While We’re Waiting… Breaking down some Cavs at the break

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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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“Last season, Irving was pretty much a sieve defensively by any metric or objective observer. According to Synergy, Irving allowed 1.03 points-per-possession overall, which ranked him at 447th in their database. There were no positives to even take away from the specific situations with at least 50 possessions: be it isolation, in the pick-and-roll against ball-handlers, or in spot-up situations, Irving was simply bad by the numbers. Not only that, but the defense showed a marked improvement when Irving stepped off the floor, according to 82games.com. The Cavs went from giving up 112.6 points-per-48 minutes with him on the floor to 107.6 with him off of it.

Of course, some of his defensive dreadfulness was due to the team surrounding him. Antawn Jamison has been (how to put this nicely…) a complete and total disgrace defensively for about three years now. Tristan Thompson was okay defensively, but was still only a rookie. Others such as Ryan Hollins and Anthony Parker are not known for their defensive prowess. But having said that, some of the defensive deficiencies could fairly be placed on Irving’s shoulders. He did, after all, allow opposing point guards to accumulate a 19.0 PER against him with a .559 eFG%.

In 2012-13, there has been some marked improvement in Irving’s defense statistically. His overall points-per-possession number according to Synergy is down to 0.83. His most marked improvement there has been in isolation situations, where he is only allowing 0.53 points-per-possession in comparison to 0.99 last season. That mark is good for 15th in the NBA.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]


“It’s simple really. In all likelihood Speights will be a free agent this off season. Since being traded to Cleveland, he’s averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1 assist, and .8 blocks with 1.3 turnovers in 22.9 minutes a night. He’s shooting .450/.333/.882 for a TS% of .526, with a PER of 19.6 according to basketball-reference. These are pretty good numbers. So now the Cavs have a bench player who can play both center and power forward, has a cap number of $4.2 million, and has a player option for $4.5 million next year. He’s certainly going to have value for a team looking to make a playoff run. Furthermore, the only way Speights doesn’t opt out is if he turns into Roy Tarpley, or if he gets hurt. If that happens, why would the Cavs even want to pay him $4.5 million next year?

Why wouldn’t Cleveland try to get an asset for him when they could just sign him in the off season anyway? At that point, it doesn’t matter if he’s a Cleveland free agent or a San Antonio free agent. Marreese Speights isn’t a sacred cow. He’s just a basketball player. If Chris Grant gets a chance at a 2014 pick, why wouldn’t he take it?” [Cavs the Blog]


“There has been a lot of back and forth over the quality of both Tom Heckert’s and Michael Lombardi’s drafts in recent weeks, and it got me thinking: what should we reasonably expect out of any draft pick? My first thought was to go pick by pick, or maybe use groups of five to compare to each other, but it quickly became apparent that as the game changed, so too did drafting strategies. It simply isn’t a good idea to compare drafts in the 80s to 2012, and that’s exactly what you would have to do to have any kind of meaningful sample size. Instead, I decided to go round by round. In this post I’m going to explore what we should expect out of a first round draft pick, and perhaps more importantly, what we need to get to be better than the other 31 teams in the league. Before I begin, I want to be clear that my conclusions are broad on purpose. I am not digging to far into these numbers just yet, and there’s a lot of nuance here. I’ll do my best to note the pitfalls involved with this type of analysis, but just be assured there are a lot of them.” [Dawgs by Nature]


“When to use free agency in earnest? Active free agent signings are best done to put an ok team over the top. This means identifying holes and plugging them. FA done right lets you transform positions of weakness into strength literally over night. FA done right can move an ‘ok’ team into playoff range.

That’s where I think the Browns are; that’s why I think this FA season is crucial. To my eye, the biggest weakness on the Browns is the defensive backfield. We saw how bad the CBs were when Haden was out. Even with Haden playing, Sheldon Brown isn’t getting any younger and it doesn’t look like Skrine, Wade, Badamosi are long term answers. All of them are 6′ 0″ or less too.” [Kanick]


“Unlike Thompson, who needed help with technique, footwork, and where to stand at the FT line, Dion needs to adjust to the mental side of the NBA. From day one heʼs shown the ability to get past defenders and into the lane. He has an elite first step and when he explodes to the basket heʼs tough to stop. Of course, what he found out was that in the NBA the next few steps were a bit tougher. He had a tough time finishing and drawing fouls. So he stopped himself.

Looking back at the Clippers game in Staples Center, while it was one of the highs of the season so far, it may have stunted Dionʼs growth a bit. He was unconscious from the perimeter and spent the better part of the next two months trying to find that same hot hand. Having shown that ability to take over a game with his jump shot and combining that with his difficulties converting in the lane it made it easy to settle.” [Nagel/Stepien Rules]

  • mgbode

    normally, i’d just send the link to the tip-line, but given the discussions here in the past, I’ll just post it. discussions on the native american imagery in sports. well written and spoken (though decidedly from one POV).


    my personal opinion is to keep the Indians mascot, but I’m always willing to listen to the other points and there are some good ones there. of course, if we do change names, then the only name we should take is the Cleveland Fellers :)

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Cleveland Rapids? For Rapid Robert, and the RTA light rail line.


  • mgbode

    from CTB: “Why wouldn’t Cleveland try to get an asset for him when they could just sign him in the off season anyway? ”

    I hate this line of thinking. Once you trade a player away, you lose the message, you lose your leverage. There are much better chances of re-signing (contracts being equal) if he thinks he is a corps piece of your team moving forward. There is a much better chance of him thinking he’s a corps piece of your team if you don’t trade him away.

    if we feel he will price himself out of what we want to pay him or that he is going to regress and we are selling high now, then we trade him. otherwise, don’t try to outsmart ourselves.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    we’ve got a killer logo for this.

    ps, thanks for the link rick. i hope the FA suggestions -keenen lewis, dannell ellerbe, andy levitre- can move the FA talk past the flacco-wallace black hole it’s currently in.

  • mgbode

    hmmm, Disqus is eating my comments today.

    anyways, yes on the logo if we can purchase it. I still want a navy ballcap with that on the front and it’s an atrocity that in 2013 those are not prevalent.

    yes on Lewis as CB2 (hurt Pitt the most + help us the most at CB)
    Levitre=Vasquez to me + LV will likely be cheaper and played for Norv.
    Ellerbe>Groves but QG played for Horton, again is cheaper, and really we need LBers badly and could just sign both and I’d be happy.

    also, Sheard for Acho/Rhodes/3rd rounder remains high on my wishlist.

  • mgbode

    haha, that might be worth the name just to hear all the out-of-towners
    say “I didn’t even know Cleveland had whitewater on that river”

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    do note, getting ellerbe would cripple the ravens (like k. lewis would the steelers) .. and much morese than kruger:
    Courtney Upshaw is a stud who can step into Kruger’s slot with [probably] not too much drop off. Upshaw-Suggs at OLB is still pretty good. But losing Lewis *and* Ellerbe at ILB leaves them with undrafted Josh Byrnes and 36 year old Brendon Ayanbadejo as projected ILBs.

  • mgbode

    oh, and the main issue that is brought up in that link and keeps getting brought up is both the fact that Redskins has always been a derogatory term and the owner of the team for much of it’s history (Marshall) was an admitted racist.

    And even then, I don’t think they should run from their history. Merely a slight tweak to call themselves the Washington Archers would work. Keep the aligned with their history, their spear helmets can still work as arrows, and they play on the recent Hollywood phenomenon in movies/TV (Avengers w/ Hawkeye, Hunger Games, Brave, and the Walking Dead).

  • mgbode

    it is a good point though I think there are other FA LBers who could fill the ILB void easier than can be found at OLB and are also cheaper to get (Brad Jones and Leroy Hill are examples). So, I’m not sure they couldn’t find the room and fill the void anyway.

    and again, we need both, we have the cap-room. i wouldn’t mind signing both of these guys.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    “hmmm, Disqus is eating my comments today,” try feeding it less! 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cleveland Fellas

  • cmm13

    You beat me to this one, but I will also add another reason you stop trading away talent for assets is because at some point you will need PROVEN TALENT TO WIN.

    The thought that you just keep turnng over a known commodity for an uproven talent (and to your point before you know what the known commodity wants to do with their career) keeps you in a cycle of perpetual build versus the cycle of perpetual playoff appearances which can lead to perpetual champsionships

    Plain and simple, Maurice Speights is a versatile big man who can stretch the floor and play strong off the bench… sounds to me like something EVERY championship caliber team should have.

  • cmm13

    Thanks but no thanks on the Cleveland Fellers..
    any team named after a player/manager/owner is doomed to spend eternity without a Super Bowl win.

  • cmm13

    Yeah, we got rocks and everything, it’s really great.

  • mgbode

    we’re doomed anyways, so we might as well embrace some of our good history. change the Cavs to the Carrs and we’re all set.

  • ThatAlex

    If you could only have one of Speights or Greg Oden heading into next year, which one would you choose? Because I’m sure that’s what this is coming down to.