August 26, 2014

The Problem With Prognosticating The Cavaliers Season

I’ve certainly invested no shortage of words in trying to figure out just how much worse the Cavaliers will be this season compared to the last couple years. I’m hardly alone. This is the season of previews and predictions, and everyone seems to have trouble agreeing on what kind of record we should expect from the Cavaliers this season.

For most teams, it seems like most of the predictions are in a general state of agreement with the range of predicted wins often fitting within about a 5 win window, although it extends to 8-10 wins for some teams. The Cavaliers, however, have a much larger window of expected wins across the different sources I’ve read.

Vegas lists the Cavaliers’ over/under at 30.5 wins, with the under paying anywhere from (-130) to (-140) while the over is at an even +100. Yahoo!’s Kelly Dwyer gave his now infamous prediction of 12 wins for this team, setting the floor, while the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto posted the ceiling with a prediction of 46 wins. That’s a swing of 34 wins. Heck, even among just the staff of the Plain Dealer there’s a swing of 16 wins, from Bill Livingston’s prediction of 30 wins to Pluto’s 46. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… More on LeBron/Dwight, All-Americans, and Previewing the Tribe

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

A rebuttal of sorts to yesterday’s Dwight Howard remarks: “It’s not entirely fair to pick on Van Gundy for something he said when he’s answering a question honestly. So, let’s just say we respectfully disagree with an implication from one of his statements in Orlando Tuesday. Van Gundy was doing what he should, and that was defending his guy Dwight Howard for MVP consideration. But he got a little offensive when he said: “It is just an offensive award.” [...] Of course James is noticed for his offense, as he should be. Entering Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee, the Cleveland Cavliers’ star led the league in scoring (29.8 points) and is averaging a career-high 8.6 assists per game, sixth-best in the league.

Ahead of him are only All-Star point guards (Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd). James is the only forward in the top 15 in assists. There’s more. James is .2 from averaging 30 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. The only players who did that in NBA history? Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan.

James is averaging nearly 30 points while shooting 50.5 percent. He ís the only guy in the top eight in scoring above 50 percent — and the web site reports that 65 percent of those shots are jump shots.  Finally, James has assisted or scored on 49.4 percent of his team’s points. Only two players in NBA history had higher percentages, Tiny Archibald and John Stockton.

James is not just having a great season; he’s having an all-timer.” [Pat McManamon/NBA FanHouse]

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Great Dates In Cleveland Sports History

Cactus League StandingsRemember this day, Indians fans. At least keep it stored in your back pocket for use on a tough day in the future. On this day, March 11, 2010, the Cleveland Indians are the only undefeated team in all of Spring Training. Take a good look at the standings there, and commit this to memory. It might be the only time this team feels this good.

Baseball Prospectus is famous for their PECOTA system of predictions projections regarding not only individual players, but also deciphering predicted projected run differential to figure out expected win total for the season. Of course they’re not perfect (otherwise we wouldn’t even have to watch the games), but they do a better-than-you-might-expect job of projecting where teams will finish. Then again, they’ve projected the Indians to contend in the Central each of the last 4 years and, uh, well, they’ve been flat wrong 3 of the 4 years. So you never really know, but for what it’s worth, they project the Indians to finish 80-82 this year.   [Read more...]

Andy Marte: Brandon Phillips 2.0?

Andy MarteMy feelings towards what Brandon Phillips has done since his departure down Route 71 couldn’t be more apparent over the course of the last several weeks.  For the last few years, I’ve sat back and hoped that the kid that never seemed to progress in Cleveland was just a fluke in Cincinnati.  I mean, he was once one of the top prospects in the bigs and was the key compensation in the trade of Bartolo Colon - you know, the one that also brought along Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore?  Yes, that one.

But Phillips, how could he do so well in Triple-A but not at the next level?  In 2004, Phillips hit .303 with 34 doubles, and eight home runs while stealing 14 bases.  But when he came up to Cleveland for the end of the season, we barely saw an average over .200 with six total home runs in three separate stints.  He obviously wasn’t going to mature into the player everyone had assumed. 

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