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“You’d think one playoff berth in 14 post-expansion seasons, five double-figure loss seasons in a row and nine such seasons over the last 10 years would have visited sufficient misery upon Browns fans. Apparently not, because given the plethora of conclusion-jumping about which dead-end street the Browns’ new management team is steering the franchise toward, fans have decided to invent more doomsday scenarios until some real ones arise.
Can we give Haslam and Banner a few days to hire the personnel man they promised they would add after a head coach was in place? Can we give that guy time to articulate how the Browns’ draft process will unfold? Can we give Chudzinski a week or so to announce his coaching staff before assuming it will be populated by Banner’s third cousins, twice-removed? Can we wait until Lombardi is hired before obsessing about the havoc he’ll inflict upon the franchise?” [Hooley/ESPN Cleveland]
“Which brings us back to the original point. If you can secure free or heavily discounted tickets through either the team or ticket brokering sites, why not take in that night’s contest? Even if it is against the Sacramento Kings?
For a lot of us, the secondary costs get to be way too much. Personally speaking, my family of four cannot afford to take in an Indiana Pacers game this year, even if we grabbed a batch of heavily discounted seats high in the rafters. The hour-long drive, parking and costs that go beyond the price of the actual ticket are too high. Because I’m not going to be the dad that sneaks snacks into the arena for his kids to eat surreptitiously on the cheap — and I’m not going to make my wife sit through D.J. Augustin running sets off the bench without buying her a few beers to get through it. And YOU try saying “no” to your daughters when they want to buy another foam finger.” [Dwyer/Ball Don’t Lie]
“I’m not going to worry too much about the outcome of this one. Or any other Cavs game this year, for that matter. The Cavs struggled down the stretch after clawing their way back into the game in the third quarter and came up short. It’s nothing to lose sleep over. But one troubling thing: we got a serious dose of Kyrie Irving isolations, and normally, I’m fine with Kyrie Irving isolations late in games because I like seeing him dart down the lane through a double team and around a looming big man, but in this particular game, Dion Waiters was playing terrifically, and I would have liked, if Byron Scott could have possibly been bothered to coach this team a little bit, if Waiters could have slid into the corner-three spot normally occupied by Alonzo Gee so that Irving would have a better option to pass to when he inevitably got double-teamed as he tried to dart into the lane. Instead nothing changed, Irving got stripped a couple of times driving to the bucket, easy lay-ins for the Kings, etc. Maybe Kyrie wouldn’t have passed the ball to Waiters either, but, y’know, maybe at least get the guy who had flames shooting out of his butt into a position where he might possibly touch the ball so that the defense has to think about him.” [McGowan/Cavs the Blog]
“Right now, I think it’s pretty clear that Waiters is pressing and trying too hard to get going. Another thing this proved is that Waiters’ streakiness both helps and burns the Cavs (mostly burns them) depending on the moment. The Cavs can’t have him taking more shots than Irving most nights, especially when eight of them are absolutely terrible shots that no one should ever be taking in a game. He needs to learn that 20-23 footers are the least efficient shot in the NBA. If he’s going to take them, he should be taking a step back and making them threes (no really, I did the research. Taking threes instead of long twos correlates to a better offense). He has decreased the amount of threes he’s taken this season from 5.3 per game in November to 2.9 in January, but he also has increased the amount of long twos he’s taken from 3.3 in November to 4.4 in January. He needs to stop taking random contested jumpers with 14 seconds left on the shot clock. And he needs to start becoming better around the rim by drawing contact and getting to the foul line more often. Until he learns to do these things, we’re going to see the same inconsistent Dion Waiters we’ve seen this year.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]
“But Boras doesn’t look solely to the new rules as the reason his three big free-agent clients are still unsigned. No, he says teams are just being stingy with their payroll. Too stingy, he says, in light of booming MLB revenues. According to Boras, most teams have lower payrolls heading into the 2013 season than the highest payroll those teams had from 2000-2012. “Only five teams have higher payrolls,” Boras told Murray Chass over the weekend. “Everybody else is below even though revenue is up 200 percent and franchise values are up 300, 400 percent. What we’re seeing is not many teams are spending on payrolls despite the fact that their profits are extraordinary. You’d expect teams to have their highest payrolls, but they don’t.” [Thurm/Fan Graphs]