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Very good read on trading Varejao– “Varejao’s internal value matches — or exceeds — his external value. The only way to understand a basketball player’s value is through context. Put a ball-dominant scorer on a team loaded with offensive talent, and his value may wane. Acquire a versatile defender that allows for cross-matching throughout the lineup, and the situational value of other defenders could skyrocket. Deals between teams often capitalize on those discrepancies in context — because a player could be worth more to one team than another, franchises with varied interests are able to swap assets and both feel like they benefited.
In theory, it’s that quirk of player evaluation that could allow the Cavs — who wouldn’t be able to use Varejao’s defensive savvy to the same title-chasing ends as, say, the Spurs — to deal their All-Star-caliber forward away for the sake of picks and prospects deemed more valuable to a rebuilding club. But this is a case in which Varejao’s value to Cleveland is likely even greater than his worth would be to a potential contender. The Cavaliers may not be able to vie for a championship any time soon, but Cleveland nonetheless relies on Varejao’s elite-level defense and rebounding to steady a roster of unschooled talent. Through the Cavs’ limitations, Varejao is able to maximize his on-court impact to the point where he’s been one of the best players in the league through 18 games. He takes full advantage of his per-possession rebounding dominance, thwarts pick-and-rolls consistently over heavy minutes and capitalizes on the Cavs’ lack of competent scorers by expanding his offensive game. Plus, in compensating for his teammates’ weaknesses all over the floor, Varejao makes one of the worst rosters in the NBA look fairly passable at times.” [Mahoney/The Point Forward]
“The dynamic sophomore of Wayne High School in Huber Heights was a blur on the ground this season, but he wasn’t very effective in situations where he was expected to pull the ball and run because nothing was open down field. “As athletic as he is, he’s not a great scrambler,” said Meyer, who called former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young the best he’s ever seen.
“I’m going to do a study, I don’t think he had any yards this year scrambling. It was all runs. That’s something we’re going to work on. When it’s open, take it. That is a concern, that’s something we’ll address.” Miller still managed to rack up a school quarterback record 1,271 yards on the ground this season. He had six 100-yard rushing games, including an OSU quarterback record 186 yards against Nebraska, but it appeared as though defenses started to figure him out towards the end of the year.” [Castel/The O Zone]
Analyzing snap counts from Sunday– “I’d have to go back and check, but I think this was the first time all season that Joshua Cribbs didn’t receive a single snap on offense. That could have to do with the fact that he was banged up and missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Other than that, the playing time distribution matched the status quo from the past couple of games. There weren’t any dropped passes and guys had a lot of yards after the catch, which is always a plus. Greg Little’s block on a long catch-and-run by Mohamed Massaquoi was nice.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]
“If the Cavaliers were ingredients on a Chipotle burrito, what ingredients would they be? This extremely important and team-defining question is something that has been on all of our minds at least since 1 o’clock this afternoon when apparently all of us decided to get Chipotle in our different parts of the country (except Angelo, who got mistakenly got the gumbo from Qdoba and then proceeded to give us the classic analogy of Qdoba is to Chipotle as DeShawn Stevenson is to Michael Jordan). So without further ado, here it is:
Anderson Varejao: Varejao is one of the more hotly contested ingredients because of everything that he does. Some want him to be the steak because of his beefy rebounding ability (and because, well, the steak is the best). However, the best spot for him right now has to be the Tortilla. He is responsible for holding everything together on this team, just as the tortilla holds everything together in the burrito. Also, if he gets traded, this team will most likely fall apart, and we will all be forced to get Burrito Bowls, the ugly step-sister of the burrito.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]
Tweet of the day from Buckeyes’ T Reid Fragel on Bielema’s decision to leave Wisconsin for Arkansas– “Scared him right out of the Big Ten… ” [Twitter]