July 30, 2014

While We’re Waiting … NBA Flopping Rules, Varejao’s Trade Value, A Browns Super Bowl Upset

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.

Who said Andy flops?! I didn’t … Maybe: “The NBA has new guidelines to outlaw flopping, and Cavaliers coach Byron Scott doesn’t seem to care. And why should he? ‘It doesn’t affect us,’ Scott said, smiling. ‘We don’t have any floppers. It doesn’t affect us one bit.’ Some around the league – well, actually, a lot of folks – might argue with Scott’s take. A lot of folks might tell you Cavs big man Anderson Varejao is the originator of faking fouls, that his ability to ‘sell’ charges on opponents to referees can be his biggest strength. Anyone who’s seen Varejao in action knows he does, in fact, make a pretty strong case. He leans into the offensive player a little, waits for the man he’s guarding to dip his shoulder, then crashes back-first to the court with wild hair whirling and arms flapping.” [Sam Amico/Fox Sports Ohio]

Will Andy finish the season in Cleveland? This is a nice primer to one of the hottest questions of the season: “In his 25 games last season, he was averaging a career best 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Varejao surprised many when he proved he was more than a byproduct of LeBron James’ no-look passes. He has developed a consistent, albeit odd-looking, mid-range jumper. He still rebounds like a man possessed and is one of the best defending big men in the League. Especially in the pick and roll. But the fact is, he is the Cavaliers most valuable trade asset, aside from their young nucleus. Every time the Cavs were talked about in trade scenarios, Varejao was in the thick of it. Whether it was for an extra lottery pick or bringing Andrew Bynum to Cleveland, he was always the main piece. And for good reason, he is a hard player to come by these days; one willing to do the dirty work. Varejao’s future will be mostly decided on the Cavs’ present.” [Nick Mancini/Stepien Rules]

Ah, I love seeing these features. Rubin continues to be a standout on that very impressive D-line: “Ahtyba Rubin is a man of few words. His actions speak much louder than his words. His play on the field and his example in the locker room has earned him the honor of being this week’s fourth captain. He joined captains Phil Dawson, Joe Thomas and D’Qwell Jackson in putting the players through stretching at the start of practice Wednesday. ‘He’s a quiet and reliable guy,’ Pat Shurmur said. ‘He’s a fine player.’” [Fred Greetham/The Orange & Brown Report]

Maybe, maybe, maybe the Browns can pull off another shocking Super Bowl upset this season: “Few people are giving the Browns any chance of beating the New York Giants on Sunday. It was the same way in 2008, when the Browns pulled off the 35-14 upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Can the Browns knock off the Giants again only a few months removed from a Super Bowl title? Eli Manning has some bad memories from that loss at Cleveland. He threw three interceptions and had one pick returned 94 yards for a touchdown by cornerback Eric Wright. Not as many current Browns remember that game. Only five players remain from the Cleveland team that upended New York …” [Jamison Hensley/ESPN AFC North Blog]

Some notes and observations on intriguing Indians prospects, beginning with this big slugger: “Jesus Aguilar, 1B: Aguilar had the best prospect profile of any player on the Akron squad. He spent the majority of 2012 in high-A ball before moving up to double-A for the final 20 games of the regular season and the playoffs. The Venezuela native has a sloppy body and doesn’t look athletic at all but he surprised me with his solid defensive play during this series. Aguilar almost did the splits to snag one throw. He also regularly showed soft hands but his range was limited. At the plate, Aguilar was too aggressive and was regularly getting himself out by chasing pitches both up and away. He hit two singles in this game but neither were pretty. Aguilar’s danger zone (for the pitcher) appears to be on the inner half of the plate, which makes sense given his pull approach. He showed at least 60 power. Quieting his hands at the plate might help him make better contact.” [Marc Hulet/FanGraphs]

Finally, here are thoughts on what one writer wants in his Indians manager: “First and foremost, I want a manager who demands 100 percent from his players. Not just expects it, but one who truly demands it. Two of my biggest pet peeves in the game are players who watch their home runs and players who enjoy a leisurely walk up the first base line on routine ground outs. I know there isn’t much that can be done about the bat flips and slow trots around the bases on home runs, but for Pete’s sake, run the play out at first. It really isn’t a hard concept. Whether it’s a weak pop up or a little dribbler directly at the second baseman, run the ball out. Why? It adds pressure on the defender to make a clean play. Anything can happen in the field.” [Christian Petrila/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

  • mgbode

    originator? what?

    for one, Ginobli is the master in the NBA today. he knows the referee angles where the SA announcers have shown he is 2 feet away from the player on some of the fouls he gets called.

    secondly, Vlade Divac demands respect on bringing the flop to the NBA.

  • JNeids

    Couldn’t agree more about Manu – you just beat me to the post. We’re this article written an offseason or 2 ago, maybe I’d agree, but I’d like to think more and more of the calls Andy induces are legit.

  • Garry_Owen

    Who’s going to be first to say it? Okay, I will.
    Are you saying that Jesus Aguilar can’t hit a curveball?

  • mgbode

    ah, Hey-Suess. I like him. Berry, berry much.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Lazy journalism. Yes, there was a time when Andy flopped. But look at the way he has played the last 2-3 years. He rarely flops at all anymore. But it’s easier to write a story all tongue in cheek about what a flopper Andy is, because it fits an easy stereotype.

    And yes, *nobody* was a bigger flopper than Divac. His performance with the Kings against Shaq was embarrassing.

  • mgbode

    and somewhat effective. i think embarrassing but effective is what he was going for with those too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    ^5 On Vlade the originator.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    If Varejao can be traded he should be you have to think about the future. Hopefully Gibson goes before him but I doubt it.

  • Dee P

    Hats for bats. Keep bat warm.