July 30, 2014

John Wall on Kyrie Irving: “I’m more of a point guard that likes to get his teammates involved”

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If you thought that Kyrie Irving would forever be compared to Detroit-turned-Milwaukee guard Brandon Knight, think again. The Cavaliers All-Star point guard has a new peer in fellow All-Star John Wall of the Washington Wizards who wishes to get in on this discussion. Wall and his team got the best of the Cavaliers on Sunday night with the Wizards guard tallying 21 points and nine assists in the win. Irving, the Eastern Conference’s All-Star starter and game’s eventual MVP (much to the chagrin of Wizards fans—RIVALRY!), provided a run-of-the-mill 15 points (on 6-of-17 shooting) with five assists.

Wall, who was taken first overall in 2010, was asked about his game, the most recent round in what is bound to be a career-long duel.

“It’s always tough [facing Kyrie],” Wall said following the game. “Everybody wants to know who is the best young point guard and who’s the best guy in the Eastern Conference. We both do things great for our team. He’s probably a better offensive guy, skill-wise, and can basically take over games with his skills. I’m more of a point guard that likes to get his teammates involved and am blessed with the talents and abilities to get hot and able to score the ball. Guys look at every time we play as a marquee matchup, so everybody is going to be tuned in for the next couple of years.”

The Cavs kept it close with much of the second quarter being a back-and-forth, blow-for-blow contest, but the Wizards would pull away in the second half as the Wine and Gold managed to shoot just 26 percent from the floor. Cleveland was, once again, without Dion Waiters (who continues to nurse a hyperextended knee). Jarrett Jack, the team’s starting shooting guard, was just 3-for-11 from the floor, providing a minus-15 on the evening. Whatever “marquee” there was hoisted above this Sunday evening event, Jack ensured that the letters were dangling like a shoddy 7-Eleven by game’s end.

Irving, like his fellow backcourt mate, struggled through most of the contest. While Wall was banking in three-point buzzer-beaters, Irving (who previously averaged 30.7 points and 7.7 assists through the first three games against the Wizards) shot 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter with his only two points came at the free-throw line. He also didn’t have any assists.

“Time is of the essence right now, especially when we want to do something special,” said Irving. “We only have 26 games left to do it. There just needs to be a better sense of urgency, including from myself. I just have to raise my level, which I will do. We still have a goal in mind that we want to accomplish and we’re going to do everything in our power to do it.”

Kyrie Irving is not a superstar

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A superstar is supposed to be someone transcendent, someone who dominates, someone who makes everyone around them better. LeBron James is a superstar. Chris Paul is a superstar. Kyrie Irving is not.

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Cavs Friday Five: Would you rather? Cavs and Wizards edition

Kyrie John WallIt’s tough to be a Cavalier fan these days. Real tough. They could very well be the worst team in all of the Association. Sure, their 4-8 record puts them only a half game behind Detroit for the 8 seed, but as I sat in The Q and looked up to see The Diff read -26 against a 3-7 Wizards team coming off a back to back while the Cavs had just enjoyed three days off I found it hard to imagine things could get much worse. Honestly they really can’t. Either the team gets better and creeps back in the playoff race or they tank and earn themselves a shot at landing a franchise changing lottery pick. [Read more...]

The Boots: NBA Draft Lottery, John Wall and winning streaks

byron scott disappointmentIn my usual half-rapid fire, half-prose form, I’m here today with another edition of The Boots. Again, for those unfamiliar with this feature, I assign loosely defined “Boot Up” or “Boot Down” votes to trending topics in the sports world. I’m feeling some Tuesday basketball talk today.

Boot Up: #TankStrong — Stop me if you’ve heard this in the past few weeks: There’s an incredible logjam in the No. 3-11 spots in the NBA Draft Lottery positioning right now. With the abysmal Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic clearly landing the No. 1 and No. 2 best odds, in some order, the bulk of the rest of the lottery is still very much up in the air with three weeks to go.

In an effort to break down the end-of-season standings that will determine the probabilistic odds related to the NBA Draft Lottery, here’s a quick-ish look at these intriguing nine teams: [Read more...]

Cleveland Cavaliers Welcome Old Friends Washington Wizards For Season Opener

I love opening day of any sport.

I’ve discussed this point ad nauseam, but there’s nothing like that feeling of the unknown. Staring at a blank canvas, and yeah, you’re limited to the colors in your palette, but the possibilities are endless. The season could be anything.

Basketball, of course, is a bit of a different animal though. In baseball, you have a 162 game marathon of a season where injuries, bullpen strength, lucky hitting, etc. are all varying factors that essentially mean anything can happen. In football, you see it happen every year. Some team that is “playoff lock” falters and some team makes a rise from last to first. We just pray that it can be our year1. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. of course, in Cleveland it never is []

While We’re Waiting… Kyrie vs. Wall, Fickell Hiring Vrabel, and Cleveland’s Big Three

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

The Wall vs Irving comparison- “Kyrie Irving looked to be the much better college basketball player in his brief stint. As Beckley so often says, he played “a perfect 11 games.” I watched most of these, and was struck by the athleticism that many draftniks find lacking. Irving burned opponents on coast-to-coast drives with a control that looked effortless. He attacked with a methodical violence, often shifting pace like a pitcher changing speeds. In stylistic contrast, John Wall attacked with a predictable straight-line velocity that blurred my HD feed, but compromised Wall’s ability to keep possession. To continue the cross-sport analogy, Wall was a flame-thrower who struggled at taming his 103 MPH heaters into the strike zone.

Scouts prefer the latter skillset and they could be right. I recall not being impressed by Derrick Rose, the college player, and look at what young Derrick has already become in the NBA. Rose produced lukewarm NCAA stats, but did so with an athletic flair that draftniks correctly recognized as valuable. Wall is thought to be the next Rose and he did little to dispel such notions as a rookie. Injuries nagged an otherwise solid year and I have high expectations for his future. But I don’t think Wall will be better than Irving, a player Chad Ford compares to Mo Williams.” [Strauss/Hoopspeak.com]

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Cavs Take Another Step Back in Loss to Wizards

After Cavalier fans celebrated Friday night’s win as if it were a Game 7 of a playoff series, the winless-on-the-road Washingon Wizards promptly came into town and pulled the celebration rug out from underneath the Cavs’ collective feet.

Fortunately, Cleveland can only sit here and ponder the potential for the consecutive loss streak continuing on through this day as it took an overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers (another woeful road team who just so happened to be in the middle of a 10-game trip).  But following Sunday night’s 115-100 loss to the Wizards, it’s fairly evident that this team has inner battles with entitlement that could be deeply rooted to some point in the last seven years.

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Colin Cowherd: “Cleveland is Close”

Fresh off of yesterday’s berating of Washington’s John Wall and all things “Dougie,” ESPN’s version of a shock jock Colin Cowherd wrapped up an NFL segment earlier today by heaping praise on Eric Mangini and the Cleveland Browns.

Yes, praise.  On Cleveland. From Cowherd.  Crazy, I know.

Discussing fireable offenses,  mostly lead by chief of all underachievers in Dallas’ Wade Phillips, Cowherd went on a brief tangent that claimed Cleveland is only a few player away from being at the “top of the league.”

“Everybody buried Eric Mangini,” said Cowherd.  “That team, give Mangini some credit.  They play hard.  Cleveland thinks I hate Cleveland, but they are about four players in the right spot from being, like, excellent.  Like top of the league.  Cleveland is close, man.” [Read more...]

The New Four Horsemen: LeBron, Wall, Calipari, and Worldwide Wes?

First, a disclaimer – I think Kentucky Men’s Basketball coach John Calipari is a complete slime-ball, used car salesman cheater. He seems like a nice guy in interviews, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is dirty.

Lebron James spent his off day Saturday afternoon sitting courtside at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY with his good buddy/advisor William Wesley, aka World Wide Wes, watching Lebron’s “friend,” John Wall and the Kentucky Wildcats crush the Vanderbilt Commodores 85-72.

Lebron was the “Y” in the celebratory “Kentucky” cheer on the floor in front of over 23,000 adoring fans. They adore Lebron all of a sudden because the man they now treat as a God, Calipari, says so. [Read more...]