While We’re Waiting… Sunday morning reading


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.


I’d rather the Browns run back Weeden than go with someone like Alex Smith. “There is no question that there is a pretty sizable gap between the upper echelon of the NFL and the Browns. The roster as currently constructed is very young but the Browns could make some judicious moves that could help them speed up the process quicker and give them a shot to make a push for the playoffs in 2013.

Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner said they aren’t going to make moves that are quick fixes and also intimated that they wouldn’t make any ‘splashy’ moves in free agency. They have said the Browns are committed to building long-term through the draft.

However, being reportedly close to $48 million under the salary cap the Browns could make a few moves in free agency that could significantly improve the team. Here are a few of the possible moves they could make.

We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback–The most important position is always the quarterback. The current front office and coaching staff hasn’t declared Brandon Weeden the starter going forward. Haslam said that he expects a quarterback competition in training camp, but here are a couple of options for the team.” [Fred Greetham/Orange and Brown Report]

The Dion Waiters debate is a fun twitter debate. Really. Fun. So much. Fun. “Dion is shooting .477 so far in February. His shot selection continues to improve and he’s up to 48% around the rim for the season (he was below 40% for a bit of time earlier this season and, kinda rightfully, caused a bit of bitching in the Cavsfanosphere ). Waiters also shot for over .400 for the first month this season, shooting .412 for the month of January (no, October’s one game doesn’t count as a month). He has also seen a loss of about four or five minutes of playing time in January and February (32.1 in Nov, 31.5 in Dec, 27.5 in Jan, 26.2 so far in February before games on 2/9). If a little less playing time means a more efficient Dion Waiters, Cavs fans aren’t gonna hate on that….or at least the rational ones won’t.” [I Go Hard Now]

Spring training spring training spring training spring training… “There are certain questions that have perplexed and preoccupied human beings for thousands of years: What is the meaning of our existence? Are there human values that transcend time and culture? Is there a God? Other questions arise sporadically but are no less important. In Spring Training, these persistent questions become: Who’ll round out the starting rotation? Who will DH? Who will start in left field? (A question that the Indians futilely tried to answer throughout the 2012 season.)

It’s a given that RHP Justin Masterson and RHP Ubaldo Jimenez will take the #1 and #2 slots in the rotation. I’m not saying I like the arrangement, but there it is. For the time being. I’m okay with Masterson in the #1 slot. Over five seasons in the majors, he has a 4.17 ERA, with two really great seasons and three so-so to okay seasons. We all know that his 2011 season was fabulous (3.21 ERA and 1.278 WHIP) and his 2012 season not-so-fabulous (4.93 ERA and 1.454 WHIP). But 2011 wasn’t his best season. 2008 was (3.16 ERA, 1.223 WHIP). He was in Boston then, playing for Terry Francona. Now that he’s playing for Francona again, I’m hopeful Masterson will be able to regain some of that lost consistency. He has given us plenty of reasons to believe in him.

Jimenez was arguably the worst pitcher in major league baseball last season (Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar and Tortonto’s Ricky Romero had worse ERAs but only our Ubaldo had 17 losses). While he’s always seemed like a nice guy, I’ve come to believe that Jimenez’s 19-8, 2.88 ERA, 1.155 WHIP 2010 season was a fluke. I just feel like he ought to earn that #2 slot. Looking at last season (and the 2011 season), you just haven’t earned it yet, baby.” [Susan Petrone/It’s Pronounced “Lajaway”]

Not everyone likes the idea of the Cavs signing Greg Oden. “We did a Google search looking for players who have come back from three microfracture surgeries on their knees to play in the NBA and found out that the number is zero.

While we couldn’t find any players, we did find this story from 2010 in The Oregonian that referenced a study at Drexel University that found that “about one in five pro basketball players who undergo microfracture knee surgery never play another NBA game. And those who come back tend to perform at a significantly lower level than before surgery.”

The study looked at 24 NBA players who had the surgery form 1997 to 2006. Five of those players never made it back and, of the one did, 17 of them were still active after two years, but “their performance lagged significantly behind a control group of similar players who were never injured.”

And those are just players who had one surgery, Oden has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees.” [Tom Moore/Red Right 88].

If Kyrie wore the Uncle Drew outfit, I’d die.Anderson’s prolific shooting — his 377 attempts in 50 games are more than 21 of 26 3-point contest winners had in the entire season they won — is not necessarily an indicator of success in the contest. Craig Hodges of the Chicago Bulls, who along with Larry Bird was the All-Star weekend 3-point champion three times, won the 1992 contest despite attempting just 96 3-pointers for the season, only 34 of them before the All-Star break.

The only player to win the contest while shooting as often as Anderson was Quentin Richardson, who won in 2004-5, the season he tried 631 3-pointers, the fourth most in league history.

In terms of shooting percentage, the favorites would be Steve Novak of the Knicks and Curry, who both were shooting higher than 44 percent from 3-point range through Friday. Richardson won it in 2005 despite shooting just 35.8 percent on 3-pointers for the season.

All of that serves as good news for Paul George, Matt Bonner and Kyrie Irving, the three remaining participants in this year’s contest, as it appears the competition comes down to whoever has the hot hand. Irving could definitely claim the title of crowd favorite if he came out dressed as his elderly alter ego, Uncle Drew.” [Benjamin Hoffman/Off the Dribble].

Kyrie Irving is awesome.

Tony Allen is a beast. “He gets assigned to sharpshooters, slashers, post-up guys, three-point specialists and quick dribblers and asked to keep them all in check. There are no nights off from defense for Allen, no breathers. Every team brings a guard or small forward who knows how to score and sometimes Allen will even find himself dealing with power forwards and point guards to bail out teammates who can’t handle them.

“He reminds me at times of a free safety in football,” said Chris Wallace, the Grizzlies’ general manager, “with his ability to zero in and focus on the ball. He’s all about getting the ball back.”

Here’s what else sets him apart: Allen owns an extensive video library with footage of almost every guard and small forward and watches it constantly. He calls it “going to the movies” and it’s a pregame ritual.

“If you check, my fingerprints might be on every player in the league,” he says.

This is a tale of defense and how it’s played (and not played) in the NBA. And while we’re on the subject, we need to clarify about Allen: there are better shot-blockers and perimeter defenders and on-ball defenders and defenders with quicker hands. He just happens to combine all of the above. And perhaps no one places more importance on defense or treats it like a science as he does because, if not for defense, he knows he wouldn’t be in the league. He’s an average-sized guard at 6-4 and 210 with average skills who has survived eight years in the NBA with a career scoring average of 7.8 points.” [Shaun Powell/Sports on Earth].

The Jay Williams/Yao Ming draft debate was pretty intense, crazy to think neither is in the league eleven years later. “The leg resembled a map of Williams’s lost years: remnants of 10-plus operations; marks from the 100 staples; a scar that ran from pelvis to ankle; smaller divots from the numerous knee scopes. Williams sustained a total knee dislocation in the accident. He tore every ligament. He dislocated his pelvis. He ripped through a nerve in his left foot that took a year to regenerate, the pain comparable to that of childbirth, so severe it would wake Williams in the middle of the night. He severed an artery. He tore the hamstring from the bone.

As he lay in the hospital, his leg atrophied. He lost muscle, then tone, until the leg withered away and looked to Williams like a pencil, or a toothpick. Doctors told Williams he might never again be able to get an erection, despite all the pictures of scantily clad, beautiful women his friends jokingly left during hospital visits.

“It looked similar to wounds I’ve seen from military men and women, coming back from battle,” said Jason Gauvin, one of Williams’s physical therapists, who now owns and runs Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy in Durham. “Like he had been hit by an I.E.D., with multiple severe injuries at the hip, knee and ankle joints.”” [Greg Bishop/New York Times]