July 28, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Still giddy about Cavs’ opening victory

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Great read from the fantastic Opening Night victory: “Cleveland was the most thirsty place on the planet last night. There’s a pain, but also a power to that. It makes you cheer for violence and other things you are normally against. You sit among the thugs, you are them. You are thinking unspeakable thoughts. It’s if a boat has landed full of us on a beachfront. We are exploding with glazed eyes and savage ideation. And the season begins.” [Cleveland Jackson/Stepien Rules]

An All-Star crew of Cavs writers just combined for a new stats-based website. You should go check it out ASAP: “Much of APM’s usefulness comes from deriving value out of the actions that do not show up in a box score, a lot of which is defense. But in a world where box score derived measures rule, is value being lost by undervaluing the less sexy end of the court? I will start investigating that today, then expand in future articles, using both APM and regularized APM.” [Kevin Hetrick/Got Buckets]

Speaking of stats, yikes, this Cavs-Nets shooting chart is absolutely terrifying. How, again, did the Cavs hold Brooklyn to 40% shooting? [Kirk Goldsberry/Grantland]

And one more NBA stats article, because THIS IS FASCINATING: “Barring any last-minute glitches, hoops fans will have access, starting on Friday, to such passing stats, and a whole new set of data delivering new layers of insight into basketball. On NBA.com’s expanded statistics page, fans will be able to see and sort info from STATS LLC’s SportVU Player Tracking system.” [Sean Gregory/TIME.com]

If Andrew Bynum can keep doing what he did in 8 minutes on Thursday, the Cavs suddenly look scary good: “The immediate impact of a healthy Bynum could be a shakeup in the East, with the Cavaliers having developed a solid core built around All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, as well as power forward Tristan Thompson and guard Dion Waiters, plus No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and free-agent signees Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark. Plop Bynum into the middle of that mix, and the Cavs go from a possible playoff team to a team fighting to crack the Top 5 in the East.” [Sean Deveney/Sporting News]

Too bad the editors took out the drunken stories, as this mailbag is a bit too intense on the Cavs side. It’s still very good: “Yeah it probably was, but ultimately every single MVP chant that happens before March or April is. So while I dislike the chant I don’t think it’s any different than chanting MVP for Kevin Durant last night. It’s an absolutely silly concept that I wouldn’t miss at all.” [Sam Vecenie/Fear The Sword]

Following up on Kirk’s post yesterday about Chief Wahoo: “For decades, there’s been debate in Cleveland, in the Cleveland Indians organization and in the larger sports world over the team’s “Chief Wahoo” logo. I won’t link to it here, but you probably know it – it’s a cartoon drawn in 1951 of a grinning Indian brave, with bright red skin and a fat, bulbous nose. It looks like an animated image of Hirohito from WWII or a black person in some 1930s cartoon short. Outside of its familiar context, it’s really pretty shocking. But after sixty years of using it in one form or another, many Indians fans are understandably attached to it.” [Jesse Thorn/Put This On]

With Chris Perez taken care of, this player is the other big question mark of the 2013 offseason: “What’s the best thing that can be done with Asdrubal Cabrera? The Indians shortstop, who rose to fame in 2007 during the Indians last play-off appearance, has come into recent seasons increasingly out of shape and looking like he’s ready to watch the game instead of play it. However, he has always surprised by delivering performances worthy of All-Star seasons in 2011 and 2012. Coming in to 2013, Cabrera was in some if the best shape he has been in. It seemed like the making of another All-Star season.” [Laurel Wilder/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Finally, here’s an incredibly detailed Browns defense stats article at the mid-way point of the NFL season. [Mike Krupka/Dawgs By Nature]

  • Harv 21

    “Bynum’s knees have been troublesome since he was in high school, and it
    is likely they’ll be a disaster waiting to happen for as long as he is
    in the NBA. His appearance on Wednesday was a surprise, though, and at
    the very least, it gives Cavs fans reason to hope that something big is
    on the horizon.”

    Exactly right. What an impact on the players, fans and organizational psyche if the Cavs start beating good teams because Bynum starts giving them 20 momentum-changing minutes a night. And Mike Brown has this career head case right where he wants him: in an unknown chasm between maybe the last decent NBA bucks he can make if the knees blow again and a zillion bucks if he can just return to form, salute the coach and keep his man-child thoughts to himself for a year and a half. With only $6m guaranteed, this is the best sort of team win-win.

  • mgbode

    perfect. someone mentioned yesterday how it was a shame that his career has veered the way it has. for him, sure. for us, it ended up being a perfect storm to get him on our team and likely playing with a career desperation to prove he deserves a monumental contract in 2 years (as we have him relatively cheap until then).

  • mgbode

    awesome article by Krupka.