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“How about Dion’s improvement in shot distribution? In December, he took 30 of his 114 field goals from inside of three feet, approximately 26% of his attempts, and only lined up for one freebie of every seven shots from the field. In January, those numbers increase to 54 of 156 shots attempted at the rim (35% of tries), and a free throw per three field goal attempts. This helped turn around his appalling 39% true shooting in December, into 52% in January, a completely respectable mark for a high-usage guard that turned 21 last month. Tonight was not a good night for Dion though; he is alternating good & bad games. He picked-up four fouls in his first eight minutes of play, turned the ball over three times in the third quarter, missed a completely-all-alone layup, and shot 3 of 10 with a couple of ill-advised jumpers. Maybe he stayed out too late last night. Reasonably aggressive though, he did take six of his shots inside 8 feet, but never received the benefit of a foul call. In a plus/minus anomaly, he finished a team best +15.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]
“Rondo’s misfortune may be Jrue Holliday or Kyrie Irving’s gain. The two Eastern Conference reserve All-Star point guards are both having excellent seasons. Holliday has had a fun career to watch thus far, steadily improving each season to the point that he now is a bona fide star. Still only 22 years old, he is averaging over 19 points and 8 assists per game while playing pretty good defense. His Player Efficiency Rating has jumped from 14.7 last season, to 19.4 in 2012-2013. With Andrew Bynum out, Philadelphia has a serious talent deficit, and Holliday has helped the team weather the post-Iguodala era respectably.
He isn’t, however, better than Kyrie Irving. Irving is 6th in the league in scoring, and does it with remarkable efficiency. He is excellent in the fourth quarter, and his Player Efficiency Rating is 22.9 which ties him with Russell Westbrook for 10th in the NBA. He is shooting 41% from three point range, and 85% from the line. Overall, he is shooting 47.5%. There isn’t a weakness to his offensive game, and his defense is much improved from his rookie season. Hopefully Irving gets the nod. His strong play this week has certainly gotten noticed by the national media.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword]
Ranking brother pairs with the Tribe- “2) Roberto and Sandy Alomar (1999-2000) – Sandy played catcher for the Indians from 1990 to 2000. Roberto was the Tribe’s second baseman from 1999 to 2001, so they were together on the team for two full seasons. During 1999 and 2000, Sandy played just 134 games, but was still a league-average hitter, as catchers go. Roberto’s time in Cleveland was arguably the peak of his career. In the two years he played with his brother, Roberto had an OPS of .903, played in two All-Star Games, won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers, and finished 3rd in the 1999 A.L. MVP voting.” [Lukehart/Let’s Go Tribe]
“The obvious followup: When it comes to Dawson, what’s to look at? He has been the pro’s pro in Cleveland since 1999, persevering through lousy team after lousy team. He’s not just an all-time great Brown, he’s an all time great kicker — he’s made 84 percent of his kicks in some of the worst conditions in the league.
And it’s not a question of age, either. As Dawson ages, he gets better. The past two seasons he’s 14-of-15 form 50 yards plus, and 53-of-60 overall. He is on the verge of becoming the Browns all-time leading scorer, ahead of a guy named Groza. It’s not a money issue either, not with the Browns a reported $48 million under the cap. If they’re going to spend the money on anyone, how could it not be Dawson?
Seriously … what in the world is there to think about with Dawson, for even one second?” [McManamon/The OBR]
“However it’s used it just gave a situation with a ton of options even more options. In the new NBA, these deals are going to become more and more common. This being at the early stages of the new CBA, Chris Grant has set the price very high. So much so that it would probably make sense to hang onto more space all next year to see how many of these deals Grant can barge his way into. Then ultimately cash in during the summer of 2014 when more top tier talent should be available.
By the way, in the short-term, Speights and Ellington have both played key roles in winning the last two games of our first three game winning streak of the season. The third of which was punctuated by Irving calmly walking the ball up the court, down two, stopping 28 feet out with 0.7 seconds left and dropping a three.” [Nagel/Stepien Rules]