August 26, 2014

The Diff: Did #NBARank actually overrate Kyrie Irving?

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote about an estimate of Kirk Goldsberry’s new ShotScore statistic. This week, I’m writing about arbitrary player ranking systems, for some odd reason.

The Diff

#NBARank is a fabulous concept. It’s scientifically proven that people love lists … just ask BuzzFeed. And what else should ESPN.com do in the usually unexciting waning moments of the NBA preseason? Either way, the 215-person forecast panel has done a fairly good job over the last two years. There are always going to be head-scratchers, undoubtedly. Yet now, I’m left wondering this question: Is Kyrie Irving suddenly overrated after being ranked #8 in this year’s edition? [Read more...]

2013 NBA Draft Lottery – Cavs win! Nerlens Noel, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh? – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-22

WFNY Podcast LogoScott joined me for about 20 minutes to discuss the Cavaliers goings on since winning the NBA draft lottery last night. Here’s what we talked about more specifically.

  • The turmoil of having the first overall pick in the draft

  • What do you think about the trade down cuteness?

  • Due diligence and just how little fans and media can do

  • Nerlens Noel and how good he needs to be in order for Grant to justify taking him

  • Do you trust Chris Grant to avoid the tendency to chase height and need?

  • Kevin Love and how unavailable he really is

  • James Harden wasn’t available until he was either

  • Lamarcus Aldridge and his availability

  • Marc Gasol and his ability to be moved

  • Chris Bosh’s name and how nobody has talked about it yet

  • Free agency pool and who you would look at in free agency

  • Zach Lowe’s critique of the NBA lottery event and the Cavs

  • Players and how goofy they look on the dais [Read more...]

Conley, Gasol, Third Quarter Woes Too Much For Recovering Cavaliers

conleykyrieThe Cavaliers have a virus that has infiltrated nearly the entire team. It has caused nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, a veritable Pepto-Bismol antagonist that has plagued the team for some time now.

No, I’m not talking about the flu that has stricken Tyler Zeller, Dion Waiters, Daniel Gibson, and trainer Max Benton among others. The sickness that I’m recalling is the third quarter basketball from the wine and gold.

For the third straight game, the young Cavaliers came out of the locker room at half utterly disinterested and nearly catatonic. The Grizzlies sprung a 10-0 run to open the half on the Cavs, and it gave them the lead for good in this game as a 3-point halftime lead was erased and replaced by a Memphis-controlled second half where the Cavs’ fourth quarter magic wasn’t enough this time to pardon their third quarter crimes.

[Read more...]

Cleveland Cavaliers End Latest Road Trip in Memphis Tonight

The Cleveland Cavaliers had an interesting Thanksgiving weekend. Last Wednesday they got things started with a big win at home against Philadelphia to end their losing streak. Jeremy Pargo had an absolutely insane breakout game in filling in for Kyrie Irving.

Unfortunately, the Cavaliers had to follow that up with another road trip. This one a three-game trip, and they have already lost the first two. Now they have to recover and try to beat one of the best teams in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies.

The good news for the Cavaliers is that they’ve been playing pretty decent basketball without Kyrie. I know, giving up 108+ points in consecutive losses hardly sounds like decent basketball, but really, it hasn’t been so bad. The team has stepped up and been able to get really even scoring distribution and have had their chances to win each of the last two games.

In fact, against the Heat the Cavaliers had eight (EIGHT!) players score in double digits and picked up 21 assists to just 10 turnovers. The problem, as always, is defense. The Cavaliers just can’t help themselves and routinely give up 50%+ from the field and 100+ points like it was nothing. [Read more...]

Bring on Leon

sp_leonpowe_0233a_flDuring last night’s 111-109 overtime loss in Memphis, something was made abundantly clear to me: The Cavaliers under the radar signing of PF Leon Powe will pay big dividends later in the season and into the playoffs.

Late in the fourth quarter and into overtime, the Grizzlies and the Cavs were back and forth exchange leads. It seemed as though neither team could get the necessary stop they needed. That is a disturbing trend considering Mike Brown likes to hang his hat on the defensive end. While his team is going to be a work in progress while he sorts through the Delonte West situation, what to do with Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and keeping the offense flowing, Brown has to be concerned abut what is happening on D.

During the 66-win, 08-09 campaign, it seemed that anytime the Cavs needed a big stop, they got it (minus the Magic series). So far this year, we have seen way too many average teams pick apart the Wine and Gold on the defensive end. Last night was no exception. [Read more...]