While We’re Waiting… Comparing Kyrie, Searching for a Bat and Eyenga’s Charge

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Another piece in the Indians’ need for a bat and a first baseman- “It has been well-documented throughout this winter that the Indians have checked in on just about every available first baseman not named Prince Fielder. As spring approaches, two names high on Cleveland’s list are Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman. On Thursday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Indians GM Chris Antonetti has approached ownership about potentially providing the necessary funds to afford the likes of Pena. The Scott Boras client is a coming off a season in which he slugged 28 homers and it is believed that he is seeking a multi-year deal.

The more realistic option might be Kotchman, who could improve the Tribe’s average, on-base percentage and strikeout rate. A year ago, the Indians whiffed 1,269 times, marking the most in team history and the fourth-highest total in American League history. Kotchman hit .306 with 66 strikeouts in 500 at-bats last season, while Pena hit .225 with 161 strikeouts in 493 ABs. With only 10 homers a year ago, though, Kotchman obviously does not boast Pena’s power potential.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

The Buckeyes’ X-factor for March- “To me, this quote perfectly epitomizes everything about Deshaun Thomas. We all know that he is not afraid to shoot anywhere near a gym, and when he actually plays some defense (or passes), he gets really excited about it. It’s an accomplishment. Honestly, how often do we talk about his defensive execution or negative assist ratio? We really don’t unless it comes as a surprise or an added bonus. This is not an all out attack on “Tank”, and, aside from my not-so-subtle cheap shots, he really has quickly become a very critical piece to this suddenly floundering Ohio State team. He referred to himself as the “X Factor” after the Duke game, but he’s quickly emerged as something much, much more. This team will need all of it and then some come March.” [Rini/Buckeye Battle Cry]

How’s Eyenga doing down in Canton?- “And as you would expect, Eyenga has certainly posted his fair share of highlights since his assignment to Canton. But his overall play has been inconsistent, and he hasn’t done much yet in his three games to suggest that he deserves another shot with the Cavaliers just yet. In his first game, he shot a disastrous 3-12 with three turnovers and four fouls in 27 minutes. In his next two games, he played better, although he was certainly not a standout. He shot 47% in those games (although he missed all three of his three-pointers) for an average of 9.5 points per game. He seems to have gotten his personal fouls under control (he hasn’t committed one since that first game), and he has even been grabbing a few rebounds (4.6 per game for the three games).” [Mayer/Rebuilding Since 1964]

“After two strong mid-season games, Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya — along with his speed and play-making abilities — curiously disappeared down the stretch.” [Delco/The Orange and Brown Report]

Finally, this piece led to quite the twitter discussion between myself and Brendan on twitter- “It’s important for me to first note that I do not believe Kyrie Irving’s game is specifically similar to any one player. I think he’s uniquely gifted, and that he’s a different kind of good, especially compared to the other great young PG’s who’ve entered the League recently. Kyrie is a cerebral point guard, who has demonstrated the ability and desire to get his teammates involved so far, but he will also be a guy who leads his team in scoring eventually too at the same time. He’s a facilitator, but also a closer, or he will be a closer, but even with that scoring ability Kyrie is still a throwback in a traditional PG sense as well.

Irving is not an overwhelming athlete who plays the position (Russell Westbrook), a scoring guard who plays the one (Derrick Rose), and he can shoot it better than the guy (Rondo) I think is the most underrated PG in the League too. If I had to pick one guy in the NBA, past or present, that Kyrie is most similar too I wouldn’t pick one. But I do think that his game can be most accurately compared to a combination of Steve Nash, John Stockton, and Chris Paul.” [Brendan/Stepien Rules]

  • Max

    What about Isiah Thomas as a comp for Kyrie? I know he was a douche and all as a player, and things have gone nowhere but downhill for him since. I just mean on court, as a player. Not as a teammate, leader, coach, GM, civic figure or father.

  • Anonymous

    well, Isiah is only a rookie himself though he did show what the Kings are capable of when they actually have someone looking to pass in their lineup.

    (kidding – yeah, we can only hope that Irving makes people want to compare him to The Isiah Thomas – on the court)

  • BigMatt

    Isaiah went for 17 and 8 with 2 steals in his rookie year.  On court, he was actually more comparable to Rondo.  He never had the same kind of supporting cast, so he had to score more, but he sort of sucked at shooting Js.  Watch Rondo once the original “big 3” retire and you’ll see it more.  Not sure if Rondo has the same sort of competitive drive as Isaiah though.

    Kyrie can shoot mid range and deep, and he’s a great FT shooter too.  I’d like to see his “true PG” side more as the season progresses.  Can he set up teammates with easy looks on a consistent basis?  Can he play 35+ minutes on a consistent basis?  I think BScott is managing him well so far…