July 30, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Reactions from the Cavaliers’ nationally televised tilt

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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“TT shot free throws at .487 coming out of Texas. Unlike some (many) all-stars, TT actually worked at his game in several areas — he’s building a post game, he can now shoot rightie. And his free-throw percentage went from 48% in college to 55% last year to 64% this year.

Better than a couple all-stars. And a hell of a lot better than Dwight Howard who had a rookie FT pct of 67% and is not at 49%.

TT’s improvement is so rare and so reflective of a gifted athlete with the right focus on mastering his craft, it should be a pretty big story. But instead we get a free-throw expert on national TV killing him.” [Kanick]

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“On Thanksgiving, Jim Schwartz boned Jim Schwartz by throwing a challenge flag on Justin Forsett’s 81-yard touchdown. But really, the NFL boned Jim Schwartz—the rule that you can’t challenge a play that’s automatically reviewed, and if you try, you’re penalized and it’s not reviewed, is awful, illogical, and frankly un-American.

This was one of those rules that was on the books because no one read it too closely, and it hadn’t come into play. But no one can say the NFL isn’t reactive—Ray Anderson, the VP of football operations, promised that the rule will be changed before the start of next season. From now on, if a coach throws a red flag on a scoring play, he’ll still be penalized—but the play will be reviewed. Sanity!” [Petchesky/Deadspin]

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“Luck might have had something to do with it, sure. But as you watch the variety of ways in which Irving imposed his will on the game — posting up New Orleans reserve guard Brian Roberts and hitting him with a baseline spin for an and-one floater, shaking larger wing defender Al-Farouq Aminu on the perimeter to get to the cup, pushing the pace in transition after grabbing the defensive rebound himself, fearlessly popping an open 3 trailing on the break, and showcasing that ankle-breaking handle to get around seemingly any Hornets defender whenever he wanted — you start thinking it’s probably got a lot more to do with a star being born right before our eyes.

Irving now leads the league in total points scored in the “clutch” — the final five minutes of a game where the margin is within five points — this season and is second only to Durant in “clutch” points per game. He’s now averaging 34.7 points per 36 minutes of fourth-quarter play this season, shooting just under 45 percent from the floor in last stanzas, and taking a whopping 11.7 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes in the fourth. He’s an absolute killer down the stretch, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the Hornets, who watched him get all 20 of those points in the last seven minutes, scoring 11 straight an 18 of his team’s 20 points during one stretch.” [Devine/Ball Don't Lie]

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How did the new CBA influence the trade deadline- “When owners and players agreed to a new deal that ended the most recent lockout, the players insisted on not having a hard salary cap – like in the NFL – that teams could not exceed under any circumstance. In the name of leveling the playing field for big and small-market teams, the owners responded by getting new restrictions put in place to make it as painful as possible for teams who go over the cap to continue doing business that way for any length of time.” [Krawczynski/AP]

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Video of Magic Johnson and Jalen Rose discussing Kyrie’s game. [Fear the Sword]

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Late addition (H/T Scott)- Why Wins Above Replacement is the Answer [Miller/ESPN the Mag]

  • Harv 21

    The ESPN broadcast team sounded like they discovered gold. Like Jim Kanicki said, so predictable, their shiny new toy du jour. We’ll see how long this lasts before they “discover” someone else.

    And no where near enough is said about James Harden’s look. Trying to remember any other modern pro athlete with a long, real full, untrimmed beard. Must lull defenders into a sense he’s too slow or old to burn them. On a world class athlete that look is just sick, or sic, almost Sikh.

  • mgbode

    on the Schwartz challenge-TD, it is lazy to not also mention the GB Packers had the same exact situation come up later in the season but they were not penalized and the play was reviewed because the referee on the field said the review had already begun.

  • maxfnmloans

    not only is the Kyrie entering the national consciousness as the next NBA superstar, but the “The Cavs haven’t put anything around him, he could leave as a free agent” train is starting to gather steam. I just want to falcon thunder punch these (edited for vulgarity).

    Loved how Kanicki demonstrated how horribly lazy the ESPN announcers were. I think it’s irresponsible as well, because right or wrong, they help shape the perception of things in the sports world, and sometimes it seems they are trying to create or control a narrative rather than reporting it. They really are the worst. I’d rather watch the WWE than Sportscenter.

  • mgbode

    only sometimes?

    exhibitA: college athletic conference realignment

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    >>>”The Cavs haven’t put anything around him, he could leave as a free agent” train is starting to gather steam.>>>

    this is why the dion waiters – dwyane wade comparisons MUST BE SQUASHED. per order of bristol.

    im really not a conspiracy guy. but would it wouldnt surprise me if there was a conference room in bristol where the talking heads are looking at a powerpoint that shows ratings fall-off in nyc and the ‘call-to-action’ slide is to concoct KI to NYC scenarios.

  • maxfnmloans

    I was trying not to be Chicken Little carrying on about the sky falling, but…yeah

  • maxfnmloans

    Ever since Deadspin (and also DOug Gottlieb) shared documented proof that those on high at ESPN were pushing the Tebow meme as hard as possible, I have zero doubt that things like that actually happen.

    ESPN seems to think sports fans in “flyover” cities need ESPN more than ESPN needs them. They better hope we never find out about the internet.

  • Natedawg86

    Why even punish if a challenge flag is thrown on a scoring play? Why are we penalizing that team? The play is already stopped for review… Sounds like a rule 5 yr olds would make with their legos

  • mgbode

    Dari from ESPN at one point came on WFNY and confirmed as much. He thought he was defending ESPN in that they didn’t hate small markets, they only chased ratings, but that pretty much confirms the bias. Ratings will always be higher for bigger markets because they have more people.

    It’s what they do. The hope is that NFLN, MLBTV, NBATV networks do a better job. So far, they have but they need to get onto the basic cable/satellite packages or we all need to move to pure online television.

  • Natedawg86

    Any explanation of a penalty longer than this should not be allowed ” XXXXing (interference), #XX on the XXXfense, XXXXXX yard penalty, XXX down”

  • mgbode

    ok, but you tell Hochuli he doesn’t get his extra TV time. i’m not telling him.

  • BenRM

    Tell me about it! Since the All-Star game, I have heard about the possibility Kyrie leaving Cleveland on about 3 national radio programs. It drives me insane.

    A week ago, this guy wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Now he’s going to play for the Lakers with Dwight Howard.

  • Harv 21

    hmmm, don’t think these are equivalent. Choosing a particular story or shading it’s emphasis/angle or even cherry-picking rumors on a certain subject to appeal to your target demo is not the same as conspiring to make an event happen. At least to me.

    Begs the discussion of whether ESPN is news or entertainment, or whether so-called entertainment news is legit journalism subject to journalistic ethics when it’s subject is simply sports, as opposed to wider societal concerns. I don’t think ESPN is really journalism, so this stuff doesn’t upset me too much. Also think ESPN, in their secret chambers, views itself that way as well.

  • boomhauertjs

    I stopped watching ESPN’s “news” shows on July 8 , 2010.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Never forget what the “E” in ESPN stands for. Or that is comes before the “S”.

  • mgbode

    OTL is the journalism wing of the network.

    Choosing/Shading the storyline can conspire to make events happen (or not happen) though.

    I do get what you are saying though. Going back to the conference realignment talks, they did not want to lose their BigXII market as a demographic. Therefore, they conspired to keep the conference afloat (instead of letting them separate w/ the top4 to the ratings poor Pac12). They have so much money and power in sports now that they are the story within the story much of the time.

    In this particular case, they may have sealed an eventual death to the ACC.

  • woofersus

    I think the spirit of the rules in which challenging unchallengeable calls (under which the automatically reviewed plays fall) results in a penalty is to prevent coaches from using that flag as a free timeout when they know the Referee is just going to pick it up and give it back. I’m not sure how the specific penalty of no longer reviewing the play got written in, though. Especially since the clock is already stopped when an automatically reviewed play happens.

  • woofersus

    Not sure referees should use that much profanity on tv.

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    I have honestly quit watching ESPN unless it is a big game that is only covered by them. The LeBron love fest started it but after I went to NBCsports, CBSsports, STO, FSO, NFLn, MLBn I realized how much I dislike the enemy known as ESPN.

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Used to listen to Cowherd like it was my religion as well. But I wont even give him the time of day anymore because his every segment is on the great LeBron James. Im over him leaving I really am but I cant have it shoved on me like that. Eff ESPN!!!