August 15, 2014

All the numbers on new Cleveland star Kevin Love

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves

Analyzing the statistics on the soon-to-be-acquired power forward

Where does Kevin Love rank in the NBA’s elite class?

Confidently, I’d say he’s a top-12 player. In case you haven’t done this exercise in a while, it is indeed very difficult to rank NBA players. We know pretty well that the top three are LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. From there … there are lots of possible directions one could go, both anecdotally and statistically.

ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton ($) recently argued that Love is a current top-five player. For me, that seems a bit too high too soon. Love is only 25 years old, after all1. He’s only a three-time All-Star. He missed most of 2012-13 and was inefficient when he played that season. He’s at best a purely average defensive player. Is he that concretely better and more dominant than Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard AND Anthony Davis? He’s maybe better than some, but not likely all. That’s why I prefer to say top-12 with confidence. And I hope to explain why in this post. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Here’s your scary reminder that Durant is three weeks younger than Love, but we never use age as an excuse for his ranking. []

Cavaliers Still Searching For First Road Win of the Season

Dion Waiters vs Minnesota“Are the Cavaliers at home or on the road tonight?”

If you ever find yourself pondering this question, there’s a simple exercise to help you figure out the answer.

Step 1: Look at a Calendar and notice the month

Step 2: If the calendar says “November” the Cavaliers are almost certainly playing on the road.

The end. The Cavaliers are basically living out of suitcases in November thanks to an unfriendly schedule draw to start the season. On Wednesday night the Cavaliers must travel north to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for what feels like about the 20th road game of the season1. While playing on the road obviously isn’t preferred over playing at home, it certainly isn’t the end of the world for most teams. For the Cavaliers, it has been.

The Cavaliers join the Utah Jazz as the only 0-5 teams on the road this season2. Cleveland could certainly use a road win to get this monkey off their back, but breaking the streak in Minnesota is no small task. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. it’s actually “only” the 6th road game of the season []
  2. there are a few 0-3 road teams as well…Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, and Memphis…Orlando is 0-4 on the road []

While We’re Waiting…Kevin Love and the Cavs, and Nick Swisher is a character (literally)

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.


“Braxton Miller’s 2012 was more than nice as he led the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 season on the way to capturing the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award and the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football as the league’s MVP.

But the franchise isn’t resting on his laurels. Via Twitter comes news that he’s currently working with renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego.

The Massillon native, through his training programWhitfield Football, has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the game today, a list that includes Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, and Tajh Boyd.” [Priestas/Eleven Warriors] [Read more...]

WFNY Discussion: Dion Waiters’ shooting at the rim

As you may know from being a WFNY reader, the WFNY writers have a daily email chain that can linger on and on. Sometimes, we’ll discuss prom jokes and other unsurprisingly immature topics for a group of 10+ males. But also, we really have some great discussions off the cuff about sports. Today, we bring you inside the WFNY email thread for a stats-based discussion about Cavs rookie Dion Waiters.

Jacob: Here’s your stat of the day y’all: (Source: HoopData as of games played on 12/10)

Of all 174 NBA players with at least 35 FGAs at the rim this season, Dion Waiters ranks LAST in shooting percentage at the rim at 41.2% (28-68). The average of these 174 players is 64.7% (44.6-69.0). The average of the 59 guards in this list is 60.9% (40.3-66.2).

Of the 59 guards, Waiters ranks in the top-fifth (No. 11) with 15.7 FGAs per 36 minutes.
Of the 59 guards, Waiters ranks in the upper-half (No. 23) with 4.5 FGAs at the rim per 36 minutes.
Of the 59 guards, Waiters ranks in the bottom-eighth (No. 8) with a 44.5% efg. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns Plan B, Shelly Duncan Starting, Rubio Out For The Season and OSU’s Rematch with Sparty

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.

Good luck, Browns. No pressure or anything. “Yes, RG3 would have been a dynamic player at a position where the Browns desperately needs to improve if they want to compete. But he was not and is not the only option when it comes to solving the 13-year long quarterback conundrum.

First, there is free agency, which begins at 4 p.m. on March 13. PeytonManning is the biggest prize, but Browns have said they are not interested in his services.

They will look into Matt Flynn. Flynn only has impressed in two-career NFL starts under his belt in Green Bay. He is looked upon as the answer at the quarterback position for teams struggling in that area. The Browns surely fall in that category.

If Manning goes to Arizona, suddenly Kevin Kolb becomes available. Kolb did not have a great first season with the Cardinals, but he is considered a perfect fit in the West Coast offense.

There is still the draft, where quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins andBrandon Weeden are options.

Finally, the third option resides: Stick with Colt McCoy.” [Don Delco/Orange and Brown Report]

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Getting to Know Randy Lerner, Irving 4th Best Rookie and Buckeye Scholarships

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.

 

OUTSTANDING profile of Randy Lerner done by WFNY friend Vince G.- “Not to belabor the point, but the Browns and Randy Lerner believe in what they are doing. “We are not beleaguered, we are not going to lay down, this is not business as usual,” says Lerner. “We are working hard to turn around this f****** nightmare.” When offered the opportunity to share a message with the team’s fans, Lerner says only this: “It’s a massive privilege to be in the position I am with the Browns. A massive privilege.”

Browns fans just hope that Lerner has it right this time, that he can finally wake his team and his city from the nightmare that never seems to end.” [Grzegorek/Scene] [Read more...]

Hollinger: Kyrie Irving Currently Top Candidate for Rookie of the Year

The Ricky Rubio love is tough to avoid. Just turn on ESPN or flick through a Twitter feed littered with NBA analyst types and you’ll start speaking Spanish in no time. 

Thankfully, ESPN’s John Hollinger manages to use statistics and facts rather than glitz and glam. In Thursday afternoon’s PER Diem, Hollinger delves into the current NBA rookies to provide the first of what will likely be many updates on the race for Rookie of the Year honors. 

At numero uno…

1. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland

Irving wasn’t exactly a risk-free No. 1 pick given that he’d played only 11 games as a collegian, but among rookies with more than 100 minutes he’s first in PER and has the Cavs (4-5) unexpectedly pondering playoff contention in a soft Eastern Conference.

It probably helps that Irving’s coach, Byron Scott, coached another pretty good rookie point guard, Chris Paul, when Scott ran the Hornets. As with that team, Irving has a lot of freedom to operate and it shows in his usage rate, which is the highest of any rookie.

But he is making good decisions for the most part — aside from his bizarre befuddlement by the defensive might of the Toronto Raptors — and is coming off back-to-back 20-point games in which he made more than half his shots. Irving has played more as a scorer than as a distributor thus far and, like virtually every rookie point guard, has suffered at times from the plague of turnovers. Nonetheless, he’s been the best player in this class so far, and the amazing part is that he doesn’t turn 20 ’til March. With no Griffin around to make a mockery of the rookie race from Day 1, Irving is the favorite to be the best of several pretty good players.

And to think, this was published before his career night.

[Related: Kyrie Irving is the Next...]

Cavs Bounce Back From Toronto Loss, Win Over Wolves

The Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 4-3 last night with an impressive road win over the young and improving Minnesota Timberwolves. Byron Scott’s club methodically ground down the Wolves over the first three plus quarters, building an 18 point lead in the fourth and cruising comfortably to their second road win of the season. The Cavaliers took the lead in the final minute of the first quarter and, aside from the few short runs by the Wolves, never really looked back.

Much of the hype coming into the game focused on the rookie point guard matchup between Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Irving, along with veteran Ramon Sessions, got the better of the Minny backcourt all evening. Irving finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists from the starting point guard spot. The rookie had a season-high turnover night, however, giving it away seven times. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns Injuries, Asdrubal Cabrera’s Contract, Kobe on Mike Brown

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.

Updates on Browns injuries fresh from yesterday’s press conference, beginning with a look at this intriguing backup: “Running back Brandon Jackson passed his exit physical after being placed on the injured reserve in the preseason with turf toe. That means he will be ready to go for the team’s offseason programs, and if the team doesn’t re-sign Peyton Hillis, he would become the team’s starting running back.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

A local TV station blog post petitions for McCoy to remain as the QB: “So, here it is: Colt McCoy’s stats are BETTER than four Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks– all of whom won Super Bowls — after 16 starts in the NFL. Even BETTER than two former Browns heroes who played QB.” [Tim Misson/News Net 5] [Read more...]

Cavs’ Eyenga Signs Three-Year Deal… In Spain?

Christian EyengaThough unconfirmed at this point, reports are circulating that recent first-round selection Christian Eyenga has inked a three-year deal with the Spanish DKV Joventut – the team most notable for point guard Ricky Rubio.

When Eyenga was drafted, many fans claimed that the selection was for the future.  The plan seemed to be that if the Cavaliers drafted a raw, foreign player, he could stay overseas for the short-term and not be a burden in any way on the team’s salary cap.

Eyenga then suited up for the Cavaliers’ summer league team, and turned a few heads with his very athletic play.  The main argument against the native of Congo was that he had periods where he would look like the best player on the floor, and then follow them up with moments where he looked like he had never played organized basketball before in his life.  The team began to feel that if he could be put on an NBA training program, especially in the weight training area, that he could add muscle and become even more explosive.

[Read more...]