August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Rookie Honeymoons, Twitter Rankings and Brady/Belichick vs History

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

Is the Tristan Thompson honeymoon over already? “What really concerns me, though, is his offense. While he’s still great at doing what he’s always done (facing the basket and throwing it down with authority) he hasn’t really shown much improvement in the post, which is critically important, particularly for a guy his size who won’t be able to use pure power against the Dwight Howards and Andrew Bynums of the NBA. At the rim, TT is shooting a good 57% (especially for a guy who spends most of his time in the paint), but at just 3-9 feet away, his numbers drop to 38.2%, meaning our guy has a lot of learning to do even just a few feet away from the hoop.” [Factor/Cavs the Blog]

I give Jordan some slack for not knowing we were the originators of the Cleveland Athlete Twitter Tourney, He was in Toronto when we debuted it-  “Ideas like compiling Twitter Power Rankings for Indians players. It seemed like a good break from the “Fausto Carmona” mess at the very least. The idea really was spawned from the photo here, showing ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume holding up a “Bullpen Mafia” shirt on set. The shirt was sent to him by Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano, who has been on fire all winter on his Twitter account. Pestano seemed a lock to hold the top spot among current Tribe tweeters.

I thought about trying to devise some sort of formula involving number of followers or average tweets per day or something, but then I just decided I’d rank them however I wanted. In the end, I had to ask myself the same question that Maximus once bellowed: ‘Are you not entertained?’” [Bastian/MLB.com]

“There may have been a time when journalists could remove their biases to approach and prioritize stories without bias, but that era is not this one. When information dissemination and entertainment collide, there are emotions that end up shaping what we perceive as the facts. Journalists are not robots that calculate the worthiness of a story prior to determining how important it is. They’re humans who sit in production meetings and agree with each others’ ideas, support each others’ projects and enable content chasers to successfully capture personal glory. It’s not always about the story. Often times it’s about the reporter; be it her career or his personal biases.

The best recent example was the audible groan that was let out by the press corps and the subsequent berating of the PSU Board of Trustees during the press conference when it announced that Paterno had fired. This is the same press corps that for decades had a hand in constructing Paterno’s image as one of college football’s saints. Consider what impact that may have had on the Paterno narrative over his decades in State College. That’s not to question his powerful and positive legacy beyond his multi-year failure to adequately or purposefully expose Sandusky, but it could have contributed to the culture of protectionism that subsequently shattered his university.

Shelving bias on a personal level is challenge for any writer. When that compartmentalization fails on a local level, you get the State College press corps the night Paterno was fired. When it fails at the largest level, you get ESPN on a daily basis, juggling independent biases and enormous conflicts of interest in deciding what qualifies as news.” [Ramzy/Eleven Warriors]

Cavaliers by the numbers- “0 for 15 – Not a single player who has played a minute for the team this year is shooting better than 50%. Currently, Gee and Irving have made half of their shots, but not even a single big man is better than that.

99/108 – This is Anthony Parker’s offensive and defensive rating, which suggests we score 99 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and we give up 108. Parker has been easily our worst rotation player this year and I could have picked almost any of his numbers here to prove it.” [John/Fear the Sword]

Belichick and Brady are going to their 5th Super Bowl together, but don’t sleep on some other famous coach/QB dynasties-  “George Halas and Sid Luckman went to five NFL title games together for the Bears. Halas, the Papa Bear, was one of the founders of the NFL, which seems pretty significant, so you can’t overlook them. Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr went to six title games together with the Packers, including the first two Super Bowls. The NFL champion receives the Lombardi Trophy, so you really can’t overlook them either.

And of course, their is Paul Brown and Otto Graham, who only went to 10 consecutive title games together, with the Browns winning seven of them.” [Red Right 88]

  • boomhauertjs

    I said on draft day that at best TT will be a role player and I still see that future for him. Guys who are ridiculously poor FT shooters seemingly never improve to adequate (Shaq, Big Ben, Chris Dudley), so even if he improves in other areas, that’s always going to bring down his effectiveness.
    Not worried at all about Kyrie’s defense.  He’s a rookie defending the toughest position in the league to defend. If by year 3 his defense is this bad, then I’ll be concerned.
    I’ll never understand why Parker was brought back. He must be the greatest locker room guy ever.
    No team is going to be dumb enough to trade for Jamison. Cavs’ only option will be to buy him out so he can sign with a contender.

  • Adam

    Tristan’s offensive game is pretty ugly at times, but that is what everyone should have expected from him. He should continue to grow in this area as the season goes. He will also not be expected to beat the Howards and Bynums of the NBA because he plays a different position completely. Looks like the author is just trying to search for reasons to knock TT.

  • Anonymous

    “he hasn’t really shown much improvement in the post”

    how dare he not show much improvement.  the season’s 1/4 done!  so what if there was basically no training camp and very few practices due to the lockout.  he should at least be Blake Griffin by now!  gaaaarrrrrr!

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    I’d be fine with TT being Big Ben, Shaq, etc., for us.  I love a defensive enforcer who can get 8-12 rebounds a game and dominate the paint.

  • Harv 21

    not sure which power forwards can use “pure power moves” against Dwight Howard and Bynum. A fair criticism would be he wasn’t worthy of #4 overall but goodness, let the kid develop just a little before you sharpen the sword.

  • Anonymous

    I definitely agree with oribiasi here.  We’re getting exactly what we drafted Thompson to do… protect the rim.  This was a glaring weakness in past teams even when Queen James was here… if a player got past his defender into the paint, we never had anyone to present a legit challenge for the block, we just ended up fouling.  Having a player like Thompson is key because he affects more shots than just the ones he blocks.  I don’t think he’s incapable of improving offensively or at the foul line either.  He actually has some good post moves already, he just needs to refine them (and Jamison isn’t exactly the best person to be giving advice on his post game).  In short, I like him a lot for our team.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Agree, 100%.  It was a weakness on our team prior to him getting here.  I didn’t know he had such defensive prowess when he was drafted but they obviously did their home work on him.  He is a young player who has plenty of upside and room to grow, which signals to me a possible very promising defensive player.

  • Anonymous

    Also if you’re looking for a PF who improved from the free throw line as his career went on, look at Amare Stoudemire or our very own Antawn Jamison (went from 55% his first season to 71.5% two seasons later).  If it’s a mechanical thing, then it can be fixed.  If it’s a mental thing (which I believe to be the case with Shaq, Dudley, and Wallace) then I think it very rarely is overcome.  Thompson’s mechanics are what look screwy to me.  He has an awkward stroke.

  • Anonymous

    Antawn Jamison was a 67% FT shooter in college.
    can’t find Stoudemire’s HS stats.

    TT was a 48% FT shooter in college.  He should get someone to work on his form and he should improve.  But, I’m hoping he gets to 60% or so.  I’m not holding out hope for much more.

  • Anonymous

    There’s truth to this comment, but you never know what can happen when someone jumps up to the next level.  Virginia Tech had a recruit who was a career 90% foul shooter in high school… shot under 60% for his career at VT.  I think that was a head issue more than mechanics though, and like I said before, I do think Thompson’s problem is mechanical.

  • Anonymous

    The media’s coverage of what went on at Ohio State and Penn State had nothing to do with biases and everything to do with the people involved.

    For decades, Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno, and by extension their schools, sold a myth that because of their “morals” and “values” they were better than everyone else. The media certainly helped to sell that myth, but they in no way created it.

    The problem when you present a false face to the public is you run the risk of one day having to reveal your true self, and when that happens people are going to feel betrayed and angry.

    The media’s coverage of Tressel and Paterno revolved around the false images the coaches had created for themselves – that made the story more compelling than the average college scandal story.

    That is also why the media may not have reported as heavily on what was happening at places like Oregon State and Miami – and even that is debatable – as many fans assume those schools are up to no good. So when it comes out that the NCAA is looking at them, it doesn’t bring about the same reaction.

    In a lot of ways the media has actually gotten better in the past 30-40 years in the way they cover sports. They now do what they are supposed to do – shine a spotlight on corruption and hypocrisy, especially on the college level.

    The media was much more biased in the old days with the credo of “what happens in the lockeroom stays in the lockeroom” and “what happens on the road stays on the road.” That’s why a book like Ball Four was such a sensation; fans had no idea that ball players chased skirts and drank themselves silly on a daily basis. And that’s how a program like John Wooden’s UCLA could go untouched for years while boosters handed out money like candy – the media turned a blind eye toward those kind of shenanigans.

    Now, if you are a fan or an apologist for a college program, and those words seem more interchangeable every day, you are going to feel like your team is being persecuted if they are asked to accept consequences for their actions. I’m sure Auburn fans weren’t happy with the coverage of the whole Cam Newton situation; same with North Carolina fans when it came out that Butch Davis was running shenanigans in Chapel Hill.

    The media may have chased the Tressel and Paterno stories a little harder, but the blame for that falls on the coaches.

  • polska2211

    “That’s not to question his powerful and positive legacy beyond his multi-year failure to adequately or purposefully expose Sandusky, but it could have contributed to the culture of protectionism that subsequently shattered his university.”
    I have issues with that line.  It was not Paterno’s responsibility to expose Sandusky.  He was the head football coach.  The fact that the head of university police knew about the issue because paterno advised McGloin to take it to him is consistently overlooked, and it is sickening.  

  • Ethan

    You mean McQueary? (probably butchered the spelling…)