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 email@example.com.
Leading off, with Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert soon filling cardboard boxes with personal belongings, it’s time to start looking for new faces to fill their spots. Ryan Alton at the new DraftBrowns.com has a nice complete list of both sets of candidates, including Redskins’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, “Shanahan likely put in a good word for himself two weeks ago when the Redskins came to Cleveland and stomped the Browns with another rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins, who happened to be making his first NFL start filling in for an injured RG3. It has been obvious how effective the Shanahans have been in tailoring their offense to fit the strengths of the their young signal-callers this season, something the Browns current coaching staff has seemingly failed to do. Shanahan installed zone-read principles and the increasingly popular “pistol formation” to acclimate Griffin III and then employed more of a roll out passing attack to help Cousins settle in against the Browns. After some early bumps, Cousins went on to have a great day dismantling the Browns solid defense set up by play-action passes and bootlegs.” [DraftBrowns.com]
Next up, I’ve covered Tristan Thompson quite a bit recently, but this is a really nice extensive scouting report on Tristan from Kevin Hetrick at Cavs: The Blog, “Thompson battles issues with scoring the ball. According to ESPN, of 75 qualified power forwards, his true shooting percentage ranks 47th, despite using only the 56th highest frequency of possessions. The TS% serves as a significant improvement over last year, however that is aided by a 4% reduction in his usage rate. His 56% career free-throw shooting has not helped, but he converted 62% this month. Struggles with quickly collecting passes and attacking, or innovating when his shot isn’t there, lead to obscene amounts of his shots getting blocked (10th most in the NBA through 12/17).” [Cavs: The Blog]
The Ohio State Buckeyes debuted their new basketball floor, the third in Value City Arena since it opened in 1998 with yesterday’s blowout victory over Chicago State. Kyle with Eleven Warriors takes a look at not just the floor, but other upgrades to The Schottenstein Center and the basketball program’s facilities in general. For the record, I love the new (old) design with the state of Ohio at center court, “”The profile is narrower, so it’s a shorter court,” Damas said. “It’s about two and three-eighths inches thick as opposed to the existing court, which is two and three-quarters, so about a half-inch difference. It’s a thicker court and a stronger court. “The new technology that’s out there on it – the look, there’s a lot that goes into it. It is an NBA-quality court.” This holiday season has been filled with gifts for the Ohio State basketball program. As part of the ongoing, two-part construction project, new locker rooms were unveiled in early December and the new court was first seen by the public in last night’s women’s game versus VCU. An expanded strength and conditioning area as well as more practice gyms, part of the $19 million project, will be completed in the future.”" [Eleven Warriors]
Brendan Bowers at Stepien Rules caught up with Hawks forward Josh Smith Friday as the Cavaliers played host to the Atlanta Hawks, “”Dion Waiters is a helluva perimeter defender, he has quick hands and he slides his feet extremely well. He’s pretty good on the offensive end, it’ll keep coming in. He’s playing with a lot of confidence as a rookie. Then you have Kyrie Irving, who is the number one pick overall, and he has all the offensive ability and capabilities that anybody could ask for. They’re two pretty good backcourt players.”" [Stepien Rules]
Finally, tomorrow could get ugly with Thaddeus Lewis getting his first real NFL action against the number one defense in the NFL. Dawgs By Nature breaks it down, “In an ideal world, he could bring that same type of confidence to this week’s game against the Steelers. The problem is that this is an entirely different type of game — playing against first-string defenders, particularly on a defense that will be loading the box? Shurmur already indicated earlier in the week that the game plan would be toned down a bit if Lewis were to start. Our offense was predictable before, and now it’s about to get even easier to read.” [Dawgs By Nature]