April 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Young players showing progress, or are they?

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.

Making the case for and against Dion Waiters as a top rookie- “When Irving went down, my hope was that Waiters would step up. He would be free of trying to “fit” and would be given a mandate to be an impact player. Since then he has struggled. In the game against Memphis, he checked into the 4th quarter after a long rest. He fired up 3 misses, including an egregious out of rhythm 3 from way behind the line, and suffered a turnover and a shooting foul. In 5+ minutes of a game where all the Cavs needed was to not get SHUT OUT on offense, he was a complete non-factor. And so they lost a winnable game. Their lone win since KI went down was because Jeremy Pargo was given the reigns and took advantage. That was impressive. Subjectively, I’ve mostly seen a guy firing up a lot of outside shots, and unable to finish around the basket. He’s pressing. He’s showing me the goods, but they haven’t come out of the oven yet. Some have commented that they love his low turnover rate and his nice steals/fouls or steals/TO ratios. I see you brought up something similar. I call those Eric Snow indicators.” [Cavs the Blog]

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Ross steps onto the Buckeye stage- “Last year was virtually a lost season for Ross as he took classes and practiced all summer with the Buckeyes, only to find out he would have to leave the team just days before official practice was set to being thanks to some issues with meeting the NCAA’s academic qualification requirements. He got his academic house in order but not before December 9, which meant he wasn’t around for those valuable October practices where Thad installs the offensive sets and overall fundamentals and philosophies. Not to mention, he missed the first 12 games of the season, the majority of which came against cupcakes, costing Ross a chance to log experience gathering minutes.

As Matta noted, while it was nice to have Ross back on the roster, he was so far behind from being absent in those crucial preseason practices that Thad felt it was almost a disservice to Ross to put him out there. The fact Ohio State was now well into the season meant practices were mostly spent watching film and working on the upcoming opponent, leaving no time to waste on revisiting the basics when Ross was the only player who needed such sessions. Throw in the reality that the team was already stacked with seasoned scorers in Sullinger, Buford and later Thomas, and there wasn’t a real need to see if Ross could be a factor.” [Lauderback/Eleven Warriors]

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From Lane’s quick hitters- “As the season has progressed, the Browns have become increasingly physical and it showed in Oakland. The Raiders got physical with the Browns at the point of attack and the Browns punched the Raiders in the mouth. Watching some of the blocks and push coming from offensive linemen was good to see.” [Adkins/The OBR]

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“Player A: 30 years old, .874 career OPS, 132 career OPS+, 83 HR, 85 SB. Player B: 28 years old. .758 career OPS, 105 career OPS+, 118 HR, 232 SB.

Player A is in his final year of arbitration. Player B just signed a 5-year contract worth $75 million. So if B.J. Upton (player B) can command $15 million per season over 5 years, what is the S.S. Choo (player A), captained by one Scott Boras, going to cost? Upton has a little more pop and a little more speed, but the argument can certainly be made, and you can be sure that Boras is going to make it, that Choo is the superior player. So does anyone really think that Choo is going to resign here? Is he really worth $12-18 million per season? Choo can only fetch draft pick compensation if he’s on a roster at the beginning of the season, so if teams are looking for a 1-year rental for the South Korean outfielder, they’re more likely to try and deal for him prior to opening day. I just can’t see any reason for Choo to be in the Indians opening day lineup, and fully expect that after Bourn, Swisher and Hamilton sign, a team in need of an outfielder will come calling and the good ship Choo will go sailing out of town.” [Ciammaichella/The DiaTribe]

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ICYMI, Kirk’s Cavaliers film room from late Friday. [WFNY]

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    15 games into his career, Dion Waiters is compared to Eric Snow? I hate typing “lol” in comments, but that’s about what this deserves here.

  • mgbode

    don’t think he’s comparing him to Snow, but saying that using “Snow qualities” to say he’s been good is just a nice way of saying he hasn’t been.

    Waiters has, at times, looked fantastic. and, at times, looked like a lost rookie chucking shots. the thing is, most people fully expected him to look just like this with the ups and downs. it is not a bad thing.

    the important thing is if he continually grows, develops, and learns how to be a complete basketball player. he is showing that he has to tools to do it.

  • mgbode

    that DiaTribe article also hits on a HUGE point that has been a point of contention on these threads since the offseason.

    “There’s other teams trying to copy what’s gone on in
    Cleveland for a long time. And I think more and more organizations now look
    more like Cleveland did 15 years ago. Cleveland still looks that way, but there
    are more teams that look more like that now.”

    As noted in the article, if high-dollar teams in MLB are taking advantage of the same things that the Indians are trying to, then it undercuts what we are able to do. We need to find new ways of attacking the system. It’s great that we are respected and were innovators, but we need to continue to be.

  • Natedawg86

    It seems as if there are huge gaps in skills, talents and performance in the MLB. I would think as time goes on, the amount of skilled players would increase at a level greater than the amount of skilled players leaving the game. It has not seemed like this, and teams have been forced to start mediocre or below levels of talent and career journeymen. It is like the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    The only comparison that I see to Eric Snow is that they both play basketball. Waiters DOES have the ability to get to the rim, DOES have the ability to shoot, and those are two huge differences that put both players in a completely different category.

    As for the rest, you nailed it. He’s a rookie in the first quarter of the season. He’s going to have dramatic ups and downs, but hardly anything to worry about.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Not that this is especially local, but with so many MAC teams in Ohio, it should be mentioned that Northern Illinois made it to the Orange Bowl!!! This is HUGE for the MAC. I will definitely be watching as they take on FSU. Go Huskies! Respect the MAC!!!

    (sigh…what could have been for my Bobcats)

  • mgbode

    what could have been indeed. LaTech played a gambit hoping for a BigXII bowl spot (if OU had made the Sugar). NoIll making the Orange meant the BigXII filled it’s spots and LaTech got frozen out.

    Why does that affect the Bobcats? LaTech was offered the spot that Ohio eventually landed. If they took it, then Ohio may not have had a bowl to go to.

  • mgbode

    exhibitA: http://mlb.si.com/2012/12/03/mike-napoli-red-sox-winter-meetings/?sct=hp_t2_a2&eref=sihp

    before they embraced advanced stats, a team like the Red Sox may not have appreciated someone like Napoli. sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/tompestak Thomas Pestak

    Yeah as the author of that line, this is what it means. First, as mgbode so eloquently explained it. In addition, the praise (and no one has doled out more of it than I have) is based on future earnings. He can get to the rack, who cares that he’s not finishing yet. He can fill it up, who cares that he’s not doing it efficiently. My concern here, is that some of the things that he already does REALLY WELL for a rookie are the kinds of “rookie mistakes” you’ll excuse given the understanding that it will get better. In other words, his PER is south of 13 DESPITE doing those things well. If a guy shot 90% from the free throw line you wouldn’t say, well his overall impact will improve once he starts, ya know, making the freebies. For Waiters to become a star he needs to 1.) take a MUCH higher %-age of his shots at the rack, and 2.) actually make them.

  • mgbode

    I fully believe (and hope) that this is merely a gesture to Art’s family
    since he died this season, but I do hope this is squashed out and that
    his name does not appear in future seasons.

    From Peter King:

    Quote:
    Art
    Modell gains in the preliminary Hall of Fame voting. Last year, when
    the list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class
    of 2012 was announced, Modell’s name wasn’t on it. This year it is,
    along with another another contributor rebound candidate, former GM
    George Young. This year’s list has 27 names on it because of a tie for
    25th, and it just makes it tougher for any candidate to be elected. The
    44 Hall selectors now vote for their final 15 names, and those 15 will
    be discussed, along with the two senior nominees, in New Orleans the day
    before the Super Bowl. A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be
    elected, which means Modell, who died in September, has to make the cut
    to 15, then has to survive hours of debate in the meeting to make the
    final five. On the bright side for Modell is the fact that there may be
    no lock candidates this year, and he’d be helped by a muddied pool.

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/12/02/week-13/index.html#ixzz2E1icah4X

  • porckchopexpress

    I’m completely confused by this, sorry. Are you unhappy that he can get to the rim and get his shot off, but that he doesn’t finish a high percentage of those plays? If this is it why are you upset? Finishing both at the rim and jumpers are much harder skills to master then the act of getting those shots off.
    You use the “90%” free throw shooter as an example of limited growth potential. Except Waiters is more like a guy who is shooting 70% from the line. If he gets to 90% he is going to be ridiculous. Just as if Waiters improves his FG% from 38 to 48% he is going to be either an all-star or borderline at the very least.
    Sorry, if I misunderstood, but I’m not too bright and it just didn’t come off very clear to me.

  • http://twitter.com/tompestak Thomas Pestak

    I’m saying among high usage “creators” one of the difficult things is limiting turnovers. He already does that very well – and his overall efficiency is still really bad.