While We’re Waiting… Sports arguing and Tristan Thompson a developing situation

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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.

“But righteousness and clowning troglodytes is addictive, and this ostensibly symbiotic relationship between mainstream sports writers’ and pundits’ idiocy and analytics-driven writing has had a poisonous effect on the latter. Or maybe it’s just that people—even or maybe especially smart ones—like to feel superior about things. At any rate, I feel like a lot of analytics-based writing has lapsed into the same sort of “let me tell you the truth about sports, dummy” tone common to an imperious talking head. You can see it in every second-guessing article about what a team should have done at the end of a close game and every derisive comment about hero ball. More and more, the exuberant “let’s learn about basketball together” tone is being replaced by one that sounds paternalistic and patronizing.

The tone shift is understandable. When you’re armed with knowledge, you feel empowered and can easily come off a whit hubristic. We’ve all been overexcited about something we’ve learned at one point or another and relayed that information to a friend like we were Prometheus bringing fire to humankind. But as I wrote at the beginning of this season, we’re all hacks to some degree. We’re all looking at this game through prisms, and analytics is one prism. If you’re working for an NBA front office, then having the best predictive models and being right about things more often than not is is important; it gives you a competitive advantage. But outside of that context, you’re a carnival weight-guesser or a weatherman. Yet still, some analytics writers carry themselves like they hold a secret truth in their back pocket that they occasionally deign to share portions of with the public. They’re the Gnostics of the NBA landscape.” [McGowan/Cavs the Blog]

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Breaking down some tape- “The Browns didn’t really use Smelley at the traditional fullback position, but rather at tight end or in the slot. In his first play above (which came right after Marecic’s play), he is the blocker at the top. The play goes for a gain of three yards.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]

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Given our countdown of sports moments underway, you may want to check out the Ohio State plays of the year over at Eleven Warriors.

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“Tristan Thompson’s slow but steady development: Tristan is the object of many Cavs’ fans ire, but he has unquestionably shown progress as the season has worn on. Since Varejao’s injury, Thompson has averaged 13.3 points and 13 rebounds per game. Okay, so it’s only been three games. But it’s good progress for a guy that has continually drawn the disdain of Cavs’ fans who are saddened by his slow-developing offensive game. If his offense ever catches up to his defensive acumen, the Cavs will have a keeper on their hands with Thompson.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]

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Tyson Chandler shooting fruit cake instead of a basketball? Ok. [Ball Don’t Lie]

  • Harv 21

    Tristan sure looked better in the Bucks game but not sure how Vecenie can claim the offensive development is “steady.” Looks to me that it may just be starting. Or maybe not.
    When I watch Dion Waiters still can’t shake the feeling that a lot of his consistency issues are related to his physical conditioning, dietary habits or lifestyle. Maybe his chunky body type is playing tricks with my eyes but sure looks like early games explosiveness and hops quickly deflate, and sometimes return after a long rest but sometimes don’t.

  • Roosevelt

    I agree about Waiters, and I think that there’s hope for Dion to be a Wade-like player if he gets on the Kyrie training program described in this past ESPN Magazine. Otherwise though, his ceiling is Rodney Stuckey.

  • Aaron

    I’m thrilled that he feels as if his issues are related to conditioning. That should translate into him coming into camp next year in peak condition. If this is him working his way into shape, I’d love to see him at 100%. 100% of Dion Waiters makes Chris Grant look like a genius.

  • Harv 21

    Haven’t heard Waiters blame conditioning, just my theory based solely on watching him since he came back from his ankle.