Trevor Ariza Stars in ‘Swing ‘Mates': An #ArizaBruh Love Letter
“I guess I’m living right.” —Lord Threeza
This morning, ESPN TrueHoop published my story about Trevor Ariza, affectionately known around these parts as #ArizaBruh. He’s chill, bruh, but he’s also about that action, boss. Basically, everything the dudes from Point Break should have been in an alternate reality where that movie was a cult classic for reasons other than being awful.
While John Wall and Bradley Beal are rightfully propped up by the Wizards branding machine due to their guaranteed presence on Wizards teams of the future and the compelling nature of their combination of youth and talent, Trevor is rarely mentioned by anyone outside of D.C. And that’s plain wrong. The Wizards probably don’t get 44 wins without Ariza. As the article will tell you, Ariza was Washington’s third-most important player, by the numbers, this season.
There’s an air of tragic inevitability around the end of Ariza’s deal, but I’d urge you, in this one instance, and without telling you what to do (because, really, you should follow your heart, always), to enjoy Ariza while he’s here, and appreciate how he has reworked his game to complement Wall’s strengths. In many ways, Ariza has provided future Wizards with a blueprint: “The #ArizaBruh Guide to Getting Paid Playing With John Wall.” Promotional material, recruiting tool, maybe even an orientation packet.
For all his excellence, Lord Threeza is not very excitable. At least, he wasn’t, until this moment (shown below), which had TAI’s Kyle Weidie, Adam McGinnis, and myself out of our seats and laughing like schoolchildren, which I assure you we are not. Adam is like 80 or something.
But #NoChillAriza didn’t stop there. No, sir. In Game 2, Ariza geeked on agitator Joakim Noah, who was up to traditionally Noah things that probably contribute to his “tough guy” persona but are maybe a little lame.
Kirk Goldsberry had a great article about the “rainmakers” of the NBA season, or the players who create the most corner 3-pointers. Is it any surprise that John Wall led the NBA in assisting corner 3-pointers? Or that Ariza led the NBA in making corner 3-pointers? Not really, especially when you consider that he and Ariza combined for more corner 3-pointers produced (Wall assisting, Ariza shooting) than any other combo in the NBA, by quite a bit. Here’s the list, via Goldsberry.
Most corner 3s combos this season:
1. John Wall to Trevor Ariza — 53
2. Goran Dragic to P.J. Tucker — 33
3. John Wall to Bradley Beal — 31
4. Kyle Lowry to Terrence Ross — 25
5. Stephen Curry to Klay Thompson — 23
6. John Wall to Martell Webster — 22
6. Damian Lillard to Wesley Matthews — 22
6. DeMar DeRozan to Terrence Ross — 22
6. Brandon Jennings to Kyle Singler — 22
But Ariza is more than just a pretty face and an efficient shot. Ariza’s defense on LeBron James and Kevin Durant helped Washington beat Miami and Oklahoma City, respectively, this season. In matchups less marquee, he’s even more effective in taking his mark out of the game.
Game 3 is tonight. And depending on the outcome, the pixels may very well shift.
Before they do, check out “Swing ‘mates,” the definitive “Ariza on the Wizards” article on ESPN.