Archive for September, 2009

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September 21, 2009

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NBA 2K10 Trailer

September 15, 2009

You know you’ve reached the dog days of the offseason when Greg Ostertag’s possible return to the NBA is the top story going around. To help cure your boredom, here is the official trailer for NBA 2K10.

Madden NFL 10 Review

September 15, 2009

In honor of the start of hut hut season, I’ve been playing a lot of Madden NFL 10 for my PS3 (actually the main reason I’ve been playing it is because EA sent me a copy to review!). As usual, its a great game and just as fun as when I first played Madden back in 1992 or 1993 (except there is no Thurman Thomas in it that you can a run a Halfback Swing Right play for and get a guaranteed touchdown).

If you’ve played the recent incarnations of Madden this game doesn’t offer any monumental changes – including the Madden curse, as co-cover star Troy Polamalu found out in Week 1. One change is the Pro-Take animation, that allows you to control the movement of players in gang tackles and fumbles. I really enjoy that the game constantly rates your skill levels and adjusts the difficulty of the game to coincide with your increasing (or decreasing) grasp of the game. The graphics are stunning and the audio is great, except, like in real life, there isn’t a whole lot of John Madden announcing anymore.

Of course the game offers an extensive online experience, with online leagues and the ability to update rosters (if you feel the need to have Mr. Dog Killer or The Wrangler Man in your game). All in all Madden is a very enjoyable, easy to play, and addictive game. In fact I find myself playing it instead of watching the NFL on TV, but I do kind of live in a fantasy world anyway, so that’s par for the course.

Grab the game here:

The Mathematical Answer

September 9, 2009
‘Nuff digital ink has already been wasted debating God’s decision to tell Allen Iverson to sign with Memphis. So rather than waste anymore, The Hoops Manifesto steals a page from The Blowtorch and breaks it down mathematically.

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NBA 2K10: Draft Combine Review

September 8, 2009



I finally got a chance to play the much anticipated NBA 2K10: Draft Combine over the weekend. This game is a dream come true for basketball junkies craving some hoops action in the offseason. But you better have thick skin – from playing it I learned that Derrick Rose is a very mean man – he wouldn’t stop yelling at me about how bad I was playing. You try being a 6’6″ power forward from Canada trying to make it in the NBA, Mr. Rose!! In all seriousness, Draft Combine is a fun game, but you have to remember that it only costs $5 before you get too disappointed with it – the game is short, hearing the same couple of songs is annoying and the camera angles can be frustrating. But like I said, it only costs you $5.

The concept of the game is very straighforward – create a player, perform drills to improve your attribute ratings and play in 5-on-5 scrimmages where you are given tasks to perform to raise your draft stock and increase your player rating. Like I mentioned above, the game is short – you only get to play six games before it is over, and you can only create and save one player. But once the real 2K10 comes out on October 6th you can upload your create draft prospect and play him in the real game. There is also online capability, so you can take your created player online to play against other people’s creations. (something I won’t be doing since my player sucks). The whole premise of it is real intriguing and something I’d love to see 2K Sports expand on in the future. Consider it an inexpensive, sneak peak/demo of the upcoming NBA 2K10 game. The game is download only, so go to XBox LIVE Arcade or the PlayStation Network to get it.

Michael Jordan: The Best Ever Review

September 6, 2009


The World Wide Leader recently sent me a copy of their new “bookazine” Michael Jordan: The Best Ever. I didn’t know what to expect, since there was no such thing as a “bookazine” when I was growing up. Turns out it is a high quality, almost 100-page tribute to Jordan’s career on the eve of his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. Considering it will only set you back $8.99, it is a must-have keepsake for all hoopheads out there. The best part about the publication, especially if you are illiterate, is all of the great photography that is housed within its covers. High school MJ, college MJ (wearing Converse on his feet), pro MJ, baseball MJ and executive MJ are all covered, with plenty of appearances of the worst mustache in sports history. There’s even a Gatorade sponsored poster that you can put up in your locker. Its not all photos though, as there are plenty of articles – both old and new – chronicling famous Jordan feats, like his “sick game” versus Utah in the playoffs – as well as rare stories, such as the time a martial artists cut his stomach with a sword. And for shoe addicts, every Jordan issued kick is written about and displayed.

Go and grab this “bookazine” and proudly display it on your coffee table (and if you don’t have a coffee table, pick one up while you are buying the “bookazine”).

Man of the People

September 4, 2009

Us Canadians are just so gosh darn friendly and hospitable. Take our fearless leader, Captain Canada himself, Steve Nash. During a recent visit to China, Nash dropped in to play some pickup basketball and soccer at a park. Trying to disguise himself by wearing goggles and a bandana, Nash was immediately recognized. While it is fun to see him being a down-to-earth guy, I’d much rather he be trying to help Canada qualify for the World Basketball Championships rather than hanging out in China. Regardless, some video of his pickup exploits recently was released. Enjoy.

(embedding the video didn’t work, so we’ll have to do it the old fashion way via a link)

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTE2NjEzMTgw.html

Oh (No) Canada

September 2, 2009

I’m going to let you in on a secret that might totally blow my credibility as a basketball writer – I’m Canadian. For those of you who didn’t immediately switch to a different website, I’ll continue. Some Canadians do actually care about basketball. And for us that do care, the plight of our beloved Canadian National Team is a sore spot.

For those of you not keeping track at home, Canada has now lost four straight games at the FIBA Americas Championship. The chances of Canada qualifying for next year’s World Basketball Championship are slim to none (unless they pull off a miracle in next year’s playoff for a wildcard spot). None of this is a surprise to followers of Canadian basketball – the realistic among us realized from the start that the team’s chances of qualifying via the FIBA Americas Championship weren’t good.

There are several places you could point the blame for Canada’s continued dismal showing on the world stage – the infrastructure (almost non-existent), the coaching (inexperienced), the lack of passion for the sport in the country (hockey, hockey, hockey). But the real reason, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a lack of talent. Canada continually sends minor league talent to compete against the world’s best. And that just doesn’t cut it.

Say what you will about this year’s team being a cohesive unit that all get along with each other – chemistry is an important factor to winning. But without talent comparable to the competition, all the cohesiveness in the world won’t help you. I could get a bunch of friends of mine (if I had friends) to play with me and we’d have good chemistry, but we’d get slaughtered if we went up against the world’s best. Now while the Canadian National Team is a lot better than me and my friends (having played against/with former National Team players I have seen this firsthand), their talent level is still not anywhere near that of the top teams they are going up against.

This is not to say that Canada lacks top-level basketball talent. What I am saying is Canada’s top basketball talent never team up and play for the National Team together. Canada has four NBA players (not to mention one Canadian NBA head coach, Toronto’s Jay Triano, who Canada unceremoniously fired a few years back), yet the only one playing on this year’s team is Miami’s Joel Anthony, who is a solid defensive player but is in no way a go-to talent that Canada needs. Which seems to always be the case for Canada since Steve Nash stopped competing for his country – they are always lacking a go-to guy. Last go-around Samuel Dalembert was thrust into that role before he was booted from the team, but Dalembert isn’t much better suited as the centerpiece of a team as Anthony is. However, put Nash, Dalembert, Anthony and Jamaal Magloire on the roster, and you’ve got yourself a team to be reckoned with.
Other countries have deep enough talent reserves that if all their top guys don’t show up, they’ll still be competitive. Argentina is missing guys but they still have Luis Scola. Brazil is missing Nene but they still have Leandro Barbosa. Canada can’t afford to be missing three NBA players and still expect to compete on the world stage.

The solution is pretty simple – what Canada needs is a point guard who won’t be intimidated on the international stage, can be a go-to scorer while also setting up teammates, and will be a positive influence on the team. Anyone know of anybody that fits the bill?