August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… A Cavs fan from across the pond and Urban’s secret weapon

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.

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From a Cavs fan in the United Kingdom. “Cut back to June 23 and a tipsy GodZeller is sat on his sofa watching the showcase that is the NBA Draft, and I’m hooked from the opening credits all the way up to those magical words – ’With the 1st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select: Kyrie Irving of Duke University’. Kyrie Irving? Who the hell is this guy? Over the next 15 minutes, I hear an incredible tale – one of the world’s greatest player screwing his hometown on national television, of a journey from incredible highs to horrendous lows in the space of a season, of fate dealing the most harshly treated club the #1 pick through a lottery dependent (apparently) on luck, and of a shot at redemption. From then on, well let’s just say I’ve become obsessed.

Since that day almost 2 years ago, I have watched every single Cavaliers game (through various illegal means – shhh), watched every single basketball documentary you can remotely think of (Bird vs Magic and Reggie Miller vs The Knicks being my favourites), read every blog, crunched every stat, am currently winning my fantasy basketball league (easily the most fun I’ve ever had), got My NBA 2K13 Player to 99 overall (playing for the Cavs of course – still no ring) and, to be honest, become a downright pain the arse to all of my friends. The way I explain it is this: The NBA has the showmanship of the NFL, the pace of Ice Hockey, the passion of a football match and the controversy of baseball – all rolled in to one. It’s near enough the perfect sport. I booed to the heavens when LeBron lifted the trophy, I woke up shocked on June 29 last year thinking ‘Waiters at 4? That’s a bit of a reach’ but most of all, I cheer every bucket we make. [Fearthesword.com]

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Regardless of how you feel about Brandon Weeden, it’s a bit concerning that he hasn’t spoken much with the new coaches. “New coach Rob Chudzinski has called it “premature” to name Weeden the starting quarterback for next season, and Haslam suggested someone will be brought in to go against Weeden. Cleveland has the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft or could pursue another quarterback by trade or in free agency.

“We’re talking about a multibillion-dollar corporation, essentially,” Weeden said. “There’s going to be changes. Obviously, we’ve already seen some. But there’s going to be competition. The guys that drafted me are no longer there, so I fully expect there to be competition. I would want competition. I want to go into camp and compete. If I had won 10 or 11 games last year, that may not be the case, but we weren’t able to get that done.”

Weeden said he’s working tirelessly to improve his game, although he hasn’t been able to coordinate much with Chudzinski or offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who was brought in after being fired as the San Diego Chargers’ coach after last season” [Jeff Latzke/ABJ Browns Blog]

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“Look at the NBA. LeBron James and the Heat, given the weakness of the Eastern Conference, had a chance this season to pursue team greatness and quite possibly Michael Jordan and Chicago’s 72-10 regular-season record. The Heat have no real interest. They’re saving themselves for the playoffs. They’ve lost 14 games before the All Star break. The truth is only the Spurs, a team led by a core (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) not raised on traditional American soil, have a legitimate interest in the regular season, and their coach leaves his veteran players in street clothes or at home whenever he feels they’re physically taxed.

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas — the generation of stars that made the NBA a force — all wanted to lead all-time great teams. LeBron wanted that in Cleveland and won 66 regular-season games in 2009. Unfortunately, he bought the hype and surrendered to the NCAA/NBA Combine culture that subtly preaches team greatness is irrelevant, individual greatness is all that matters.

Only the ring matters.” [Jason Whitlock/Fox Sports].

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I had no idea that the Tribe had all lefty lineups last year. “On a recent morning, I spent some time trying to see how much Cleveland has potentially improved itself against left-handed pitching after last year’s dismal showing. The Tribe went 18-35 against southpaw starters in 2012 and ended the season ranked last in the league in average, slugging and home runs versus  lefties.

Part of the issue — more like the entirety of the issue — stemmed from the lopsided left-handed-ness of the Indians’ lineup. In 2011, one team, on one occasion, ran out an all-lefty lineup for a game. Cleveland did so numerous times last season. It was a platoon advantage to the far extreme.

Consider this, over the past two years, Indians hitters have combined for 4,085 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers — the most in baseball across that span. Last year, the Indians had 2,103 PAs vs. LHP, marking the fourth most in the Majors, but the most in the division.” [Bastian/MLB.com].

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I’m going to thoroughly enjoy the Urban Meyer era. “PSA for talented high school football players in the Western Hemisphere: Sooner or later, Kerry Coombs will be in your living room.

Like all great explorers – Neil Armstrong, Christopher Columbus, Dora, etc. – Coombs is never satisfied. Rather, he’s constantly expanding Ohio State’s reach, working tirelessly to unearth new resources (i.e., five star prospects). In fact, he doesn’t care what residents of Newark or Grand Rapids or South Beach think of an Ohio State flag planted in their backyard. Kerry Coombs will commemorate the site of each new commitment however he pleases, thank you very much.

Is it any surprise that, following Chip Kelly’s departure to the Philadelphia Eagles, Coombs scampered across the Oregon Trail and landed running back Dontre Wilson? Given Coombs’s unparalleled navigation skills, Wilson’s flip should’ve been viewed as a foregone conclusion. Moreover, Coombs is so confident in his ability to recruit that, from time to time, he’s daring enough to poke the bear elephant himself, Nick Saban.” [Matt Borcas/Landgrant Holy Land].

  • MrCleaveland

    For all of Weeden’s alleged maturity, he sure doesn’t act mature. He’s just sitting back and letting things happen, and not apparently very interested. (Also, he dresses like a teen-ager. For God’s sake, man, you’re a 29-year-old starting QB in the NFL; lose the slacker slob look already. But I digress.)

    During the lockout, Colt McCoy saw an opportunity to take charge. Weeden, on the other hand, is pretty “whatever, man.” Not a good sign for him.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He always reminded me of the character Opie from “The Andy Griffith Show” and his passiveness always kind of bothered me. I still maintain he’s DA 2.0 in physical skills but lacking the mental fortitude to be successful. If he can’t go under Chud/Turner then you can put the decision to draft Weeden in the negative column for Tom Heckert. Even if Heckert blames it on Holmgren.