks will have differing opinions here - feel free to discuss in the comments!
2020.07.17 14:08 leandersciLittle Brother by Cory Doctorow is kind of a prequel to Orwell's 1984. It is still highly relevant, and you should read it.
TL;DR: Little Brother is an awesome book that provides an excellent intro to using technology to help maintain your right to privacy, done through the lens of a teenage internet protester. You can download a copy for free at the author's website. I mean yeah, the title is a direct reference to Orwell's work, but I think that it is very apt. The story follows the events of a fictional terrorist attack on San Francisco which is used by the government to turn the country into a police state in the name of "security." Our protagonist, Marcus, uses his knowledge of the internet and technology to subvert and protest their efforts in order to maintain the freedoms that the United States is meant to be build around. I am not going to go into too much detail, because I really just think that you should read it. But this story acts kind of like a pseudo prequel to 1984. In Orwell's book, the surveillance state is already established, but in Little Brother we get to see its establishment. How the government is fully willing to use terrorism to gain control of the populace and to stifle dissent. Taking control of the internet to collect everyone's data so that they can imprison people then see as a threat. This also feels very REAL because its very similar to what happened to the United States after the 9/11 attacks, and this book is clearly an allegory for that. When the Bush administration used "security" as an excuse to pass things like the Patriot Act, and to put security checkpoints all over the place. This book is especially interesting if you followed what Edward Snowden released in 2013, which basically proved that we ALREADY lived in a sort of precursor the the nightmare Orwell imagined. Little Brother takes all of this history and literary influence to explain what COULD happen if we let it, and even how it could be stopped. Because that is really the point of the book, in my opinion. Where 1984 was a cautionary tale, it didn't really offer up any real solutions. This book is about the beginning of a surveillance state, but also how young people could use tools like the internet to stop that from happening. Doctorow did an interview in 2010 about the book where he explains what he thinks Orwell got wrong. He explains that Orwell only really imagined technology as a method that could be used to control people. Of course Orwell couldn't have imagined the internet and where computers would take us, so he could not have known about all the methods that we can use technology to set ourselves free. How the internet and technology could be used to cement our right to privacy through methods like cryptography and information sharing. His point being that computers can either be used to control us, or to set us free, and it is our responsibility to make sure it is that latter. And this message is all presented in what is essentially a very complex YA novel. I mean its about teenagers standing up to grownups using technology. And yeah it contains a lot of references to millennial culture, which can be obnoxious at times, but it was never to the point where I came even close to putting the book down. What this book does that most other YA books don't do, is it actually feels like the main character is a teenager. Hes not superhuman, hes not special, hes not athletic, hes not even particularly smart. He just likes to fiddle with technology, and uses that as a means of protest. When he isn't subverting the government, he is playing video games, and nerding out, and having pervy thoughts about his girlfriend, and just being generally relatable. It is an incredibly accessible book. Even the bits where the story goes on pause to explain a relatively complex concept to the reader, Doctorow manages to do this in a very simple and engaging manner so that you actually understand what he is talking about. I'm not particularly techy, with the most advanced thing I've done being building a PC to game on, and I suck at math, but I never had a problem following what was being explained. It is a very intelligent book, but not to the point that its difficult to understand. There is a relatively new edition of the book that comes with both Little Brother and its sequel. But more interestingly it comes with an introduction by Edward Snowden. I have ordered a copy and can't wait to read it. (BTW Snowden released a book last year called Permanent Record, where he explains his motivations for doing what he did, and I heartily recommend that as well.) But you can download a copy of Little Brother right now for free from Cory Doctorow's website under a creative commons license. I definitely think its worth a read.
2020.07.16 18:26 stannsmashOffseason Review Series: Day 2 - The Washington Football Team
Washington is dead, long live Washington!
Division: NFC East
2019 Record: 3-13, 4th in NFC East
As the marketing says, this is a new RivERA. Almost the entire coaching staff has been replaced, except for the running back and special teams coaches, so let's all give a hand to Randy Jordan and Nate Kaczor for being survivors of the Rivera purge. Here are the highlights:
Head Coach: Ron Rivera replaces interim Bill Callahan
After an 0-5 start last season, and multiple season of mediocrity, Dan Snyder finally decided to pull the plug on Jay Gruden. Interim coach Bill Callahan did a...job. The question quickly turned to who would be the newest coach of the Washington Football Franchise. Would it be current OC and potential wünderkid Kevin O'Connell? Would they somehow steal away Mike Tomlin (remember this theory?) No. Enter in: Riverboat Ron. Ironically, the only way that Washington was able to hire him was by defeating him: in week 13 of the 2019 season, Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice stomped through Rivera's defense to the tune of 248 yards on the ground. That was enough to seal his fate with owner David Tepper, who was vocal through the season about the panthers status of mediocrity. While one can reflect on Rivera's tenure as mediocrity, I'd argue it is anything but. As 2-time Head Coach of the Year, Rivera lead the Panthers to 3 1st place finishes in the NFC South, including a historic 15-1 2015 season where the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl behind MVP Cam Newton. Rivera is the winningest coach in Panthers history, with an overall record of 76-63-1. However, he was not Tepper's choice, and for that as a fan I owe Tepper one. While I would not fault Jay Gruden for all of the Redskins issues the past 5 1/2 years, he seemed destined to stay at most mediocre, never even reaching the highs Rivera has seen. Key Gruden personnel such as Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson, Josh Norman, Josh Doctson, and more are long gone. Rivera has a brand new cast to work with, and I am excited to see it. Rivera is a proven head coach with a long and public track record. He is known for being a big believer in a strong player-oriented team culture, and god knows this team needs some major culture help, especially in the front office. Looking at you, Mr. Snyder. GRADE: A
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Turner replaces Kevin O'Connell
Losing Kevin O'Connell to the Rams is disappointing, no way around it in my mind. Could the Rams get bitten in the rear and throw a green coordinator into the wind? Maybe. But out of all personnel we didn't keep, this one stung the most. However, one must not dwell on the past too much. Enter in Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner. Turner comes over from Carolina where he was first the QB coach under his father, and then suddenly replaced his father once Rivera was fired. Some highlights of Turner include:
Being the Brown's receiver coach during Josh Gordon's monstrous 2013 season
Vikings QB coach during Teddy Bridgewater's best years
Yeah that's about it. He is young and hungry, and honestly, I am pretty happy with this choice as well. I have faith in him to develop Haskins, who is the future of the franchise as of now. Hopefully he does not fall out of favor as his father did with our favorite owner. GRADE: B+
Defensive Coordinator: Jack Del Rio replaces Greg Manusky
The Redskins defense in my opinion has been underwhelming in recent times, and in large part I blame Greg Manusky for this result. The Redskins defense last year ranked 27th overall, which any Washington fan will tell you is at best a slight shame and at worst a goddamn tragedy. Sure, our secondary was nowhere to be seen. Sure, we we're extremely injured a lot of the time. But here's the worst part: our front 7 is actually really good. I mean come on: Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and more should amount to one of the most potent QB rushing attacks of the year. However, the stats show that this is just not true. PFF listed us outside the top ten and in a more general sense the defense overall just seems too ooze mediocrity. Enter in Jack Del Rio. This man has over 30 years of NFL experience, having multiple positions as both Head Coach and Defensive Coordinators in the past. While his head coaching career has not always been consistent, his defensive strengths are quite apparent. While Wade Phillips was responsible for the Super Bowl winning Broncos of 2015, we cannot forget that Del Rio groomed that defense for years prior, bringing them to the big game as well the year before. His earlier success in Baltimore and Carolina must also be mentioned, but my main point is this: Jack Del Rio is tiers above Manusky. Del Rio and Rivera are on the same page, and switching to a 4-3 base defense with Del Rio should pay dividends to our defense, particularly our front seven. Look for a strong pass rush with Del Rio under control. GRADE: A
Quarterbacks Coach: Ken Zampese replaces Tim Rattay
Zampese formerly worked for the Greatest Show on Turf helping Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt achieve offensive supremacy over the league. He worked for 12 years in Cincinnati, developing both Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton. In addition, he helped to develop Baker his rookie year under literal the dumpster fire of a head coaching regime Hue Jackson had in 2018. After seeing many of Haskins sexy throws to McLaurin, Gandy-Golden and Co. on Instagram, I feel some safety in the QB department for once. GRADE: A-
Head Athletic Trainer: Ryan Vermillion replaces Larry Hess
If there's one thing that reminds me of a Washington Football season, its injuries. While Washington was not the only injured team, it definitely felt like one of the worst last year. At the end of the day, the blame falls on random injury luck, proper practice, and the athletic training staff. Larry Hess had been employed by Washington for 17 years, so this move may be seen as a long time coming, especially concerning some of the particularly bad injuries of recent years. Vermillion has rep with Rivera, as he is the former head trainer for the Panthers. While the Panthers have had some injury troubles of there own as of recently, I am still hopeful that Vermillion and his staff can help the situation over here. GRADE: B
Ereck Flowers: Flowers had been written off as a bust. His tenure in New York and Jacksonville were both at best mediocre, and at worst disgusting. He gave up tons of pressures, and questions about his devotion to the team were at play. However, Washington was able to reignite Flowers by transitioning him from a tackle to a guard. In this new role, he only allowed two sacks while starting all 16 games. In the end, he was able to get the best pay-day back home in Miami, and for that I cannot hold any ill-will.
Josh Norman: 5 years. $51.1 million guaranteed. $75 million total. Honestly, I believed in Josh Norman when we first signed him. Coming off an All-Pro year on a stacked 2015 Panthers roster, Norman was proud to declare himself the best corner in the whole league. If you'd ask Norman today, he may still very well agree with that assessment. However, both the film and numbers point to Norman as a one year wonder. He was never able to replicate his 2015 success here, and was barely able to follow receivers like Revis or play the zone like Sherman. I would consider this the worst Redskins free agent signing of the Jay Gruden regime, hands down bar none. At least Matt Jones gave us some 100 yard games. His best games for us were against Cody Kessler and Matt Barkley. I am glad this is over with.
Trent Williams: Oh Trent-y boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. I am truly sad to see Mr. Williams suit up for another organization this fall, assuming there will be a football season. Trent has been one of, if not the best offensive lineman in the entire NFL since being drafted 4th overall in 2010. Even as poor football and asinine front office moves surrounded him, Trent remained grounded and supportive of Mr. Snyder's hope to win football games. However, this relationship quickly turned for the worse. I could write this whole page about the Trent Williams saga, so instead I shall link this.
Jordan Reed: If you thought the Trent Williams saga hurt me, oh boy you are not ready for this. Jordan Reed was probably my favorite Washington player up until last season. I was at his first big game in 2013, and boy was it a sight to see. A 3rd round TE from Florida, Reed was a bright spot on a more distant 3-13 Washington Squad still hoping for RG3's knees to spring back to life. When Reed was on fire, he was on. In his heyday of 2015 and 2016, Reed was a top tier Pro-Bowl talent TE possessing the quickness of a WR with the strength and build of a TE. However, we all know how this story ends. In 2013, he only played 9 games due to concussions. In 2014, he hurt his hamstring twice throughout the season yet still played in 11 games. As stated earlier, 15' and 16' were the golden years, but his hamstring came back to derail almost his entire 2017 season. By last year, he had over 9 known concussions, and one can only assume his hamstring is not in good shape. This is a classic example of injuries destroying a once promising career. If you are ever in need of watching some electrifying tight end plays, check this out, I promise you will not regret it. Thank you Jordan!
$13.5 mil, $4 mil guaranteed
$40 mil, $23.5 mil guaranteed
$6.145 mil, $2.25 mil guaranteed
$4 mil, $2 mil guaranteed
$3.5 mil, $1.75 mil guaranteed
$3.27 mil, $1 mil guaranteed
$3 mil, $600k guaranteed
$3.8 mil, $1 mil guaranteed
$1 mil, $137.5k guaranteed
$3 mil, $1.5 mil guaranteed
$3 mil, $1 mil guaranteed
Kendall Fuller: We are proud to welcome our 2016 3rd rounder and new Super Bowl Champion back to DC. Fuller has proven himself as a formidable slot cornerback, and should be a day 1 starter immediately. In fact, I could see us playing him on the outside if need be, as our secondary will become stretched dry rather quickly. If we can trade for Malik Jefferson, we could finally have all pieces of the Alex Smith trade back on the roster, including Alex Smith himself (hang in there buddy :( ).
Thomas Davis: A 3x Pro Bowler and bonafide former team leader of the Carolina Panthers, Thomas Davis is a welcome addition to our locker room. While at age 37 he may not start or play the most downs, his presence and familiarity with Rivera lends kindly to helping younger defensive players adjust and learn the new system.
Ronald Darby: Darby has never played a full 16 game season, and the past two seasons in particular seem to be injury ridden. However, our secondary is in need of a #2 to step up behind Fuller and if Moreau cannot make a leap then Darby better be a frog. This one year, prove-it deal will show whether or not Darby is ready to play with the big boys now.
$5.1 mil, $2.25 mil guaranteed
$1 mil, $137.5k guaranteed
$1 mil, $137.5k guaranteed
$15.03 mil guaranteed (franchise tag)
Jon Bostic: The former 2nd rounder has bounced around the league since 2013, but with Reuben Foster tearing his ACL in training camp last year, Bostic was thrust into the starting LB slot. While far from perfect, Bostic played surprisingly well last year, recording 105 tackles, a sack, and a pick. It is unclear whether Bostic's ceiling is much higher then this going into year 8 of his career. The signing of Thomas Davis and an even better D-Line could help Bostic shine more as there is less pressure on him. Overall, a good team friendly extension on a starte1st off the bench quality player.
Brandon Scherff: Except for some penalty troubles, Scherff has been the most consistent offensive lineman this team has had in the past five years who is not upset at our current front office. While I am unsure if he was worthy of the Pro Bowl this past year, he is a stud OG and I am glad we have kept him his whole rookie deal. Hopefully a long-term can be worked out soon (though the deadline may have just past for franchise tagees), but keeping him on the franchise tag is far down the list of personnel issues.
San Diego State
Grades and Thoughts:
Chase Young: How much more can be said about this guy? Young was known for months to be the consensus number one talent of the draft, and that has not changed in the past months. He is a forced to be reckoned with, and putting him alongside our other D-Lineman is a scary sight. The often made comparison is that of the Bosa brothers, who both came into the league and wrecked havoc upon entry. I see Young doing the same thing, having a minimum 10+ sack season. Fear the predator y'all. GRADE: A+
Antonio Gibson: Almost every analysis I have read about Gibson describes him in one of two ways: 1) A swiss-army knife 2) A football player. While I can't disagree with either, these both seem to be big buzzwords that cable football analysis loves to float around to tons and tons of players. No matter how you describe him, Gibson's highlight real speaks for itself. Most project him into a RB role in our system, and with Chris Thompson setting sail with Jay Gruden Gibson can not pick up the slack here. If he can provide support to Peterson and Guice, great! If he could improve our dismal receiving unit, even better! I like this pick, but can also see it failing if Rivera and Turner cannot utilize him correctly. GRADE: B+
Saahdiq Charles: Using a picks here on the O-Line was a smart move, as our bench before the draft was extremely thin. Charles has been a part of one of the best O-line's in the nation at LSU, helping Clyde Edwards-Helaire run over the entire goddamn SEC. While there was a distraction of off-field issues, i.e. his six game suspension in his junior year. My understanding is that this stemmed from maturity issues and possible failed drug tests. Without these concerns, Charles would not have fallen to this round. Even with the character issue, his on the field product is fantastic, and if there was any coach to help Charles stay the right path it would be Ron Rivera. GRADE: B
Antonio Gandy-Golden: My information on Gandy-Golden and Liberty football in general is extremely limited, but the little I have seen is fantastic. At 6'4, 223 lbs Gandy-Golden is prototypical size and his highlights at Liberty reflect that. He is able to utilize is wingspan to have a large catch radius and contend for aired out balls. In addition, while his 4.6 40 yard dash may be slightly underwhelming, his speed on tape is evident and can work. As the receiver competition is wide open, Gandy-Golden can easily become the number two receiver on this squad if he puts in the work. And according to social media, it appears he is trying.GRADE: A
Keith Ismael: Another offensive linemen, but I struggle to see Ismael in any role besides backup this year. Ismael was solid player for his three year college career, and learning behind our O-line can do him well to bring him up to NFL speed. I can see him sitting behind Rouiller most of the year, but there's always the potential for something more if he is a diamond in the rough. However, I would have liked for a TE selection here. GRADE: B
Kamren Curl: Curl seemed to be an intrenched starter for Arkansas, but it is hard to see what is exactly unique with his skill set. At 6'1, 206 lbs he has the body of a safety or even cornerback, which tracks as he played both positions in school. The most known information about him is that he was suspended for flirting with a cheerleader his sophomore season, but if that is his biggest character concern then I don't really care. In addition, he later cleared the confusion, noting that the cheerleader just wanted a photo with him.GRADE: C
James Smith-Williams: A depth signing for our defensive front, which is all good in my book. However, this deep dive into the man shows that Smith-Williams has the potential to be more then a name in DC. His injury history is very troubling, but if he can put that Big Bang Theory Sheldon brain of his to our team then I am all for it. 7th rounders are the time for risks, and Smith-Williams case is a unique one where the injuries are not as much a concern for me. GRADE: C+
If the only player we keep out of this draft in the next 5 years is Chase Young, it will still have been a success. However, I have a feeling that other players will make an impact here, particularly with Gibson or Gandy-Golden breaking out in a rushing or receiving competition. For Kyle Smith and Rivera's first draft, it could have gone a lot worse. The amount of BS spewed about us drafting Tua or trading down was EVERYWHERE online before the draft, so I am jus glad we didn't mess it up as bad as we could have. Overall, I'd rate this draft a B+, with the rating going higher if any of these other players break out as well.
Look, both you and I know that this subject has been beaten to death, especially on this subreddit. So let us just establish the facts:
There has been ample push to change the name since the 1990s.
This month, Fedex, along with other major sponsors such as Nike and PepsiCo called on Snyder to change their name or face financial doom.
July 13, 2020 Snyder issues a press release stating the name and logo are both officially retired.
There are many more specifics and points of contention on this issue, and I think this WaPo graphic does a good job illustrating other key times that the name has been discussed or been a point of contention. My thought? About damn time. Look, I understand that the name is offensive and have been all for changing it, but more importantly I just want us to focus on what ideally should be more pressing for this writeup: the players and the game. The politics of the name has been a distraction and disgrace to the proud men who have worn this city on their back for decades. Do not get me wrong: the actual name itself holds little meaning to me personally. However, I am younger than many fans of the team and understand the attachment some have had for their entire lives. Yet, I do not think we need to forget about Theismann, Baugh, Jurgensen, Doug Williams, Rypien, Riggins, the Hogs, and more just by retiring the name. I say, let this begin a new era in Washington football history where we can be remembered for playing a game we enjoy and love, not hurting others if we do not need to. My personal preference for a new name as of now is Red Wolves. Maintaining the colors and HttR (Howl to the Red Wolves!) sounds nice, and the animal is theoretically indigenous to DC and the southeast US even as we may not see it commonly. If trademarks issues can settle, I believe we will hear the new name before the next season.
Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Issues
After finishing the Washington Post article today, I was left with a feeling of disgust and sadness, but not shock. Football has always been known as a "boy's club," and seeing women in positions of power in any NFL organization is not common. This is the reason why. While I do not know the situation of every front office, I would not be shocked if this is more common then one would suspect. Now, do not get me wrong: this is disgusting and Snyder should be ashamed of himself. Letting this persist for over 20 years and clearly not giving any shits is despicable. I do not want to defend these actions in any manner. These men have done disgusting things, and the fact that Snyder has let them slide and persist for all this time is plain gross. This is a question about human decency and respect: do you respect your fellow person enough that you control what you say around them? That you think before you act? Clearly the Washington Football team has not cared about its female employees nearly enough. This is hurtful for everyone, male, female, non-binary, whatever. Please, just consider your fellow person when you are living your life. This is not hard.
Projected Lineup and Position Groups
Offense: QB1: Dwayne Haskins QB2: Kyle Allen This should be Dwayne Haskins year to fully realize himself as a starting quarterback in the NFL. While I love watching his sexy instagram workouts, I can only get so worked up before needing to see the real deal. Since being thrown into the fray last year, we saw Dwayne progress in his decision making, but keep improvements in accuracy, particularly throwing mechanics, should be a focus this year. Even with a...subpar supporting cast (more on that later), this should be Simba's year to break out, or at least show that he is worthy of his first round draft selection. I don't expect Allen or even Alex Smith (if he has recovered enough, which I am doubtful of) to give Haskins a run for his money. While Rivera has never stated he is sold on Haskins, do not think any other QB will start this season (barring injury.) Washington is committed, at least for this year, to Dwayne Haskins.
RB1: Adrian Peterson/Derrius Guice RB3: Antonio Gibson It is really a toss-up here whether or not AD or Guice starts, but if history is cyclical then Peterson will get the nod soon enough. I really want Guice to do well, and when he has not been injured he has done fairly well. However, I have little hope that his knees keep holding up, especially considering how much we may need to rely on our run game this year. Peterson is old, but has shown to be consistent enough when we have a semblance of an offensive line. Our run game is decent, definitely not the worst in the league, but could be close to it. I imagine Gibson may fulfill the role of a receiver back, catching out of the backfield or taking hand-offs. He is bigger than Chris Thompson, but elusive enough that I could see some similarity in usage, especially as a rookie.
TE1: Jeremy Sprinkle TE2: Richard Rogers, Logan Thomas TE3: Thaddeus Moss Sprinkle gets the nod here as the number one due to his experience in DC, but as the new regime is in town this is really anyone's game. Stat-wise Rogers and Thomas are relatively consistent, and while Moss has the obvious name recognition he is not even a lock to make the current roster. Sprinkle has always been subpar as a pass catcher, decent as blocker and not much else. Hopefully someone here breaks out or a trade swings through, otherwise this is one of our worst position groups on the roster.
WR1: Terry McLaurin WR2: Steven Sims Jr. WR3: Antonio Gandy-Golden/Cody Latimer WR4: Trey Quinn "McLaurin and then everybody else" is the best way to sum up our receiving unit. Scary Terry is once again our biggest threat and should have just as good if not a better year than 2019 as Haskins' accuracy issues (hopefully) clear up. I Like Sims Jr. as a returner, but his results as a receiver have been inconsistent. Perhaps he could be used similarly to Antonio Gibson, as I see him getting end around hand offs having big success. Gandy-Golden looks promising, but small school talent can be hard to adapt to the NFL. Latimer is a solid depth signing, and I am very unsure if Trey Quinn is worth his roster spot. While I mentioned the Tight End group being poor, this group is equal in that regard. Hopefully our run game can carry once again.
LT: Geron Christian Sr. LG: Wes Schweitzer C: Chase Roullier RG: Brandon Scherff RT: Morgan Moses Scherff is a bright spot on this mediocre group, but he has had some penalty troubles and the contract situation for him is still unclear as for the future. Geron Christian should hopefully start and have improved since last year, and Schweitzer seems to be a decent signing. I like Rouiller under center for now. Saahdiq Charles and Keith Ismael could both become starters, but I have a feeling Rivera will not want to throw them into the fire early on. Overall I'd categorize this group as "eh?" and hope that our RBs can find enough holes. Haskins has also been improving his mobile game so escapability could be a needed factor with this line.
4-3 Defense: LDE1: Chase Young LDT: Matt Ioannidis RDT: Daron Payne RDE: Montez Sweat This is by far the best position group on the entire roster. Calling these four the only starters is somewhat a misnomer, as Rivera and Del Rio will be frequently subbing in and out many linemen. Kerrigan and Jon Allen should still have large roles, but these are my choices based on durability and past success. Chase Young should be a stud, and I have heard him having between 10-15 sacks this year. Ioannidis has been a 5th round gem for us, leading the team in sacks last year. Payne and Sweat are both young and have shown some success, and I am hopeful they can both remain at worst starter level linemen. If our line is not getting after QBs like crazy this year, some big questions will need to be raised.
WLB: Cole Holcomb, Josh Harvey-Clemons MLB: Jon Bostic, Thomas Davis SLB: Ryan Anderson While not as impressive as the linemen, our LB core is still a solid group. Thomas Davis brings in some leadership to an otherwise young group. Ryan Anderson will finally be playing in his natural position as a 4-3 LB. Both Bostic and Holcomb were impressive last year, though I am hoping their coverage (particularly Holcomb's) could improve. Harvey-Clemons is good for our depth, and solid rotation player. Overall not a flashy group, but should get the job done with the pressure all being up front.
CB1: Kendall Fuller CB2: Ronald Darby, Greg Stroman CB3: Fabian Moreau, Jimmy Moreland FS: Sean Davis SS: Landon Collins The only unquestionable starters here are Fuller and Collins, and even Collins has been looking down as of recent. My dark-horse candidate is Jimmy Moreland, who impressed in last years preseason before being hidden or unnoticeable during the regular season. Moreau is decent, and Sean Davis is as good as Montae Nicholson ever was (especially considering his legal issues.) The loss of Quinton Dunbar is not sad whatsoever, and while his play was above-average, his robbery skills are very poor. This is the biggest whole in the defense by far, and my guess is that our team will ride or die by this secondary. If the front 7 is doing what it can to apply pressure, there will be some slack here. However, do not be surprised if next years writeup has many different players here.
Special Teams: K: Dustin Hopkins P: Tress Way KR: Steven Sims Jr. PR: Steven Sims Jr. I want Tress Way to have my children so that they will be blessed with his punting genes. After a couple years of flying under the radar, Way was finally recognized in 2019 with a Pro Bowl and Second-team All-Pro nod. I am upset that Brett Kern got the nod over him for First-team, but the recognition is still appreciated. Hopkins is decent, though he does have a tendency to miss some close kicks (coughvs. Bengals in Londoncough), but he has provided stability to kicking for years now. Sims emerged last year as our return man, and with him bringing us our first return touchdown since 2015, I'll let him stay. Perhaps Gibson will try returning as well, who knows.
Home against the Eagles: Loss 3 out of the past 4 years Washington has lost its openers, with two of those loses being against the Eagles themselves. Be ready for growing pains with a new name, coaching staff, and supporting cast. This season is not gonna get any easier.
Away against the Cardinals: Loss This game could be a close one, but the Cardinals seem to be on the up with Kyler and Kingsbury. There air raid will be too much for the DC secondary, especially playing in Arizona.
Away against the Browns: Win It's the Browns for god sake. Josh Norman had a game winning pick a couple years back for us against them. Sure, their QB was Cody Kessler, but different year same stories. No more Freddie Kitchens, still the same Browns.
Home against the Ravens: Loss It's the Ravens. Enough said.
Home against the Rams: Loss McVay and Co. should have our number here. Even without Gurley the Rams passing attack should be enough to take us down. The real downfall of our team is the secondary, that should be a pattern to notice. I'd like to believe in a Haskins comeback win here, but who knows.
Away against the Giants: Loss Going into the Meadowlands, I expect a game similar to the late OT thriller of last season, with the Daniel Jones reigning supreme again. Saquon will distract our defense enough that number one receiver... Sterling Shepard will bust us up. Clap man Garett gets us again.
Home against the Cowboys: Win Come on now, it's the Cowboys. Dak is overpaid, blah blah blah. Coming back home and wanting to prove ourselves after a crippling loss last week, I think Simba can pull off a nice home win here.
Home against the Giants: Win Revenge game of the 2019 QBs, and this time Haskins will stay on top. Expect a nice performance from McLaurin, and Chase Young destroying Mr. Jones.
Away against the Lions: Win I'm praying that Chase Young is able to get after Stafford enough that he does not pull a come back against us here, but I expect this game to be close as well. Perhaps Okudah has a pick six, why not.
Home against the Bengals: Win Haskins vs. Burrow. Burrow vs. Young. A bonafide 2019 tank-bowl matchup. I feel we have the upper hand here, but really this game should be a shit show. Should be juicy though.
Away against the Cowboys: Loss Playing in Jerry World is ass, though I'll never forget Colt McCoy leading us to victory on Monday night. No way in hell we go 2-0 against the Cowboys, so mark this down as a loss.
Away against the Steelers: Loss Big Ben is back and can run around in the pocket, meaning even with ample pressure his offense will do better than ours.
Away against the 49ers: Loss It's the Niners, and they mean business. Last year's game was a 9-0 snoozefest for some reason, so I'm guessing this one will be 30-27 shootout. Should be fun to see a potential Trent Williams vs. Chase Young matchup.
Home against the Seahawks: Loss Russell Wilson.
Home against the Panthers: Win Rivera fights his old team and...wins?? Yep, even with Teddy B I feel our defense will keep us afloat. Shaq Thompson is scary, but I am not particularly afraid of Donte Jackson and Eli Apple... Haskins will now probably throw three picks.
Away against the Eagles: Win Ending the season on a positive note, what?? Yes, this one may be a stretch. However, if the Eagles are in the number one spot, my guess is that they would rest their starters against ours. Then again, I have no clue who will win the East so your guess is as best as mine. At any rate, I am ready to 100 percent lockdown Wentz this game, maybe.
Final record: 7-9, miss the playoffs, 3rd in NFC East In my book, this would be an OK first year for Rivera. Coming in with so many green players and an entirely new system can lend itself to mediocrity, but building off of this year is crucial in my book to finally escaping out of the limbo which Washington has played in since Snyder bought the team in 1999. Draft wise, this should set us up for a pick between...12-15? A solid early/mid-first, probably drafting a receiver, tight end, or secondary player depending on who pans out this year.
Training Camp Battles to watch
Like previously mentioned, it is unclear who will be receivers 2 and 3 behind McLaurin. Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims Jr. emerged as early contenders, but as noted earlier Harmon tore his ACL. Latimer was ok last year on the Giants, but can he beat out Gandy-Golden or Sims Jr. at the top of the chart. I believe players such as Trey Quinn, Cam Sims, Johnathon Johnson and Isaiah Wright are all fighting for a roster space, so seeing them as starters is extremely unlikely. Predicted Winners: Antonio Gandy-Golden and Steven Sims Jr.
This whole roster spot is a toss up. I truly am hoping that Sprinkle gets a kick in the rear to elevate or somebody else steps up, as he was far from a special talent last year. His name makes sense, as he was only able to Sprinkle in a few catches from Haskins and Keenum throughout 2019. Both Richard Rogers and Logan Thomas aren't impressive, so the hope for fans is that Thad Moss or an unknown player such as Marcus Baugh is able to claim the spot. No matter who wins here, the position will be weak. Predicted Winner: Jeremy Sprinkle
The battle here lies between all players not named Fuller or Darby. Known Redskins names such as Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, Jimmy Moreland, and Danny Johnson are all fighting to be the number 3 corner or remain on the roster in a bench role. I feel at most one of these players will be cut, but overall secondary job security should remain steady for 95 percent of Washington players. Predicted Winner: Fabian Moreau
Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Offense: One of the points I've read stressed about Scott Turner is his ability to fit the offense for the QB. As this will be his first full time OC job, it is unclear exactly what schemes he plans to run, but I assume it will be up to date with the fast and mobile trends of stat and data driven offenses today. Perhaps we shall see some similarities to his father, who utilized both Air Coryell and spread techniques in Carolina.
Defense: Base 4-3, 4-3 Under As mentioned before, Del Rio and Rivera are shifting our defense from a 3-4 of the past to a 4-3. This should help our rush game significantly, with players such as Ryan Anderson and Chase Young being able to fit in the scheme quite naturally, For more in depth coverage, be sure to read this Hog's Haven post which will explain it more in depth. Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down below. Agree, disagree? This was my first year writing, so I hope it was bearable to read! Offseason Review Hub
2020.07.15 06:08 coolwaliWatch Dogs 2 - Got the Platimum
Platinuming WD2 wasn't too hard. Most of the trophies were pretty easy. You have the expected "complete missions, side missions and try some side activities" combo. Some of the cool easy ones I liked are "go this particular store and buy pink crocs", "hack a robot". The ones I didn't like were the ones that seemed to be dependent on RNG like "take a photo of a drunk person vomiting" and the multiplayer ones as they took a long time and were unpredictable. Given the game is 4 years old, it took me quite a while to find 5 separate bounties and kill other players. Still, if your game is going to include online trophies, I feel this is the most bearable approach. I feel the game could have had some more "cool gameplay tricks" trophies like "balance your jumper on the drone". I prefer trophies like this because while they can be easily done, they teach the player a trick they can carry with them throughout the game. I did have to use a guide several times to find many of the collectibles and places for other trophies. The game itself was pretty good. I love the added options to hacking and the generally open-ended approach to mission design (don't use guns. The game is much more fun when you get creative). It let me complete missions how I wanted and express myself through my approaches and can feel hilarious if you do something that shouldn't work but somehow does. One of my favourite tactics is when a mission wants me to go in a building but the doors are locked. Rather than using my drones, I called the cops on a guy inside because NPCs like cops can automatically open doors locked to the player even when it doesn't make sense. Creative use of your other abilities like making a car drive backwards on its own to run a guard over, using your drones to divert guards away, causing a blackout to get yourself access to place are all fun and practical. Stuff like that is why I rank Ubisoft's open-world games as better than much of the competition like Rockstar and Guerilla because they either make basically linear adventure games that happen to be in an open world where the player is failed for trying to be creative or the open-world rarely ever is used in the missions which tend to be more standalone or the Open world hardly has any tools or creative uses to function as an extension of the player. The Multiplayer is also quite fun. The way it's seamlessly integrated at times into the world (like, you can be walking around and be presented with another player to hack, or be hacked yourself, or a bounty in progress etc) is great because it can make any part of the map suddenly host an activity even when they don't have regular activities. You can be exploring a small shopping area on a pier and then suddenly you have to find the guy trying to hack you. Or a chase where you try to nab another player takes you across parks, beaches and an entire walkway across buildings. The only modes I didn't like were the classic deathmatch and King of the Hill type modes as they lack the dynamism and unique mechanics of invasions and bounties. They just devolve into bog-standard 3rd person shooting. The Co-op infiltrations missions are cool for a bit but they get repetitive. I dislike that some mission types from WD1 were removed like Criminal Convoy. I feel the added options for vehicle hacks would have been quite fun. The game has Armoured Convoys for multiplayer but I feel having some wandering around in Singleplayer as well could have been fun. Digital Trips have also been removed. In terms of story and tone, I prefer WD1's approach. The darker and more gritty approach lets more of the mechanics be justified in the story. Like, I can imagine Aiden from the cutscenes using guns, using the profiler and blowing up steam pipes. His whole deal is that he's not really a good guy and at least a bit unhinged. But Marcus and Friends are 20 something-year-old goofballs that are presented as the good guys. The story makes a huge deal about how moral they are (they're upfront about their app. They refuse to use the profiler to recruit people as then they're no different than the companies they're fighting). Yet, many missions require Marcus to hack and blow stuff up. Your additional abilities can cause a lot of collateral that can hurt many innocent people. Most of the time, Marcus' enemies are just regular security guards. I think it could have been an interesting opportunity to tie progression into how the player manages followers. When the game first came out, I wrote the following on watchdogs: "If I were designing the reputation system in WD2, I'd make the following change to it
Reputation, Followers and progression are tied into the same system
.There are 3 kinds of followers: Casuals (stealth and passive bonuses), Anarchists (destruction), and Stunters (vehicles)
The player's actions during gameplay determine which group of followers increase and decrease which determines which upgrades and abilities the player will lose and gain
For example, if the player starts killing a lot of cops; the anarchist following will shoot up, thus giving the player more destructive and non-subtle abilities. But will cause the stunters to decrease slightly (making the player lose some car abilities) and cause a lot of casuals to leave (making the player lose a lot of stealth and passive abilities). This means the player will have to consistently keep an eye on their actions and manage these followers to get the best they can. This would also mean the player is always leaving a mark on themselves based on how they play. This could factor into the story as Marcus's crew has one of the 3 follower types and their feelings towards Marcus and missions could change depending on his actions. And people of the followers could even have helped out Markus in game. e.g Anarchists could help use violent force to help out Markus in firefights with gangsters and cops, stunters could provide higher quality vehicles lying around and even mark escape routes and routes to take down fleeing vehicles, Casuals could lie to the cops and make it harder for people to recognize Marcus etc. This would also make the game and world feel more alive, responsive and cool. It would hurt the story and tone as WD2 has a very lighthearted story despite the dark gameplay, but at least the gameplay would be better. " Looking back this suggestion. there are some challenges to consider: how do you balance multiplayer? Invasions require the target not be killed. So Players who'd invested in The Anarchist and Stunter playstyles would be at a disadvantage. And the opposite would happen for Bounty Hunts. The story would need to be rewritten to accommodate the styles. Still, I think it would have been a much more cool way to fit gameplay and story together." But let's ignore that and look at the story we do have: I enjoyed the crew and interacting with them. All of them (except Horatio) had distinct personalities, skills and place in the team. I wish there were MGSV style calls and GTA V style hangouts and Saints Row style team-ups you could do with them to get some more character interactions out of them. I like that they all contribute and help Marcus so it feels like Dedsec as a whole are making progress rather than it being the Marcus show. Horatio was a bit disappointing because his role in the team seemed redundant and we got very few interactions with him before his death. He's not even available in the hideout to have optional chats. Other hideouts have no-names that have a couple lines but not a guy who's in the main character's group? The crew also don't have much of an arcs or individual stories. Wrench gets his time to shine. Horatio shows his stuff despite not getting much beforehand. Sitara and Josh don't get many missions exploring their characters in the spotlight or giving them an arc. Marcus also doesn't really get an arc. He joins Dedsec and instantly hits it off with all of them. He doesn't really change his outlook and is still the same character by the end. He hardly even gets any negative repercussions of his actions. Marcus has his identity restored and marked as a most-wanted threat like twice and both times do very little to affect him. While I know this idea kinda goes against the lighthearted nature of the story, I wish the game gave him an arc where he questioned his purpose or something. Imagine if the story starts out with the crew welcoming Marcus in but are still skeptical of him. He works missions to win over each member (thus also giving them a spotlight). He starts out being idealistic about how Dedsec is going to improve the world but as the story goes on and the opposition gets heavier, he is forced to slowly start doing some less ideal things. Like, initially, he loves how Dedsec doesn't steal others' data but as the police try and arrest him and the crew, he has to steal their data to get everyone out of there or something. Stuff like that so when the villains show up, they are presented as having a point because Marcus and crew had to get their hands dirty and do what their enemies did in order to even be able to fight back. This would add some more substance, moral ambiguity and even realism to the story. And Marcus and crew would have to grapple with the fact that they aren't as perfect as they're trying to be and that would be far more interesting than the crew basically being the same and the only issue they face is that world's equivalent of Facebook gave them some fake bots as followers (yes, there were other consequences from that but it seemed so insignificant as a blow to Dedsec). The overall plot of Dedsec exposing things companies are doing is cool and engaging. But many of the missions feel disconnected. There is very little sense of rising action and climax. When the final mission started, I was like: "ok, so this is happening" because it hardly felt much different than past missions you did. The main antagonist, Dusand, is also kinda uninteresting. I get that he's supposed to be the one connecting all the missions together and using Dedsec's success to scare more companies and governments to turn to Blume and CTOS but it feels disconnected. Whenever he would show up, I would be like "wait, who's he again?" for most of the adventure. Compare this to Watch Dogs 1 and its main villain, Damian. Damian kidnaps Nicky so Aiden has to play along and try and outsmart him. Damian continues to taunt Aiden throughout the story which reinforces his presence and makes the player want to take him down. When Aiden initially gets the better of him, Damian exposes his identity which hurts his relationship with his family and requires them to leave Chicago. In the last mission, Damian gets full control over CTOS and uses Aiden, and the player's own tools against them. You'd think the CEO of Blume would have more tricks up his sleeve. I think it would have been a lot better if Dusan was more hands on and present throughout the story. Have him fight Dedsec more directly so his goals are either he gets rid of them and thus ends a problem, or if they manage to get wins despite his actions, it drives companies to align with Blume so it's a win/win for Dusand either way. The game already tries that latter part but I feel making Dusand more involved makes him even more of a threat and makes it all the sweater when the player does take him down. The Side Missions tend to be cool. You have "Side Stories" that are mechanically simple, either infiltrate a place and get a thing or hack and interact with objects. They're more used for narratives rather than pure gameplay. Stuff like hack into ATMs and choose how to deal with customers, hack into Ubisoft and leak their next trailer are cool because of the context rather than because hacking into them is a challenge. I'd argue the Driver San Franciso missions also fall under this camp with the gameplay being driving. Research Points, Key Data and other collectibles often require solving mini-puzzles in the world of how to get close to them to get them. They're decent. Races come in different flavours: Drone, Boat, Bike and e-kart. They're also pretty fun. I wonder why there aren't street races or custom races by players? -Other Stuff I wish there was an in-game social media like how GTA V had Bleeter and Spider-Man had its feed. It would have been a cool way of letting the player see some feedback for their actions. Past a certain point you stop getting EXP. Granted, I already had most of the skills but I wish the game didn't have a cap for levelling up. The map is really detailed and well done. NPCs have tons of animations and interactions, Restaurants have fully detailed menus. There are so many hidden details you can find through ScoutX, hacking phone calls and text messages. And the game is only 40 GB. I'd rather we have games like this rather than 80+ GB behemoths that have more detail but with diminishing returns. So yeah, WD2 is a really good game and an easy game to platinum. The gameplay is quite good and the story is a decent time if a little lacking. Is it better than WD1? I'd say yes for the gameplay, no for the story. The integration of multiplayer makes great use of the open world as thus most of the mission design. I'd recommend this game.
2020.06.23 23:22 BorkBreakerWatch Dogs 2 - 'Gameplay is King' (my review of WD2)
I finished Watch Dogs 2 last night and honestly, its one of my biggest surprises of the year so far (in gaming). I love open worlds, like i love them. I love driving around big beautiful cities, I love getting chased by the cops in GTA, I love walking around and people watching, I love getting into random fights with NPCs. Funnily enough, I enjoyed doing precisely none of that in Watch Dogs 2, but I loved this game. (didn't intend for this review to be as long as it is but oh well what the hell) I love Watch Dogs 2 because its a response to all the stuff I hate in modern open world games with their boring railroady mission design, lacklustre stealth, and shitty upgrade trees. Watch Dogs 2 is more like splinter cell, MGSV and dishonored, than it is a traditional open world game like GTA. Each level (edit: *mission) is a sandbox that you can approach from numerous angles with a variety of tools. The game pushes you towards stealth and man is it fucking satisfying. After playing Red Dead Redemption 2 and getting so many fail states for wandering off the beaten path in a mission this was SUCH a breath of fresh air; WD2 is a game that encourages and respects your imagination and creativity. Can I talk about the tone, I freaking love it. Now don't get me wrong, I love dark and dramatic stories like RDR2, GTA IV, The Last of Us etc, but I feel like a lot of AAA games are like this now (hell even WD Legion looks a bit grim dark). Watch Dogs 2 is light, its airy and colourful and gorgeous. Its characters are fun and humorous, it satirises modern tech culture, but it doesn't sneer like GTA V, and still delivers some pretty heavy thematic punches on some startlingly relevant issues ranging from influencing political opinion via social media, the lack of diversity in big tech, and the collection and sale of our personal data. The story is good. Its actually what kept me invested in playing the game. As I mentioned before, all that stuff i normally love doing in open world games, exploring, side quests, general messing around...didn't do any of it (besides hunting for upgrade points and some money bags initially) because well, compared to its counterparts, Watch Dogs 2's world just wasn't that interesting to me beyond the aesthetics. I might be being disingenous with that remark seeing as I did literally zero side quests of activities, but what kept me hooked for my entire 18 hour playthrough was the story and the fantastic gameplay. Beyond some pacing issues, superficial characters, and a general lack of depth, I was really interested in the story and thought the ending was great. Furthermore, unlike GTA V (a pretty tired comparison at this point but its the only other modern day open world game I can think of), I actually liked all the characters! Lastly, let's talk about gameplay. In the last year or two there's been more discussion about how limiting mission design is in AAA open world games these days; Watch Dogs 2 stands in direct opposition to these claims. Its kind of astonishing how well combining a big open world, and mechanics from immersive sim stealth games (like a backpack full of tools and reactive AI who, in their interaction with said tools produce emergent outcomes) works...although actually it makes complete sense, think Breath of the Wild or Deus Ex Mankind Divided. However, I feel like Ubisoft achieved this synergy at the expense of their big world, for all its small details and gorgeous design, San Francisco and its surrounding burroughs just felt a bit hollow; honestly though, I didn't mind. I hunted upgrade points across the world (which were often fun little puzzles that reminded me of Riddler Trophies from the Arkham series, rather than the usual collectible drudgery of other Ubi games like AC), and devoured the main quest, loving every minute of the surprisingly long missions which featured varied environments and interesting encounters. To be more specific about the gameplay; I basically completed the entire game, as many people did, with almost exclusively the drone and RC jumper, and I had a blast doing it; that being said, these two items are insanely unbalanced and meant that beyond some skills from the social engineering tree, I didn't really explore the game's other hacking abilities. Furthermore, while I do appreciate the whole, Marcus needs to be in proximity for this hack to happen element to nerf the RC car, the game just felt a bit too easy. Level design is fantastic throughout with some really great set pieces levels. And, like any good game with a skill tree, by the end I felt like a motherfucking hacking god. That being said, the gunplay, which definitely feels disincentived in this game, lacked weight. The cop chases; yeesh, maybe I'm just bad at games, but I found getting away from the cops, even on normal difficulty, to be really quite hard, and not very fun; the AI felt way too aggressive and would search for you in what would seem like the most hidden back alley or remote places I could find. Closing thoughts/ TLDR: Loved my time with this game, honestly was not expecting a game which got what felt like a pretty meh critical reception to be this enjoyable, especially after the debarcle of its predecessor (which I haven't played). I'm now very excited for Watch Dogs Legion, but also a bit worried (please don't nerf my drone/RC jumper too much Ubi! and keep up the humour!) Edit: In my excitement in writing this post, I think I overstated my thesis a lot; in my experience, the game felt much more like a traditional stealth game because I basically ignored the open world and pretty much played just the main story, with some exploration to pick up upgrade points. The game is of course a typical open world game like GTA V with most of the same mechanics.
2020.06.20 18:09 Bipedal-Moose[OC] 63 MVPs in 63 days, part 50: The 2006 MVP race
Hello everyone, and welcome back to part 50 of my series in which I’ll be researching and dissecting every single MVP race in NFL history. Today, we’re going to be looking into the 2006 race. But first, a look at the voting results from you for the 2005 race. 71 people voted, and here are the results:
Shaun Alexander: 35/71 votes (49.3%)
Peyton Manning: 22/71 votes (31.0%)
Tom Brady: 8/71 votes (11.3%)
Tiki Barber: 6/71 votes (8.5%)
2006 AP MVP: San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson (44 votes)
Other notable candidates: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (4 votes), Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning (2 votes) Others receiving votes: none The winner: LaDainian Tomlinson has a career year and becomes the first Charger to win MVP and the only one to date. The race Here are the stats for the notable contenders for MVP in 2006. Remember, though, that the context behind the stats is equally as important as the stats themselves, so I encourage you to read the player profiles below. Tomlinson:
Note: Tomlinson also went 2 for 3 passing with 20 yards and 2 TDs. Brees:
Note: Bold indicates a league lead in that particular category. Italics indicate a league record. The case for and against Tomlinson It’s difficult for a running back to win MVP by a lot of votes, but putting up perhaps the greatest statistical season in history is a good place to start. LaDainian Tomlinson spent the early 2000s building a reputation as the best all-around RB in the game, being able to do anything you could ask a RB to do, and do it very, very well. 2006 was the year everything went his way, and it shows on the stat sheet. For starters, Tomlinson’s 1,815 rushing yards led the league, 26 yards ahead of 2nd place Larry Johnson, and his 5.2 rushing YPC ranked 3rd in the league among running backs. Tomlinson was also, as usual, a productive pass catcher, with 56 catches for 506 yards; coupled with his good pass-blocking ability, Tomlinson was among the best contributors to the passing game among all running backs in the league. But, of course, what makes Tomlinson’s 2006 season so memorable was the TDs: his 31 TDs stand above all as the most touchdowns scored from scrimmage in a single season. Imagine that: nearly 2 TDs a game. Tomlinson was able to seemingly score at will, and in fact, his 186 points scored represented a new league record, passing Paul Hornung’s record of 176 set 46 years earlier, though it is worth mentioning that that was in a 12 game schedule. Tomlinson’s 2006 season likely can thus be filed under the best running back seasons in history; he broke records with his all-around contributions. Hell, he even threw two more TDs on top of his 31 scrimmage TDs. His historic scoring led to the Chargers ranking 1st in total points scored and 2nd in points scored per drive on their way to a 14-2 finish. The fantasy football player in all of us will see Tomlinson's 31 TDs and immediately want to cast a vote for him before even reading any of this. But I think this race deserves more nuance than that; it's not evident that it should have been as big of a landslide as it was. Tomlinson had an amazing season, but he had an absurd amount of help getting there. Tomlinson’s offensive line featured a host of very good players: Marcus McNeil, Kris Deilman, Nick Hardwick, and Mike Goff all played at a very high level, and the entire Chargers' offensive line collectively missed just one game, making them one of the best and healthiest units in the entire league. Tomlinson also had Lorenzo Neal as his FB, one of the greatest blocking fullbacks of all time; in sum, Tomlinson had some of the best blocking he possibly could have had. Tomlinson also had a great passing game in front of him; of course, he contributed to it, but QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates were excellent players on their own. As a result, it could be argued that Tomlinson was simply fed TDs in a great offense: 24 of his 28 rushing TDs came from inside the 10, and backup RB Michael Turner ran for over 500 yards on 6.3 YPC; of course, Turner was a good RB in his own right, but his extreme efficiency illustrates just how stacked this offense was. Would the Chargers have been doomed if they were forced to rely on Turner instead of Tomlinson? Conventional wisdom would suggest they'd be far from that, and that deals a serious blow to the logic behind Tomlinson's case. In addition to all of that, though, the Chargers had a solid defense that ranked 9th in points allowed per drive. Since this is the last time we'll see someone break the TDs record in this series, I think it's a good time to bring up the age-old discussion: are scrimmage TDs a function of opportunity more so than skill? Let's look at all of the TD record-breaking years since this series started, in reverse chronological order: Shaun Alexander 2005, Priest Holmes 2003, Marshall Faulk 2000, Emmitt Smith 1995, John Riggins 1983, OJ Simpson 1975, Jim Brown 1965, Jim Taylor 1962, and Jim Brown 1958 (only Holmes' and Riggins' seasons were not given a profile in this series). Every last one of those seasons took place under favorable circumstances, with offenses stacked with great talent (some exorbitantly so), which would lend credibility to the answer to that question being, "yes." There's something to being a good short-yardage back, but I'm not convinced it's a coincidence that all of these seasons took place in highly talented offenses. This is, of course, a thought experiment, and I'd love to hear more from you guys in the comments about it. The case for and against Brees 2006 was a magical year for the Saints and the city of New Orleans. It was the first year the team was to play in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina, it was Sean Payton’s first year as a HC, and it was also the first year of FA acquisition Drew Brees’ stint on the team. Following a 3-13 season in 2005, and many tumultuous seasons before, the Saints enjoyed success under the Brees-Payton duo that would be a sign of things to come. While he wasn’t the very best statistical QB in the league, Brees’ stats were remarkable, and they weren’t very far from the best on a surface level. He won his first career passing yardage title (the first of many) while ranking 3rd in passing TDs and T-3rd in TD-INT differential. His efficiency was excellent: he ranked 3rd in Y/A, 3rd in ANY/A, and 3rd in passer rating; other than Peyton Manning, no QB presented a better combination of volume and efficiency at the QB position in 2006. But what made Brees’ statistical achievements so impressive was the context behind them: despite the Saints’ offense ranking 24th in average starting field position, 19th in rushing yards, and 26th in rushing YPC, they still ranked 4th in points scored per drive, a testament to the effectiveness of Brees and the passing game. The Saints’ defense wasn’t much to write home about, ranking 13th in PPD allowed and 13th in total points allowed. The team went 10-6, thanks largely to Brees. Despite not being the very best statistical QB, Brees was a consensus first team all-pro at the QB position, which may have owed to the "story" aspect, but it doesn't mean this year wasn't fantastic for Brees. Brees wasn’t completely without help, however: he had some formidable weapons at his disposal. Joe Horn was still a highly effective WR, even though an injury shortened his season to only 10 games. Brees also had Marques Colston in his receiving corps, the proverbial diamond in the rough, a 7th round rookie who eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving (a feat he’d accomplish 5 more times in his career). Rookie RB Reggie Bush, while a disappointment initially, showed a glimpse of the effective receiving weapon he could be with 88 catches for 742 yards. Brees’ offensive line also contained some hits: Jammal Brown was an all-pro, Jahri Evans was obviously excellent, and Jeff Faine and Jon Stinchcomb were rock solid. The case for and against Manning Peyton Manning continued his torrid stretch of play in the 2000s with another amazing showing in 2006. He ranked 2nd in passing yards, 1st in passing TDs, 1st in TD-INT differential, 1st in ANY/A, and 1st in passer rating. He was the best QB in the league on a statistical basis for the fourth year in a row, which is nothing short of an incredible achievement. He did not have the story that Drew Brees had; at this point, Manning had simply maintained his status as the top statistical QB. He was named second team all-pro at the QB position by the Associated Press, but there is certainly room to debate that he was the best QB in the league this season. In fact, this was really one of the best seasons of Manning's career, which says a lot. And just like in 2005, the final result of the Colts' running game was mediocre, though the team had lost Edgerrin James: the team ranked 16th in both rushing yards and rushing YPC. Additionally, as was often the case, Manning had to deal with poor field position on a regular basis, with the team ranking 27th in average starting field position on offense. Despite these factors, the Colts once again ranked 1st in points scored per drive; in fact, this was the fourth time in a row the Colts ranked 1st in points scored per drive; since this data became available on PFR in the 1999 season, only the GSOT Rams even managed to string together more than one season leading the league in this category, doing so three years in a row. The Colts' offensive excellence certainly wasn’t thanks to Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, and the running game: Peyton Manning was the driving force behind this offense. And if none of that was enough, the Colts had perhaps the worst rushing defense in history, surrendering nearly 2,800 rushing yards and 20 rushing TDs on 5.3 YPC, giving them the 31st ranked defense in points allowed per drive. Yet, the team still went 12-4. There is no doubt that, without the success of the passing game, this team was not making the playoffs, let alone go 12-4. Of course, this isn’t to say that Manning didn’t have help, either: once again, the Colts returned the iconic WR duo of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, giving Manning perhaps the best receiving duo in the league. Tarik Glenn and Jeff Saturday once again anchored the offensive line, two solid presences that kept Manning protected pretty well. Manning was equipped with the right tools for an elite passing game.
Vote for the player you think had the best case here after reading the post! Tomorrow we'll review the results in the 2007 post. Click here for links to previous editions dating back to 1957!
2020.06.16 22:42 Hairiest_WalrusHow Has Boise State Been So Good For So Long?
We all know about Boise State football. The plucky little non-Power 5 program that used to complain about being left out of the BCS championship all the time during the early 2000's. But just how good has Boise State been? Since 1999, Boise State has had a record of 229-46. That's a winning percentage of 0.833. That's an average of 10.9 wins and 2.2 losses per season. For context, I looked at the win totals for some of the other most dominant schools over that same time span: Alabama had 213 wins (minus a few that were vacated during the Shula years), Ohio State had 225 wins (with a few of those being vacated as well), and Oklahoma had 226 wins. I know what some of you may be thinking, "Sure, sure u/Hairiest_Walrus, that's all well and good, but they were just beating up on some shitty teams in some weak conferences!" And to that I say, of course they were. But there still is something to be said for such an insane level of consistency. The program has averaged an 11-2 record *over 21 seasons* with four different coaches at the helm. They're basically the San Antonio Spurs of college football except they have not had a singular leader like Gregg Popovich to maintain consistency. So, how has Boise State managed to pull this off? Well, most great college football dynasties begin with recruiting, so I decided to start there. I started with 2002 because that was the first year 247 Sports had data on Boise State recruiting, and I looked at every class after that until 2020. Unlike many other successful programs, Boise State is not bringing top 10 recruiting classes every year, but that is to be expected when you're a Group of 5 program in Boise, Idaho. It's a really big table of data, so I'm not going to include it in this post unless people really want to see it, but you can basically break their recruiting up into two periods: From 2002-2010, Boise State had an average conference ranking of 5.4 and national ranking of 82.6 with an average recruit rating of 0.7887. During this period, they only had one 4* recruit (WR Jeremy Childs - 2005) and had to primarily rely on finding lower rated guys such as 3* WR Orlando Scandrick (2005, later moved to DB) as well as 3* WRs Titus Young and Austin Pettis (2007), 3* QB Kellen Moore (2007), 2* RB Doug Martin (2007), 2* DB George Iloka (2008), and 0* OC Matt Paradis (2009). As you can see, there were a lot of NFL-caliber players they found during this period, but none of them were very highly rated. During this period, BSU was able to do a great job of identifying underrated talent and developing those players to help them reach their full potential. From 2011-2020, Boise State had the top ranked class in conference every year and an average national ranking of 59.6 with an average recruit rating of 0.8303. During this period, they managed to pull in six 4* recruits (DB Dylan Sumner-Gardner - 2014, QB Brett Rypien - 2015, DB Jermani Brown - 2017, WR Khalil Shakir - 2018, QB Hank Bachmeier - 2019, and LB Casey Kline - 2019), but even of those six, Sumner-Gardner was eventually dismissed from the team and Brown never played a down. So again, BSU had to mostly get it done finding underrated guys such as 3* RB Jay Ajayi (2011), 3* DL DeMarcus Lawrence (2012), 3* QB Ryan Finley (2013, transferred to NC State), 3* DL Kamalei Correa (2013), 3* WR Jeremy McNichols (2014), 3* DLs Curtis Weaver and Ezra Cleveland (2016, Cleveland was later moved to OL), and most recently, 3* RB George Holani in the 2019 class. As you can see, Boise State has done a pretty good job of acquiring NFL-level talent, but have done it mostly through lower-ranked unheralded recruits. Over the last 10 years, they may have been top in the Mountain West, but I also don't think many would think perennial 11-win team based on a national recruiting rank of 60 each year. I did find it especially interesting that they seemed to have had a good amount of success moving players around positionally such as Orlando Scandrick (WR to DB), Jeremy McNichols (WR to RB), and Ezra Cleveland (DL to OL). That seems like a good way to find NFL-caliber athletes who just may have been playing out of position in high school relative to their highest potential. But, there has to be more to it than that, right? Many schools find underrated recruits that the big schools overlooked, but they aren't averaging 11 wins per year for 21 years. So, next I decided to look at one of the other most important aspects of success in college football: coaching. Boise State has enjoyed an incredible run of success hiring coaches over the course of this 21 year period of dominance. It begins in 1998 with the hire of Dirk Koetter who moved on to Arizona State in 2001 before eventually moving on to the NFL. Then, they promoted offensive coordinator Dan Hawkins to the top man (you'll start to see a pattern) who eventually left to take over Colorado (and flamed out there). Following Hawkins departure, Boise State again decided to promote from within; elevating OC Chris Petersen to the top job. Of course, we all know about the success Petersen was able to attain after leaving for Washington. Finally, we've made it to current head coach Bryan Harsin: he was the OC for the first 5 years of Petersen's tenure at BSU before leaving to take charge of the offense at Texas (and was also a former backup QB at BSU in the 90s). You can see the details of their tenures in the chart below:
As you can see, they have had a lot of success transitioning from one coach to the next over the past 20 years. I think a big part of that has to do with the level of continuity created by promoting guys from within who are able to keep the scheme and maintain the culture relatively easily. I think the other thing to consider here is just that they have had some excellent coaches on staff. Dirk Koetter has obviously had a pretty successful career that allowed him to become an NFL head coach for a few years in Tampa Bay. Dan Hawkins didn't really have much success after leaving Boise, but Chris Petersen was his OC for his entire time at BSU. Obviously, Chris Petersen was one of the most well-respected coaches in all of college football before he decided to retire after this last season. Harsin is still pretty early in his career at just 43, but he has already proven to be a quality coach in his own right. So, what can we conclude from all of this? It seems like Boise State's success has stemmed from a combination of elite coaching and an ability to identify talented recruits who were overlooked and underrated by everyone else. Some of that is beginning to change as Boise State has gained more status and attracted some bigger recruits such as Hank Bachmeier (a personal favorite of mine, seriously if you haven't seen him play, try to catch some BSU games this year), but through all of the changes over time, they have managed to maintain a culture of winning by continuing to promote their own guys to take over from the head coaches who move on. Feel free to let me know what you guys think and fill in any gaps. I appreciate any of you that actually read this whole long post. TL;DR: BSU has a lot of success identifying underrated recruits and had some really good coaching over the years.
2020.06.11 19:34 jocker12Driverless cars show the limits of today’s AI (The Economist) - They, and many other such systems, still struggle to handle the unexpected
https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2020/06/13/driverless-cars-show-the-limits-of-todays-ai - Paywall IN MARCH Starsky Robotics, a self-driving lorry firm based in San Francisco, closed down. Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, its founder, gave several reasons for its failure. Investors’ interest was already cooling, owing to a run of poorly performing tech-sector IPOs and a recession in the trucking business. His firm’s focus on safety, he wrote, did not go down well with impatient funders, who preferred to see a steady stream of whizzy new features. But the biggest problem was that the technology was simply not up to the job. “Supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype. It isn’t actual artificial intelligence akin to c-3PO [a humanoid robot from the “Star Wars” films]. It’s a sophisticated pattern-matching tool.” Policing social media, detecting fraud and defeating humans at ancient games are all very well. But building a vehicle that can drive itself on ordinary roads is—along with getting computers to conduct plausible conversations—one of the grand ambitions of modern AI. Some imagined driverless cars could do away with the need for car ownership by letting people summon robotaxis at will. They believe they would be safer, too. Computers never tire, and their attention never wanders. According to the WHO, over a million people a year die in car accidents caused by fallible human drivers. Advocates hoped to cut those numbers drastically. And they would do it soon. In 2015 Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, an electric-car maker, predicted the arrival of “complete autonomy” by 2018. Cruise, a self-driving firm acquired by General Motors in 2016, had planned to launch self-driving taxis in San Francisco by 2019. Chris Urmson, then the boss of Waymo, a Google subsidiary widely seen as the market leader, said in 2015 that he hoped his son, then 11 years old, would never need a driving licence. But progress has lagged. In 2018 a self-driving car being tested by Uber, a ride-hailing service, became the first to kill a pedestrian when it hit a woman pushing a bicycle across a road in Arizona. Users of Tesla’s “Autopilot” software must, despite its name, keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road (several who seem to have failed to do so have been killed in crashes). The few firms that carry passengers, such as Waymo in America and WeRide in China, are geographically limited and rely on human safety drivers. Mr Urmson, who has since left Waymo, now thinks that adoption will be slower and more gradual. Black swans and bitter lessons Self-driving cars work in the same way as other applications of machine learning. Computers crunch huge piles of data to extract general rules about how driving works. The more data, at least in theory, the better the systems perform. Tesla’s cars continuously beam data back to headquarters, where it is used to refine the software. On top of the millions of real-world miles logged by its cars, Waymo claims to have generated well over a billion miles-worth of data using ersatz driving in virtual environments. The problem, says Rodney Brooks, an Australian roboticist who has long been sceptical of grand self-driving promises, is deep-learning approaches are fundamentally statistical, linking inputs to outputs in ways specified by their training data. That leaves them unable to cope with what engineers call “edge cases”—unusual circumstances that are not common in those training data. Driving is full of such oddities. Some are dramatic: an escaped horse in the road, say, or a light aircraft making an emergency landing on a highway (as happened in Canada in April). Most are trivial, such as a man running out in a chicken suit. Human drivers usually deal with them without thinking. But machines struggle. One study, for instance, found that computer-vision systems were thrown when snow partly obscured lane markings. Another found that a handful of stickers could cause a car to misidentify a “stop” sign as one showing a speed limit of 45mph. Even unobscured objects can baffle computers when seen in unusual orientations: in one paper a motorbike was classified as a parachute or a bobsled. Fixing such issues has proved extremely difficult, says Mr Seltz-Axmacher. “A lot of people thought that filling in the last 10% would be harder than the first 90%”, he says. “But not that it would be ten thousand times harder.” Mary “Missy” Cummings, the director of Duke University’s Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, says that humans are better able to cope with such oddities because they can use “top-down” reasoning about the way the world works to guide them in situations where “bottom-up” signals from their senses are ambiguous or incomplete. AI systems mostly lack that capacity and are, in a sense, working with only half a brain. Though they are competent in their comfort zone, even trivial changes can be problematic. In the absence of the capacity to reason and generalise, computers are imprisoned by the same data that make them work in the first place. “These systems are fundamentally brittle,” says Dr Cummings. This narrow intelligence is visible in areas beyond just self-driving cars. Google’s “Translate” system usually does a decent job at translating between languages. But in 2018 researchers noticed that, when asked to translate 18 repetitions of the word “dog” into Yoruba (a language spoken in parts of Nigeria and Benin) and then back into English, it came up with the following: “Doomsday Clock is at three minutes to twelve. We are experiencing characters and dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return.” Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University, says that, besides its comedy value, the mistranslation highlights how Google’s system does not understand the basic structure of language. Concepts like verbs or nouns are alien, let alone the notion that nouns refer to physical objects in a real world. Instead, it has constructed statistical rules linking strings of letters in one language with strings of letters in another, without any understanding of the concepts to which those letters refer. Language processing, he says, is therefore still baffled by the sorts of questions a toddler would find trivial. How much those limitations matter varies from field to field. An automated system does not have to be better than a professional human translator to be useful, after all (Google’s system has since been tweaked). But it does set an upper bound on how useful chatbots or personal assistants are likely to become. And for safety-critical applications like self-driving cars, says Dr Cummings, AI’s limitations are potentially show-stopping. Researchers are beginning to ponder what to do about the problem. In a conference talk in December Yoshua Bengio, one of AI’s elder statesmen, devoted his keynote address to it. Current machine-learning systems, said Dr Bengio, “learn in a very narrow way, they need much more data to learn a new task than [humans], they need humans to provide high-level concepts through labels, and they still make really stupid mistakes”. Beyond deep learning Different researchers have different ideas about how to try to improve things. One idea is to widen the scope, rather than the volume, of what machines are taught. Christopher Manning, of Stanford University’s AI Lab, points out that biological brains learn from far richer data-sets than machines. Artificial language models are trained solely on large quantities of text or speech. But a baby, he says, can rely on sounds, tone of voice or tracking what its parents are looking at, as well as a rich physical environment to help it anchor abstract concepts in the real world. This shades into an old idea in AI research called “embodied cognition”, which holds that if minds are to understand the world properly, they need to be fully embodied in it, not confined to an abstracted existence as pulses of electricity in a data-centre. Biology offers other ideas, too. Dr Brooks argues that the current generation of AI researchers “fetishise” models that begin as blank slates, with no hand-crafted hints built in by their creators. But “all animals are born with structure in their brains,” he says. “That’s where you get instincts from.” Dr Marcus, for his part, thinks machine-learning techniques should be combined with older, “symbolic AI” approaches. These emphasise formal logic, hierarchical categories and top-down reasoning, and were most popular in the 1980s. Now, with machine-learning approaches in the ascendancy, they are a backwater. But others argue for persisting with existing approaches. Last year Richard Sutton, an AI researcher at the University of Alberta and DeepMind, published an essay called “The Bitter Lesson”, arguing that the history of AI shows that attempts to build human understanding into computers rarely work. Instead most of the field’s progress has come courtesy of Moore’s law, and the ability to bring ever more brute computational force to bear on a problem. The “bitter lesson” is that “the actual contents of [human] minds are tremendously, irredeemably complex…They are not what should be built in [to machines].” Away from the research labs, expectations around driverless cars are cooling. Some Chinese firms are experimenting with building digital guide rails into urban infrastructure, in an attempt to lighten the cognitive burden on the cars themselves. Incumbent carmakers, meanwhile, now prefer to talk about “driver-assistance” tools such as automatic lane-keeping or parking systems, rather than full-blown autonomous cars. A new wave of startups has deliberately smaller ambitions, hoping to build cars that drive around small, limited areas such as airports or retirement villages, or vehicles which trundle slowly along pavements, delivering packages under remote human supervision. “There’s a scientific reason we’re not going to get to full self-driving with our current technology,” says Dr Cummings. “This less ambitious stuff—I think that’s much more realistic.” ■
2020.05.30 04:36 ddiopAnother long post: The best 5-man regular season lineups since 1997 (min. 150 MP)
Why 1997? The oldest PBP data. Why 150 MP? Pretty much includes every 5-man lineup without being exhaustive. All data can be found in this link The ultimate ranking is simply minutes played multiplied by net rating per 100 possessions (roughly a full game). So with that understood, I'll quickly summarize the best/worst lineups, because we all like rankings. Top 10 Overall Lineups:
2006 Detroit Pistons (Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace) +15.5, 1674.5 minutes played
1997 Utah Jazz (John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Karl Malone, Greg Ostertag) +25.2, 984.2 minutes played
2015 Los Angeles Clippers (Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan) +18.7, 1213.6 minutes played
2005 Phoenix Suns (Steve Nash, Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire) +16.0, 1342.4 minutes played
2008 Boston Celtics (Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins) +19.7, 1072.0 minutes played
1997 Atlanta Hawks (Mookie Blaylock, Steve Smith, Tyrone Corbin, Christian Laettner, Dikembe Mutombo) +15.8, 1189.9 minutes played
2015 Golden State Warriors (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut) +19.5, 810.5 minutes played
1998 Indiana Pacers (Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Dale Davis, Rik Smits) +14.7, 1047.6 minutes played
2013 Indiana Pacers (George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert) +12.1, 1218.2 minutes played
2007 Houston Rockets (Rafer Alston, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes, Yao Ming) +27.4, 525.7 minutes played
2010 Celtics (9th) and 2005 Pistons (10th) were removed simply because they were the same line-up as a lineup already listed higher up. Top 5 2020 Lineups:
Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe, Wesley Matthews, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez) +19.2, 407.7 minutes played (70th all time)
Utah Jazz (Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O'Neal, Rudy Gobert) +12.6, 570.5 minutees played (88th all time)
Miami Heat (Jimmy Butler, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard) +12.5, 487.4 minutes played (121st all time)
New Orleans Pelicans (Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Derrick Favors) +25.9, 229.8 minutes played (126th all time)
Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic) +7.2, 735.3 minutes played (158th all time)
Pelicans already being top 5 with Williamson cumulatively is terrifying. They have had an easy schedule, but damn, I didn't know until I was writing this how good they are. Also to consider for all-time rankings, that the season was shortened so all these would be higher on an 82 game scale. Top 5 Per Possession:
2016 Golden State Warriors (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green) +45.6, 171.8 minutes played
2012 Chicago Bulls (John Lucas III, Kyle Korver, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik) +35.6, 157.5 minutes played
2003 San Antonio Spurs (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Bruce Bowen, Malik Rose, Tim Duncan) +33.6, 153.7 minutes played
2017 Cleveland Cavaliers (Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Liggins, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson) +32.2, 180.7 minutes played
2010 Oklahoma City Thunder (Eric Maynor, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison) +30.0, 151.9 minutes played
The 2016 Warriors also had the 5th best lineup, swapping Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut for one another, and the Spurs in 2007 with pretty much the same lineup, except Francisco Elson in for Malik Monk, was 6th. Fairly interesting how most these lineups are just some random guy slotted in with the starting guys elevates them to supreme levels; addition by subtraction. That Bulls team is real random, though. That #1 lineup is also the third fastest pace team ever, behind the 2019 Warriors (Curry, Klay, Durant, Dray, Boogie) and the current Bucks team I already mentioned, which is fun. Now for the ugly parts. The würsts. Bottom 5 Overall Lineups
2016 Los Angeles Lakers (D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, Roy Hibbert) -24.0, 570.8 minutes played
2000 Vancouver Grizzlies (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Othella Harrington, Bryant Reeves) -8.7, 1046.0 minutes played
2002 New York Knicks (Mark Jackson, Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell, Clarence Weatherspoon, Kurt Thomas) -12.0, 705.3 minutes played
2014 Philadelphia 76ers (Michael Carter-Williams, James Anderson, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes) -12.7, 611.5 minutes played
2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (Milt Palacio, Ricky Davis, Darius Miles, Carlos Boozer, Zydrunas Ilgauskas) -17.1, 424.4 minutes played
Poor Grizzlies, that was their A-Team. That Lakers team is woof. Bottom 5 Per Possession
2012 Detroit Pistons (Brandon Knight, Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe) -26.8, 166.7 minutes played
2000 Golden State Warriors (Mookie Blaylock, Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, Jason Caffey, Adonal Foyle) -26.5, 201.7 minutes played
2016 Los Angeles Lakers (Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson, Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, Roy Hibbert) -25.8, 198.2 minutes played
2006 Philadelphia 76ers (Allen Iverson, Kevin Ollie, Andre Iguodala, Chris Webber, Samuel Dalembert) -24.3, 159.7 minutes played
2003 Los Angeles Clippers (Andre Miller, Corey Maggette, Lamar Odom, Cherokee Parks, Sean Rooks) -24.1, 183.4 minutes played
Some people I can't say I'm too familiar with on these rosters, can't tell you a thing about Jason Caffey, Kevin Ollie, or Sean Rooks. The 2016 Lakers roster got even worse swapping out D'Lo for Lou Will, interesting. Also surprising to see a 76ers team that isn't the process on here. In fact there are 3 worse lineups including Allen Iverson on the 6ers than any process lineup. And, if anyone's curious, since I mentioned the 3 fastest lineups, the three slowest are the '97 Cavaliers, '04 Jazz, and (tied) '04 76ers, and '03 Pistons. The best lineups for each team in the past 24 years, in order of best lineups, are as such: 1. Detroit Pistons 2006 - Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace +15.5, 1674.5 minutes played
Utah Jazz 1997 - John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Karl Malone, Greg Ostertag +25.2, 984.2 minutes played
Los Angeles Clippers 2015 - Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan +18.7, 1213.6 minutes played
Phoenix Suns 2005 - Steve Nash, Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire +16.0, 1342.4 minutes played
Boston Celtics 2008 - Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins +19.7, 1072.0 minutes played
Atlanta Hawks 1997 - Mookie Blaylock, Steve Smith, Tyrone Corbin, Christian Laettner, Dikembe Mutombo +15.8, 1189.9 minutes played
Golden State Warriors 2015 - Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut +19.5, 810.5 minutes played
Indiana Pacers 1998 - Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Dale Davis, Rik Smits +14.7, 1047.6 minutes played
Houston Rockets 2007 - Rafer Alston, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes, Yao Ming +27.4, 525.7 minutes played
Oklahoma City Thunder 2016 - Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams +17.4, 813.9 minutes played
Sacramento Kings 2004 - Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic, Brad Miller, Vlade Divac +13.2, 1072.4 minutes played
Los Angeles Lakers 2011 - Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol +14.7, 953.4 minutes played
New Orleans Hornets (I'm crediting this as a NOLA team, not Charlotte) 2008 - Chris Paul, Morris Peterson, Peja Stojakovic, David West, Tyson Chandler +11.0, 1210.1 minutes played
San Antonio Spurs 2002 - Tony Parker, Steve Smith, Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, David Robinson +18.1, 732.1 minutes played
Orlando Magic 2010 - Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard +16.7, 772.7 minutes played
Minnesota Timberwolves 2014 - Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic +11.6, 1051.1 minutes played
Dallas Mavericks 2007 - Devin Harris, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Erick Dampier +22.2, 548.4 minutes played
Philadelphia 76ers (knowing this makes me shake my head at what the 76ers have done since) 2018 - Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid +20.3, 597.9 minutes played
New Jersey Nets 2006 - Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic, Jason Collins +10.9, 1109.2 minutes played
Portland Trailblazers ('14 Blazers are next all time, and '09 is 2 after that) 2000 - Damon Stoudamire, Steve Smith, Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace, Arvydas Sabonis +13.8, 876.0 minutes played
Washington Wizards 2017 - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat +7.9, 1345.2 minutes played
Cleveland Cavaliers 2015 - Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov +20.6, 479.2 minutes played
Miami Heat 2000 - Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, Jamal Mashburn, P.J. Brown, Alonzo Mourning +17.2, 572.3 minutes played
Memphis Grizzlies 2010 - Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol +6.4, 1473.6 minutes played
Toronto Raptors 2018 - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas +11.4, 800.2 minutes played
Milwaukee Bucks 2020 - Eric Bledsoe, Wesley Matthews, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez +19.2, 407.7 minutes played
Denver Nuggets 2004 - Andre Milller, Voshon Lenard, Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Marcus Camby +7.6, 980.7 minutes played
New York Knicks (interesting lineup, but how is this their best, no shade) 2013 - Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler +27.3, 269.7 minutes played
Charlotte Hornets 2001 - Baron Davis, David Wesley, Jamal Mashburn, Elden Campbell, P.J. Brown +5.6, 1313.2 minutes played
Chicago Bulls (Who'da thunk they'd be last?) 1998 - Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Dennis Rodman +21.4, 268.2 minutes played
There's a few players who were on two different teams' best lineup: Rasheed Wallace, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Serge Ibaka, Peja Stojakovic, Tyson Chandler, Vince Carter Kevin Love, Scottie Pippen, J.R. Smith, P.J. Brown, Marc Gasol, Jason Kidd, Carmelo Anthony. Also, one person managed to be on three teams, Steve Smith. Welp, that about does it, I guess. All data was gathered from basketball-reference.com, let me know if there's any questions you have, or suggestions, or whatever. I plan on doing this for all playoff teams soon, as that's something that I thought was kinda interesting, most teams' best 5-man lineup doesn't coincide with their best team post-season.
2020.05.25 18:53 santaisjewishFollowing up with and grading every last pick in NBA history from 2019-1947.
I tried for a solid three and a half minutes to find a database of every last pick in every NBA draft since 1947, but my searches yielded mostly unhelpful results. So, instead of ranking a bunch of nobodies, I decided to grade them based upon very hasty research and what I know about them. Feel free to add on to these anecdotes. A “C” grade will be average in this case, an average last pick in an NBA draft usually doesn’t play so there will be other factors to consider, like how cool their name is or whether or not I’ve even heard of the country they’re from. Now, somewhat of an important disclaimer: I used data from NBA.com to find out the name of the last pick in every NBA Draft, but apparently NBA.com isn’t 100% accurate with this kind of stuff. Apparently, in some of the older drafts, some of the last picks shown weren’t actually the last pick in the draft due to weird extra rounds and other hijinks that I guess NBA.com doesn’t care about. That being said, I still think the list is mainly accurate and most of these guys seem to fit the bill anyway. 2019: Vanja Marinkovic, Sacramento Kings (KK Partizan Serbia) Yep, I’ve heard of that country before. Don’t know anything about Vanja but maybe he’s the next Nikola Jokic. Grade: C+ 2018: Kostas Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia 76ers (Dayton) The brother of an athletic freak who has a 1/500 chance of turning into him? And a 1/100 chance of influencing said athletic freak to come play for your team? What more could you want from a last pick? Grade: A 2017: Alpha Kaba, Atlanta Hawks (KK Mega Leks Serbia) Alpha has a cool ass name but is already playing overseas in France. Hawks took a very reasonable risk. Grade: C+ 2016: Tyrone Wallace, Utah Jazz (Cal) Somebody I’ve actually heard of! He’s in the G-League now for the Clippers, but to still be in the league after four years? That’s a win. Grade: B+ 2015: Luka Mitrovic, Philadelphia 76ers (Red Star Belgrade Serbia) We’ve only gone back five seasons and already we’re at our 3rd Serbian. Somebody in the front office scouting circles knows something that we all don’t about Serbia, clearly. I have to assume automatically that this is a good pick. Even if he didn’t pant out. And he didn’t. Grade: C+ 2014: Cory Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs (Baylor) Cory doesn’t play in the league anymore but he looks intimidating and I vaguely remember him in college. Grade: C 2013: Janis Timma, Memphis Grizzlies (BK Ventspils Latvia) I know nothing about this guy but there’s a ⅓ chance he’s better than Anthony Bennett. He looks more like a surfer than a basketball player. Grade: C- 2012: Robert Sacre, Los Angeles Lakers (Gonzaga) If you’re a Lakers fan or are familiar with the word “upside” then you probably remember bench god Robert Sacre, who survived on the Lakers’ roster until 2015. Grade: B+ 2011: Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento Kings (Washington) The best last pick of all time. Only the Kings could follow this massive success with a massive fuckup after they gave IT up for nothing, allowing him to get traded by the Suns and become an MVP candidate. I’m tempted to grade this an F because of the emotional trauma that Kings inflicted upon their fans by hyping them up only to crush their spirits. But I just can’t. It is very, very unlikely that a player of IT’s calibre ever falls to the last pick of the draft ever again. Grade: A+ Dwayne Collins, Phoenix Suns (Miami FL) Lol imagine not being Isaiah Thomas, what a loser. Grade: F 2009: Robert Dozier, Miami Heat, (Memphis) I don’t know if this guy even made it to the NBA but Wikipedia tells me that the last team he played for was called the “Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters” of the Philippine Basketball Association. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Grade: D- 2008: Semih Erden, Boston Celtics (Fenerbahce Turkey) Averaged 3.8 ppg in the NBA for multiple teams. Can’t really complain. Grade: C 2007: Milokan Rakovic, Dallas Mavericks (KK Mega Leks Serbia) Serbian count is up to 4. They are the Duke or Kentucky of the international NBA draft scene, this is ridiculous. Absolute powerhouse. Grade: C+ 2006: Will Blalock, Detroit Pistons (Iowa State) This guy last played for the Saint John Mill Rats of Canada. I think the Mill Rats could take the Fuel Masters in 7, so I like the pick here. Grade: C 2005: Alex Acker, Detroit Pistons (Pepperdine) They shot Zoey 101 on Pepperdine’s campus, which is amazingly beautiful. Don’t know anything about this guy, really. Played in Italy for a bit. Grade: C 2004: Rashad Wright, Indiana Pacers (Georgia) He never played a minute for the Pacers and played his entire career overseas. Not good, dude probably should have played football. Grade: D+ 2003: Andreas Glyniadakis, Detroit Pistons (Greece) There’s a 1/25 chance this guy met LeBron at some point but there’s also like a ½ chance this guy has talked to Darko a well so we can’t have that. Grade: D 2002: Corsley Edwards, Sacramento Kings (Cent. Connecticut State) This guy probably has the 2nd best teeth in the game. Grade: C 2001: Bryan Bracey, San Antonio Spurs (Oregon) Dude had some nice cornrows Grade: C+ 2000: Pete Mickeal, Dallas Mavericks (Cincinnati) This guy is actually a scout for the Timberwolves right now, so that’s pretty cool. Not sure if that’s a good thing, though, i’m not sure if the Twolves have had any good draft moves outside of Okogie. Grade: D+ 1999: Eddie Lucas, Utah Jazz (Virginia Tech) I googled this guy and he’s currently a construction worker. This is a massive advancement in the “MJ played against construction workers” campaign that many on twitter keep pushing. Grade: F+ 1998: Maceo Baston, Chicago Bulls (Michigan) Finally, a cool name, it’s been awhile. Too bad MJ probably robbed this guy’s signing bonus blind in a game of poker or something then bullied him into an early retirement. Even though he, himself, was already retired. That’s how good he was. Grade: C- 1997: Roberto Duenas, Chicago Bulls (Spain) Okay, maybe MJ didn’t get Maceo Baston but he definitely got this guy. Definitely. Grade: D 1996: Darnell Robinson, Dallas Mavericks (Arkansas) He won an NCAA title in ‘94 which is actually incredible because I had no idea Arkansas even had a basketball team let alone a winner. Good for them, even though the Razorback fans were probably too busy paying attention to football season already to care. Grade: B- 1995: Don Reid, Detroit Pistons (Georgetown) We’re getting to the point where google is becoming really unhelpful with the searches, the last two names i’ve googled have had their searches hijacked by singers. Not sure what to make of that. Grade: D 1994: Zeljko Rebraca, Seattle Supersonics (KK Partizan Serbia) Another draft, another Serbian picked last. I think it’s officially time we look into an anti-Serbian agenda the NBA has taken on. Grade: C+ 1993: Byron Wilson, Phoenix Suns (Utah) This guy had a super long career overseas, for what that’s worth. He hung em up in 2010. Good for him. Never played a minute in the association, though. Grade: C+ 1992: Brett Roberts, Sacramento Kings (Morehead State) Brett led the NCAA in scoring for a season. That’s about it. Grade: C+ 1991: Marcus Kennedy, Portland Trailblazers (Eastern Michigan) After flunking out of the NBA he won rookie of the year in the CBA, which is the Continental Basketball Association, obviously. Only idiots don’t know that. Grade: C- 1990: Sean Higgins, San Antonio Spurs (Michigan) Higgins stayed in the league until ‘98 and won a title in college. Probably pretty funny and cracked a few jokes in the locker room. Grade: B- 1989: Toney Mack, Philadelphia 76ers (Georgia) If you’re still reading this, I applaud your effort, because this player is neither interesting nor talented. Like most of these last picks. I’m sure Toney was really good at basketball up until a point where he wasn’t and it was really tragic for him. Perhaps it has haunted him ever since, the allure of what could have been, the mystery of lost talent. Grade: F 1988: Archie Marshall, San Antonio Spurs (Kansas) There’s a 1/10 chance this guy has met Pop. Grade: C 1987: Chris Dudley, Cleveland Cavaliers (Yale) Obviously the Cavs tried to go with the big brain guy here to back up Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. Did it work? Well, yeah, actually it did. Dudley stayed in the NBA all the way up until 2003, which is actually kind of remarkable. Not to mention he was the last pick in a draft that had 4 rounds. Grade: A 1986: Dan Bingenheimer, Golden State Warriors (Missouri) Cool name alert, finally. Who knows what kinds of nicknames this guy probably had. He probably allowed his teammates’ brains to get stimulated with nicknames and insults alike because Dan was a bum and never did anything in the NBA. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Grade: D+ 1985: Alex Stivrins, Seattle Supersonics (Colorado) We’re starting to reach automatic white guy territory, but before we do, let’s admire how Stivrins played 5 years in the french league after getting drafted before coming back to the league. I’m sure American fans were eager to receive his skills. Grade: C+ 1984: Marc Glass, Los Angeles Clippers (Montana) This one kind of creeped me out because there’s a point guard in one of my 2k leagues that's randomly generated and who has the same name that also plays for the Clippers. Besides that his name is so boring that google barely knows who he is, actually requiring me to scroll down to find him, which I definitely did not do. Grade: D1983: Ron Crevier, Chicago Bulls (Boston College) This guy sounds like a background character in Ratatouille. Grade: C- 1982: Norm Anchrum, New York Knicks (UAB) A decent name. He won the price is right once, scored a package worth $6400. So that proves that he was probably decently smart. Grade: C+ 1981: Kevin Figaro, Atlanta Hawks (UL-Lafayette) Figaro, Figaro. Grade: C 1980: Rory Sparrow, New Jersey Nets (Villanova) Rory actually had a decent career, putting up 12/5 in his best year with the Heat. Retired in ‘92, he’s done pretty well for a last pick. Grade: A 1979: Ron Ripley, Golden State Warriors (UWGB) Ron Ripley is a husband and father surviving in New England, a place which seems to be getting colder every day. He grew up across from a disturbingly large cemetery where he managed to scare himself every night before going to bed Grade: F 1978: Jeff Covington, New Orleans Jazz (Youngstown State) Jeff got to be apart of the Jazz before they moved to Utah and their team name ceased to make sense. That’s a plus. Grade: C+ 1977: Larry Williams, Kansas City Kings (Texas Southern) I wrote about Larry Williams in this post. Larry Williams deserves a grade so low that no letter or number could quantify it. Grade: Bad 1976: Tom Lockhart, Milwaukee Bucks (Manhatten) This guy waa from Manhatten so he was probably shell-shocked when he was traded to Milwaukee and the bodegas and hot dog carts turned into bars and brat shacks. It probably sent him into hysterics, if i had a guess. Not sure why the Bucks would do this. Grade: D- 1975: Wilbur Holland, Atlanta Hawks (New Orleans) This guy was only 6 foot flat. He probably got called Wilbur the pig at some point in his life, which means there’s an increased chance that he’s suffered a great amount of emotional trauma that has stuck with him throughout his basketball career. Grade: D- 1974: Gary Novak, Cleveland Cavaliers (Notre Dame) Gary never played in the NBA. He played four years at Notre Dame so he probably won’t shut up about that. Grade: D 1973: Gary Rhoades, Houston Rockets (Colorado State) So now i’d say we’re officially in the automatic white guy territory, ushered in by Gary here who never played in the league. His draft featured five rounds so it makes sense. The game was rigged from the start. Grade: D+ 1972: Rudy Benjamin, Houston Rockets (Michigan State) It’s starting to get grim. Rudy never played in the NBA either. This is a long streak at this point. How do we know the NBA isn’t just making these guys up? Perhaps the entire country of Serbia is made up, invented by the NBA to get more players into the NBA draft. I’m just asking questions. Grade: D 1970: Wayne Sokolowski, Cleveland Cavaliers (Ashland) Wayne Sokolwoski? More like Wayne sucks at basketballowski. Grade: D 1969: Larry Jeffries, Detroit Pistons (Trinity TX) Google tells me Larry is one of the best players in Southland conference history. Nice. Grade: C+ 1968: Phil Wagner, St. Louis Hawks (Georgia Tech) Phil probably existed. Grade: C+ 1967: Sonny Bustion, San Francisco Warriors (Colorado State) What do you really want me to tell you about Sonny Bustion? Grade: C 1966: John Wetzel, Los Angeles Lakers (Virginia Tech) This guy was taken in the 8th round. 8th. Not even the damn NFL draft has 8 rounds. This guy must be really, really bad. Grade: F+ 1965: Wayne Molis, New York Knicks (Lewis) He played two seasons and then a knee injury ended his career, drawing comparisons to Derrick Rose. Back in 1969 everyone was wondering what could have been with the Mole Man. Grade: B 1964: Camden Wail, San Francisco Warriors (Cal) Now we’re talkin’, a cool name to invigorate this list. Grade: C+ 1963: Carl Ritter, St. Louis Hawks (SEMS) Carl Ritter was a German geographer. Along with Alexander von Humboldt, he is considered one of the founders of modern geography. From 1825 until his death, he occupied the first chair in geography at the University of Berlin. Grade: F 1962: Chris Jones, Cincinnati Royals (Carson-Newman) If you’ve scrolled down this far, it’s honestly an amazing feat. I don’t know anything about Chris Jones at all and his name is so generic that I don’t even want to test Google. I’ve never even heard of Carson-Newman. Not once. Grade: C 1961: Gene Veloff, St. Louis Hawks (Doane) What the fuck is a Doane? Grade: F 1960: Dennis Moore, Cincinnati Royals (Regis CO) Dennis Moore Grade: F 1959: Jack Evans, Minneapolis Lakers (Lake Superior State) Jack was drafted in the 11th round, which is just utterly ridiculous. Grade: D- 1958: Frank Tartaton, Cincinnati Royals (Xavier) Now, this is not a mis-spelling of NFL legend Fran Tarkenton. This guy was probably way less talented. Grade: C- 1957: Jack Butcher, Boston Celtics (Memphis) What a fucking name.This guy is likely the unsung hero of the Celtics’ entire franchise, what fear he must have struck into the hearts of his opponents. Grade: B+ 1956: Robert Hodgson, Minneapolis Lakers (Wichita State) Nobody knows anything about this guy so let’s all pretend he would have been the GOAT if it wasn’t for some rare injury or something. Tragic. Grade: A+ 1955: Dick Welsh, St. Louis Hawks (USC) Dick. Welsh. Grade: C 1954: Vince Leta, Philadelphia Warriors (Lycoming) Apparently Lycoming is a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, not a mis-spelling of Wyoming. Sort of a weird move to go to e liberal arts college and then go pro in the NBA but hey Vince good for you man. Grade: C 1953: Will Bales, Rochester Royals (Eastern Kentucky) I looked up this guy and both Will Barton and Will Bynum came up ahead of him, despite googling his exact game. Very tough scene for Bales and i’m not sure if he’s even alive to care. Probably not. Grade: C 1952: Burr Carlson, Philadelphia Warriors (Uconn) What a pompous ass name. Grade: F 1951: Hugo Kappler, Boston Celtics (NC State) At this point not even the first overall picks from these drafts are doing shit in the NBA. The guy who was taken first overall in this draft didn’t play a single minute in the NBA, and you expect this guy to do shit? We’re so far down the line at this point that I could just start making up names and 99.99% of the people reading wouldn’t know. Is Hugo Kappler real or just a figment of my imagination? You’ll have to put in the effort to find out, I guess. Grade: ? 1950: Earl Lloyd, Washington Capitols (West Virginia State) This guy got drafted by a hockey team in the NBA draft. We’ve gone so far back that we have transcended sports. Grade: G 1949: George Kaftan, Boston Celtics (Holy Cross) There is a 100% chance that this guy was involved in a point shaving scandal at Holy Cross. Grade: C 1948: Joe Holland, Baltimore Bullets (Kentucky) This guy played under Aldoph Rupp and Kentucky and won a title. That i do know. Grade: B+ 1947: Ed Koffenberger, Philadelphia Warriors (Duke) Here we are. The first last pick in NBA history, and it’s a Dukie. Disgusting. To boot, his name sounds more like a dentist’s name than a professional basketball player. Apparently he also played lacrosse at Duke. There’s a very good chance Coach K pai this guy under the table, despite being older than K by a very wide margin. You just can’t rule it out. Well, there you have it. Some very bad picks in this list, and one good one. Just goes to show you how improbable IT’s career has been after being picked out of that last spot.
2020.05.06 00:43 FinTheGiantThe New England Patriots - Composed of Players who grew up closest to New England (Foxborough)
Which current NFL players align with the New England Patriots as their hometown team? This is the 28th of 32 posts about the realignment of NFL teams based on the players hometowns. I did this by researching which town each active NFL Player went to High School in, and then matching it with the closest NFL city geographically. Last time we saw the new Atlanta Falcons. Let's see how the New England Patriots stack up!
2020.05.03 13:40 Raptor013Azur Lane - New World Order Chapter Two
Firstly thank you for those that have read the opening chapter. I've just uploaded the next chapter here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13535599/2/New-World-Order It had been just over two weeks since our encounter with the woman claiming to be the Bismarck. The journey back home from the North Atlantic had been largely peaceful with the weather being oddly calm on the first leg home which took us via Panama. A brief stop at the customs check point in Panama had been a slight concern, however the Customs Officer took a very brief, bored look over the paperwork we were required to submit for checking before passing through the canal. Neither the officer checking over the paperwork or the two who took a brief tour through the Intrepid with the First Mate asked any questions as to why we had either an undocumented person aboard ship or the nature of Bismarck’s rigging that was still in one of the storage compartments. After departing the Western end of the Panama Canal and turning on a northern route for home the Intrepid was met with more oddly calm weather with the ocean swells rarely exceeding two metres allowing us to run the ship close to its top rated speed and test out the newly acquired engines that had only been fitted less than three months back in San Diego. During the days when not on the bridge I spent my time in the engine room making sure that the ships experimental engines where functioning as designed, much to the annoyance of the Chief Engineer, a burly German named Albert Ganser. On one such trip down to the engine room, Albert came up to me and asked, “So what’s the big rush to get home?” Looking up at him from the inspection hatch I was crouched down next to, “Albert, it’s been two weeks since we started back home. Surely someone has told you what’s going on by now,” I answer knowing that keeping anything private on a ship this size is impossible. “Only thing anyone has told me is that we fished someone out of the ocean and now are heading back home,” Albert answers, “Makes no sense to run the engines this hard though.” It’s typical thinking from the Chief Engineer I muse, unless it’s something to do with his precious engine room he doesn’t bother with the details going on around him. “Well this isn’t exactly a normal situation where we find a person lost at sea.” I start. “So, this person is a VIP,” Albert states, “Makes sense we’d go to extremes for someone famous.” Trying not to laugh at the blunt nature of Alberts assessment I continue, “Well you are half right Albert. The person we found is certainly famous. Or at least believes they are.” “A runaway then,” concludes Albert, “Happens all the time at sea.” Shaking my head, I simply reply, “Maybe a trip up to the galley one morning for breakfast might enlighten you as to what the situation really is.” With a final look over the instrument panel, I close the hatch and stand up, stretching the kinks out of my back. Glancing down at my watch I see that it’s almost eight in the morning, “If you want to know more Albert, our guest is usually in the galley about now.” Without waiting for a reply, I take my leave and head to my cabin to change out of the mechanics covers I wear during my inspections of the engine room into my usual uniform, before heading to the galley down the corridor. On entering the galley, I see that most of the day watch are already seated and talking amongst themselves as usual. Grabbing my usual mug of coffee along with a plate a scrambled eggs and bacon before taking a seat at the table next to one of the senior researchers, “So any word from the professor over night?” I ask. “Not a word since my last call in to him when we docked at Panama to take on fuel and supplies,” he replies, “Although I honestly don’t think the professor actually believes a word of what either we or the Global Explorer are saying in regards to our guests.” “Yeah, I get that impression as well Mike,” I admit, “It seems as though the professor is glued to the original project. I know I’ve had a number of email inquiries as to why we have no new data for him.” “It’s not as though we haven’t collected enough data, during our seven days on site to keep the team busy for months,” Mike replies with a sigh. “How’s the work going on those two cubes,” I ask changing the subject, knowing that the research team have been working around the clock trying to uncover the mystery of what the two glowing cubes I had recovered from the ocean. “Nothing to determine what they are Captain,” Mike answers, “It looks like we need the resources back in the lab to find out more.” “I suppose that makes sense,” I reply, “It’s not as though we were equipped for this kind of project. And having the full team along with the professor to lead them it should make finding out what is happening that much easier.” “That is true,” Mike admits, “And having more cubes to work on should speed the process up as well. We recovered another three overnight, and the Global Explorer has over a dozen so far.” “Hopefully that will pique the Professors interest then,” I answer. “Good luck getting the professor to listen,” Mike comments, “He rarely believes anything he doesn’t witness with his own eyes.” “What did you say to the professor anyway?” another researcher asks. “Well I told him that we had a rather unique situation on board that required us to return to port,” I explain, “I didn’t go into too many details over the phone as it’s certainly a hard tale to believe even seeing it in person.” “Speaking of seeing it in person this could be interesting to watch,” a third researcher observes pointing towards the door to the galley. Looking in the indicated direction I see that my words earlier with Albert have raised enough interest to get him to venture out of his beloved engine room. Looking around the galley Albert soon spies the table where Bismarck is sitting. “Whatever you do. Don’t interrupt. Just sit back and observe.” I say as Albert makes his way over to the table and takes a seat. “Really?” asks one of the juniors. “So far the only people Bismarck has interacted with are myself and the ships doctor,” I explain, “Neither of us are from a nation that was friendly to Germany during World War II. Getting the chance to talk with someone from her homeland might help to bridge the trust gap when Albert backs up what I’ve already explained and she’s read from the archives we carry on board.” Before I can expand on my answer any further, the radio operator bursts into the galley, “Captain! We are receiving a distress message!” Quickly downing the last of my coffee, I get up from the table and follow the operator out of the galley down the hall into the Radio Room. On reaching the Radio Room a quick look around brings a question to my lips, “So how did this message reach us?” I ask seeing that the usual radio is not currently being manned. “The distress call came in via the radio telegraph,” replied the radio operator, “We had to get Marcus out of bed so we could decipher it.” Looking at the far end of the radio room I spy Marcus, another member of the research team on loan from the University of Moscow, rapidly writing out a series of dots and dashes on a sheet of paper. Finally, he takes off the headset, grabs another sheet of paper and whilst consulting the first page transcribes the message into basic English. Looking up from the page he just translated Marcus speaks up, “I know this is going to seem like a hoax. But I’ve listened to this message three times to be sure. And they are transmitting the same message again.” As Marcus says this the radio telegraph continues tapping away. “Okay,” I answer, “Let me hear what the message is.” Rather than read out the message, Marcus simply hands me the translated page. I read through the message twice. It’s as Marcus describes. It reads like a hoax. “If I understand this correctly,” I begin, “The ship sending this message is not in trouble itself. But rather searching for one that is and is requesting assistance.” “That about sums it up,” Marcus admits. “Can you transmit back to them?” I ask. “Assuming this isn’t an automated message sent out as a hoax then it shouldn’t be too hard to talk directly with them,” Marcus answers putting the headset back on, “Just tell me what you want to say.” “Okay,” I begin taking a moment to compose my thoughts, “Ask them for their location and the last known location for the ship they are searching for.” As I say this Marcus starts tapping out the message in quick succession. After a few minutes, he grabs a pencil and starts writing out the reply that starts coming back in. Handing me the page, I see a series of coordinates listed. Turning to the radio operator, “Take these to the bridge and tell them I want a direct course for the nearest of these readings. Then find Albert, he’s probably still in the galley. And tell him I want everything those engines of his can give me.” Without waiting for a reply, I turn back to Marcus, “Okay. Tell them we are on our way and will update them with a time of arrival shortly. Now can you ask them which ship we are looking for?” Marcus quickly sends off my last message. Whilst waiting for a reply the First Mate walks in, “We’ve plotted the course. Should take us about three days to reach that location from here though.” “Okay,” I reply, “I’ve asked Albert to ramp the engines up higher, so we might be able to shave a couple of hours off that.” “Fair enough,” the Kevin replies, “What’s the rush?” “Distress call came in this morning, Marcus has been translating it for us,” I answer. “So, some Russian ship is in trouble then?” the Kevin assumes. Shaking my head, I reply, “Not sure. They sent the message via Morse code.” Seeing Marcus quickly writing out a reply on another page I walk over to stand behind his chair to see what he is writing. “Okay the ship we are looking for is called Kaga.” I explain to Kevin, “Get all hands, on deck with binoculars to scan the horizons. We don’t know exactly how long this ship has been in trouble for, so we will assume that she is somewhere between us and the location we are now heading.” “Very well,” the Kevin replies, “I’ll also get the global ship register from your cabin. It should list some further details of the Kaga to help us pin point what to look for.” Nodding in agreement, I turn back to Marcus, “Okay now we know where to go and what we are looking for. Let’s find out who we are helping.” Marcus looks up at me from his seat, “Captain?” “Ask whoever is sending these messages who they are,” I explain, “That way we know who to contact directly if we find something.” Understanding my reasoning Marcus once more starts tapping out a message. He stops midway through the second repeat of the message and writes out the reply. As I read the reply Marcus has written down, I feel my eyes widen and my jaw drop in shock. The reply is only a single word. Akagi ******* In the seventy hours since receiving the distress call, the Intrepid had steamed flat out on a Nor-Westerly heading, sailing past our home port located on Midway Atoll at around three in the morning and now some three and a half hours later the sun was beginning to emerge. We were still no closer to answering the numerous questions that many on board were now openly asking. And more questions were being asked as the hours ticked by. As per the Kevin’s suggestion we both referenced the global ships register. It was a pocket-sized book that we put together and kept updated to keep records of all known ships that operated around the globe. It included everything, from small privately-owned yachts of the wealthy all the way to naval warships including those listed as floating museums like the USS Missouri located in Pearl Harbour. If it had a name or was registered somewhere in the world we knew about. And that was where the questions started. Sure enough, we found an entry for a ship called Kaga. She was listed as a Helicopter Destroyer being operated by the Japanese Navy. However, based on satellite images we requested she was docked in Kure at the Naval Yards being upgraded. The only other reference was to a Tosa class battleship that had been converted into an aircraft carrier also for the Japanese Navy. That Kaga however was listed as sunk during the Battle of Midway. Even more concerning was the other ship. The one supposedly sending us the messages that was taking part in the search. There was no record of any ship currently using the name Akagi. The only reference we could find was once more to a Japanese aircraft carrier, this time a converted Amagi class battle cruiser. But like before she was also listed as sunk during the engagement at Midway. It had everyone on board scrambling for answers. As I continued to ponder the mysteries facing us, I kept a steady watch through the bridge windows from my chair. The smell of coffee raised me from my thoughts, looking towards the door at the rear of the bridge, I saw Bismarck standing there holding a mug of coffee, “Permission to enter the bridge?” she asked. Nodding my permission, Bismarck stepped through the door and stopped next to my chair, “You got stuck with the dawn shift again?” “I don’t mind,” I reply, “This time of day sometimes can be the most pleasant.” “Still, it seems like you never sleep,” Bismarck continued. “I’ve taken a bunk down in the general quarters for the mean time,” I say, “Can’t have a guest sleeping in the general section.” “Thank you,” Bismarck replied quietly, “Here, I thought you might need this.” She finished passing the mug to me. “Thanks, I needed this,” I say taking a sip, “I have a feeling that this is going to be the start of a very long day.” As we continue to speak the First Mate Kevin Newton steps onto the bridge along with Helmsman Luke Brown who relieve the junior officers that were controlling the Intrepid overnight. “Faint Radar contact” the Kevin calls out, “Dead ahead, one hundred and twenty kilometres.” “Anything on the long scanners?” I ask looking over to the research team who I had allowed to set-up on the bridge to aid the search and rescue. “Target appears to be moving slowly to the East at approximately five knots,” one of the researchers replies, “Appears to be around two hundred and sixty meters in length and over forty thousand tons.” Quickly comparing the information from the scanner to the only reference data we had, “Well that matches with what we know of the World War II aircraft carrier Akagi. Aside from the fact that her last reported position was at the bottom of the Pacific and not over one hundred kilometres ahead of us on the surface.” I say to no one in particular. “Is it possible that your scanners are wrong?” asks Bismarck. “Normally I’d agree,” I admit, “But they gave similar readings the night we found you in the Atlantic. We pulled them apart after that to make sure. Even those on our sister ship reported similar readings before their encounter.” “You trust your scanners then?” Bismarck states with a raised eyebrow. “Yes and no,” I reply, “Before we met these same scanners picked up a two hundred and fifty-meter-long, fifty-thousand-ton contact. Now whilst we never found anything to match that radar contact those readings do match the original dimensions of the KMS Bismarck.” “You mean these readings match the Akagi?” the First Mate asks in surprise. “Well either something incredibly strange is happening out here on the high seas,” I begin, “Or both the US and British Admiralties have been involved in a rather long and extensive cover-up over the fate of German and Japanese naval shipping during the Second World War.” I still hadn’t told anyone else about the email I had received the day before we docked in Panama. On a hunch, I had reached out to a pair of colleagues who specialized in deep sea ship wreck hunting. Knowing that they were both in the right parts of the Atlantic on separate assignments, I had asked them to run their deep-sea scanners over the wreck sites of both the Graf Spee and Bismarck. I wasn’t sure what I expected them to find. What I wasn’t prepared for was for them to find nothing at all. When they emailed me the data from both locations, which because of their own disbelief at the lack of a wreck included video and still photos from un-manned subs they sent down of the known locations of both wrecks. It seemed impossible to think that not one but two ship wrecks could simply vanish without a trace. ** “Target spotted two points to starboard!” Responding to the shout from outside I pick up a set of binoculars and look out through the bridge windows in the direction called out. After a brief look, I lower the glasses and give the lenses on both sides a wipe with a cloth before resuming my search. Much to my surprise what I had earlier thought to be a smudge from some dirt on one of the lenses was in fact not the case. “Slow to closing speed and prepare to stop,” I call out, and without waiting for any further response, I walk out through the starboard wing door. Wrapping an arm firmly around part of the superstructure, I lean out as far as possible off the starboard wing and raise the binoculars to my eyes once more to get an unobstructed view. The sight through the lenses seems right out of a Hollywood movie. Roughly three kilometres ahead of the Intrepid there appeared to be a person standing on top of the ocean. “Can you give me an exact bearing on the contact?” I call back into the bridge. “Contact is now two thousand five hundred metres, dead ahead of us,” the Kevin replies. ‘Well that’s definitely her then,’ I muse to myself. “Are we still getting the same dimension readings?” I continue aloud. “Affirmative Captain,” replies the research team. “Okay then I’ve got good news and bad news for you then,” I answer back, “The good news is there is definitely someone at that radar contact position.” “So, what’s the bad news?” one of the researches calls out. “Take a look for yourself,” I explain, “There’s no way in the world that what I’m seeing in that area is either two hundred and sixty meters long or weighs forty thousand tons.”
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2020.03.31 22:10 MetallicaDashTaking advantage of the quarantine to do a series run, just beat Fallout 2 the first time
I’ve beaten all the other games (including 1) several times. But when it comes to Fallout 2 I always end up quitting because things tend to get too difficult, and that’s what happened here at first. Every 20 minutes it felt like I was alt+tabbing out to look on the wiki or a guide to figure out what to do. And that’s not a critique, once you get the hang of everything you’re good to go for future playthroughs. With that said here’s my journey: Played through Fallout 1 first, no biggie, done it before. Then I start Fallout 2, hoping this will be the time I finally beat it. I up charisma and intelligence and make minor adjustments to everything else. Tag outdoorsman for less shitty encounters, tag speech because that’s always useful, and tag repair as well. Then it starts, the... shutters Temple of Trials. Now I know much of the community shares my opinion that this is a fucking pain to get through when I just wanna start the game. I know the developers were forced to include the tutorial level by Interplay, so my blame is on the company. Whatever, kill the bugs, pick the door, blow the other door, talk to the guy about peace just so I don’t have to deal with him. I got the vault suit, let’s go. Get the flask and money from the elder, no biggie. Kill the plants in the garden, some neat xp. Get the flint from my aunt for a spear and head out to Klamath. Knowing from past experience I raid Vic’s home and sell his stuff in the shop. Talk a bit to Torr (I love how he is with low INT characters) realize there’s nothing much else to do here and then head off to the Den. I arrive there, talk to Metzger about Vic and after I give him the radio he gives me the $1000 ransom. So I go do some fetch quests delivering meals and whatnot. Only then do I realize those fucking kids flanking all the buildings have been robbing me. One took all my money and stims but I stole them back. From then on I always use the combat mode trick. I get the gang war approved and wait for them to kill each other. Loot the corpses for valuable weapons, that type thing. I also borrow one of Smitty’s shovels and dig up all the graves for some cool stuff, then return it. Talk to Karl in mom’s diner to save time with the Modoc quest later down the line. At this point I’ve saved up enough to get Vic and so I do. We take off and end up in Modoc, I do the quest there bringing the town and the slags together, I plan on telling Karl he can return when I’m coming back with the GECK. Hooo boi Vault City what a place. Got a day pass but I had to leave my beer at the gate. I go in and talk to Joanne, she tells me about the “Gecko Problemo”. On the way out I take their dumb test and of course fail. I head to Gecko, talk to Harold, go back to Vault City. I know better than to talk to Joanne so I go to McClure, he gives me the part, I head back. I know the order of the commands I have to input to the power plant robot as the planets in reverse order. That’s all done and I leave, on the way I talk to and recruit Lenny the ghoul. I go back and get citizenship, rub it in Joanne’s face a bit, and head to the Vault. Compliment Martin on his singing, and get the data for Vault 15. On the way out I talk to the one guy and get Mr Bishop’s briefcase. I head south, kill Vic in the desert because I don’t need him. And arrive in Broken Hills. Marcus tells me about the mine and the missing people. I head to New Reno to get the parts I need, while I’m there I do some gambling to no profit whatsoever. I head up and give Mr Bishop his briefcase, he gives me the assignment to kill off that NCR guy (I never did). Then I bang his daughter and raid her room, then the other two, walking out with a good chunk of a dangerous mob Boss’s valuable possessions. I get the part from the guy and head head back to Broken Hills. Almost died running through the cave to get the purifier working. I also found the bodies of the missing people. With that Marcus agreed to come along. Before I leave though I shovel brahmin shit until I’m a few hundred bucks richer. Then wait 10 days for a caravan south. The caravan is attacked several times. Marcus accidentally kills two of our guys, one of which happens to be Chad, which becomes a problem later. Some corpse raiding later we make it to NCR. The gun guy attacks me for unknown reasons and I have to reload a save. (I found out later it was too early in the day). But I get through and sell a whole bunch of shit to him. In the NCR I meet Tandi and she assigns me to get the parts from Vault 15. I do all that stuff with the squatters and try several times to fight Darion to no avail. Then I realize the Vault 13 data is in the other computer that Darion isn’t guarding. Smort. I head over to vault 13, talk to the deathclaw leader guy, and then I have to go all the way up to New Reno to get the computer parts and then all the way back. I fix it, I get the GECK, awaaaaay we go. I get to NCR hoping to take a caravan north, but it turns out the next one doesn’t leave for two months, so I head to Broken Hills on foot, hoping to at least get a caravan ride from there to Vault City, but the whole thing is shut down because Chad is dead, whoopsie. I arrive in vault city, find the kid’s nixon doll, get the wrench, get the tool kit, trade it for a fuel cell controller in Gecko, and head back to the Den. With the Highwayman in tow, I’m back in Arroyo in no time. But ooooh no they’re all gone and the Enclave took them. What an unforeseen and completely unpredictable incident. I head south to Navarro. On the way I realize I forgot to talk to Karl while I was at the Den, I drive over and do that, then back to Navarro. Chris tells me to go into the minefield, instead I take the rock path to the military base, where I can’t get in. I find out I need to get the vertibird quest from Matt and head to San Francisco. I head back to Navarro, leaving Marcus and Lenny in San-Fran. Sneaking in as a new recruit and being assigned to guard the vertibirds, I steal both the vertibird plans and the tanker fob and walk out. Seriously they just let me walk out. I kill Chris at the gas station and head back giving the plans to Matt. I find some neat stuff in the bunker, including a T51 suit I give to Lenny. I head to the Shi and ask to see the emperor, they ask for the vertibird plans, which I have. Then they ask me to kill the leader of the Hubologists. Hooo boi was that a trip, took me about 10 tries but finally did it by just going in, shooting the guy, and running out. Stimpacking myself while they shot at me. On the way out Marcus killed Juan Cruz with his minigun while I went to the stairs, I could’ve gone up but stayed one more turn just to kill Vikki Goldman. With that I was out and this shitshow was over. On the way back I went to the tanker and the captain asshat wanted me to do something for his crew before talking to me. I chose to get the guy’s spleen back. Then in the Shi compound I got to see the emperor, transferred fuel to the ship, and with that I was on my way, one problemo tho, I had to get the nav computer parts from vault 13. I stopped at Mariposa, and had to get the door open with dynamite in the shack. But the shack was locked and my skill wasn’t high enough. I drove back to San-Fran, bought a lockpick kit, and drove back, got the dynamite, blew open the entrance, and went in. Marcus wasted some valuable ammo on molerats, I repaired a generator, went downstairs, found some neat shit in the lockers and then left. At Vault 13 I found all the deathclaws were gone, went into the computer and saw Frank killing everyone. Got the nav parts, and while I was over there decided I was finally powerful enough to take on Darion. He and his gang were short work for my Enclave power armor and plasma rifle. I got the spy holodisk and had that delivered. And soon enough I was back at San Francisco, I went to the Brotherhood outpost hoping to install one of the chips only to find Matt not there and began wondering, when I accessed the computer I found what had happened. How Frank Horrigan even managed to get inside that tiny ass passage is beyond me. Anyways I got to the tanker with the Nav parts. All that’s left to do now is install it. One painstaking experience later I can firmly say that I. FUCKING. HATE. WANNAMINGOS. and those floater things too. I hope I never have to do that again. The wiki warned me the hall might be too small and companions would get me stuck. I decided to risk it. My companions got me stuck. One reload later I got the computer up and running and set us for the oil rig. I don’t know why but I found the leaving port animation super funny. I go into the oil rig, I recognize the big room as the place the final fight is gonna go down so I tell Marcus and Lenny to wait near the doors. I get into their computer and find that thing about the reactor, then try the presidential access but it locks me out. I promptly reloaded. After that I went and raided a bunch of lockers, talked to the elder, went in that weird maze room and cut the wires. Then went down. Talked to the president a bit, then to that scientist who poisoned everyone not wearing power armor. Now was time to blow up the computers, a c4 or dynamite should do the trick. I didn’t have either, the wiki said there should be some in the barracks, I didn’t find them there. I looked everywhere, there was none. I was fucked. I downloaded an inventory editor and used it for the first and only time. I know I’m a degenerate but I wasn’t about to restart everything. I try several times to kill Richardson without alerting the Enclave, finally I was able to plant the C4 and kill him. I got the access key and left for the final battle. Now I had to convince the guys up front to turn on Horrigan, took a few reloads but I did it. Then made a wide berth around him to get into the computer and turn the turrets on him. Those and the Enclave soldiers made short work of the massive villain I’ve heard hyped up as the ultimate boss for years. Fucking Ulysses put up a better fight than that. Unfortunately Lenny wandered in front of one of the turrets and was shortly gunned down. Luckily I was able to grab his shit and leave with Marcus. The tanker drifted away while the oil rig went up in smoke and lightning. Hooray. Then I got the message: Would you like to continue playing? How does Fallout 2 have such a basic and demanded feature that would have fit so much better with any of the other games and yet they (except 4 of course) don’t? Eh, I probably won’t anyway. The classic games are done and I’m proud of my accomplishments. Soon I’ll start 3, probably playing a psychopathic female character. Then I’ll start New Vegas, using the playable ghoul mod to play an older and ghoulified Vault Dweller from my first game (I consider all my playthroughs canonical to each other). Then, maybe, if I can get the FO4 indoor lag issue fixed I’ll play that. Then I’ll be all done with Fallout for awhile.
2020.03.18 21:04 SpootyLoopsWatch Dogs 2 - Way More Enjoyable Than I Expected
I never got around to playing the first Watch Dogs due to being busy getting into university. I decided to pick up the sequel because I really liked the aesthetic of the San Francisco setting. Driving around in a night rider clone blasting Duran Duran in the earlier missions made me realise that this game was right up my alley. First off, the "LOOL KEWL L33T" discourse between the characters does get a bit tiring, but considering I just came off of Lara Croft's constant moaning in Shadow of the Tomb Raider I'll take it. I was a bit disappointed that the characters didn't get as much development as they should have done, because from a visual and performance stand point I thought they were pretty likable. I'd have loved something like the loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2 to dive into the character development because to be honest I found the missions to get really repetitive past the halfway point. Go here, hack there. I get most games are mechanically repetitive, but that's where a good story can come into play and keep the momentum but Watch Dogs 2 kinda fails to deliver. I actually didn't realize how much stealth would factor into this game. I started to get frustrated really easily and I discovered that I wasn't using the tools properly. This led to many "eureka!" moments, like causing a gang war in the middle of a plaza in order to run past the guards and find a hiding spot to download some data. Another one was using a forklift to cause a blockage and trap a security guard so I could leisurely stroll past and get to my objective. In a few missions I gave up entirely with the non lethal route and just used various vehicles to run over the guards. Cruel but...eh, it worked. I honestly don't remember if the game had a lot of tutorial missions to introduce you to these skills, but I didn't mind figuring it out for myself. I think the obvious flaw here is the tonal dissonance with how Marcus and his gang are portrayed as lovable rogue misfits that just want to help, but you can go out and murder all the guards who are just doing their jobs. It reminds me of the Zero Punctuation review quote: "Their only crime is curiosity, trespassing, criminal vandalism, assault, bank fraud, grand theft auto and one or two good old-fashioned first degree murders." But to be honest Sleeping Dogs is one of my favourite games and you can do all kinds of shit with Wei Shen despite him being an undercover cop. I never really thought about sandbox contradictions until I played Yakuza 0 for the first time. Anywho, I really enjoyed it and would recommend if you're looking for a sandbox that is varied but not overwhelmingly gigantic. Will definitely check out the sequel at some point.
2020.03.04 21:34 FinTheGiantThe Oakland Raiders - Composed of Players who grew up closest to Oakland
Which current NFL players align with the Raiders as their hometown team? This is the 10th of 32 posts about the realignment of NFL teams based off the players hometowns. I did this by researching which town each active NFL player went to High School in, and then matching it with the closest NFL city geographically. Last time we saw the new Los Angeles Chargers. Let's see how the new Raiders stack up! ***THIS TEAM IS FOR PLAYERS WHO GREW UP THE CLOSEST TO OAKLAND, NOT LAS VEGAS.
San Leadro, CA
Fair Oaks, CA
Elk Grove, CA
Grass Valley, CA
Kyle Van Noy
Hamilton City, CA
Bench Players: QB Jared Goff (Kentfield, CA), RB CJ Anderson (Vallejo, CA), RB Marshawn Lynch (Oakland, CA), RB Doug Martin (Vallejo, CA), DT Hassan Ridgeway (Richmond, CA), CB Trumaine Johnson (Stockton, CA), CB Jason Verett (Fairfield, CA), CB TJ Carrie (Concord, CA), CB Akello Witherspoon (Sacramento) Analysis: Overall, I think this is one of the better teams that we will see in the re-aligned league. While there is not a high quantity of players, several pro bowlers hail from the Oakland area. This team is set at quarterback and running back with Aaron Rodgers and Joe Mixon. This offense will run in 2-tight end sets in which Rodgers will be throwing to two pro bowl Stanford tight ends - Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper. Add Brandin Cooks stretching the field vertically, this team has a scary offense. The downside of this offense is its lack of receivers and average offensive line. Based on their defensive personnel, this team plays in a 4-3 defense. There are several good players on this defense, and I think it is the strongest at the defensive interior. Akiem Hicks is an underrated player who is a monster against both the rushing the passer and stopping the run, and Arik Armstead is coming off a 10 sack season. They have serviceable edge rushers, two solid outside linebackers - areas of the defense that many teams so far have lacked in. The secondary has a good duo of ball-hawk, yet inconsistent corners in Marcus Peters and Kevin King. Geography: Overall, there are 30 players from California and 2 players from Nevada on this team. Due to the location of the Coliseum, the Raiders took more players from the Bay Area than the 49ers in Santa Clara. There are three city that claim the most players on this team: Oakland, Sacramento, and Stockton - each with three players. The Oakland area doesn't appear to favor one specific position, although they have supplied a few good running backs. You may be wondering why these aren't players who grew up closest to Las Vegas. I gathered the data for this team last summer, when the Raiders still played in Oakland. Posting these now, I was too lazy to remake the roster and combine these players into the 49ers roster. For those curious, here are the players that would be on the Las Vegas team: LG Will Hernandez (Las Vegas, NV), LT Ronnie Sstanley (Las Vegas, NV), LT Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, NV), MLB Brandon Marshall (Las Vegas, NV), and SS Miles Killbrew (Henderson, NV). All of these players ended up on the Los Angeles Rams roster. A map of where the players on the Raiders are from can be found here: https://imgur.com/gallery/v9zNcpB Comment your thoughts on this team, and if there is any player that I may have left off.
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