Player Capsules 2012, #370+: Matt Bonner, The Author, The End

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the summer dies down and the leaves turn, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last third. And now, the end. Today we conclude this absurd, unnecessary, slog of a series with Matt Bonner. And me, too. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #367-369: Ed Davis, Darrell Arthur, Wilson Chandler

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Ed Davis, Darrell Arthur, Wilson Chandler. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #364-366: Tyrus Thomas, Rashard Lewis, D.J. White

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Tyrus Thomas, Rashard Lewis, and D.J. White. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #361-363: Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, Timofey Mozgov

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Timofey Mozgov. Continue reading

Player Capsule (Plus): Anderson Varejao and Smile that Wins

It was as if Nature, planning an Andy, had said to itself: "We will do this thing well. We will not skimp."

Anderson Varejao embodies many things. Effort and energy, heart and hustle, grit and grind. He's traditionally been described as something of a dirty tertiary player -- the most common depiction of Varejao is that of a feckless flopping savant, a play-actor miscast in the sport of basketball. The spitting image of the "European" big man -- floppy, long haired, and oh-so-annoying. Cavaliers fans have traditionally balked at this -- or at least, from personal experience, I have. There's so much more to Varejao than just a few flops. Summarizing his game as such made sense years ago, but things are different -- players change, and Varejao is no exception. The man has completely revolutionized his game over the last few years. The problem I've always had arguing against the idea that he's simply a flopper is that the image is simply very enduring. Fans of opposing teams have certainly seen Varejao flop on a dime before -- everyone has, even his own fans.

It's not that it never happened, it's that he's developed new facets to his game that have eliminated entirely his absolute dependence on the act. He still flops, from time to time, but it's more spice than main course. The garnish atop a multifaceted game, not the game itself. But people's minds are hard to change. Few things are more intransigent than a once-true impression. It's why people maintain friendships with childhood friends they can hardly stand. It's why repenting felons can't get jobs. It's why everyone cautions to make a good first impression. It takes a particularly enduring new image to make wholescale alterations to a now-false impression that was once gospel. And although I've tried for years to come up with a better impression, only yesterday did I finally think of one that's flexible enough to really describe and embody the talents of the big Brazilian.

Anderson Varejao is, above all things, the NBA's smile.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #358-360: Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao, James Jones

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao, and James Jones. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #355-357: Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, Marcin Gortat

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, and Marcin Gortat. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #352-354: Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia, D.J. Augustin

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia, and D.J. Augustin. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #349-351: Tiago Splitter, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Tiago Splitter, Gerald Wallace, and MarShon Brooks. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #346-348: Josh McRoberts, Aaron Gray, Spencer Hawes

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the summer dies down and the leaves turn, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last third. But it's certainly not done yet! Today we continue with Josh McRoberts, Aaron Gray, and Spencer Hawes. Continue reading