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 email@example.com.
Looking forward to the NBA draft already? “Assuming he enters the draft, Kidd-Gilchrist will be one of the youngest available players. Turning 19 next September, he’s 13 months younger than fellow freshman Austin Rivers. He already has an NBA build at 6’7” tall and 210 lbs. Combined with his athleticism and on-court intensity, it’s understandable why he was a top 4 player in his high school class. The plus skill he has right now is his defense, as he’s capable of guarding three or four positions. He is an aggressive offensive player, able to put the ball on the floor in the half court or running a fast break. Possessing quality rebounding skills, decent passing, and a high level of maturity – there is a lot to like from a guy who just turned 18.
The two primary areas that still need developed in his game are his jump shooting and ball protection. A hitch in his jump shot is a critique in scouting reports; this is supported based on the three Kentucky games I’ve watched. He was 2 for 10-ish shooting from outside 15 feet against Kansas, St. Johns and Indiana. On a positive note, he is making 74% of his free throws and was decent from the charity stripe in high school. Turnovers are another concern; he’s averaging 2.7 a game on approximately 22% of his used possessions. This is improvable though for an athletic eighteen year old with legitimate small forward size, already reasonably willing & capable of handling the ball in the half court and in transition. Many college newcomers have struggled with turnovers while adjusting to the games higher level of speed and athleticism.
For a better idea of what Kidd-Gilchrist brings to the table; I’ve watched three Kentucky games so far this season. One game I didn’t see was UK’s December 3rd victory over North Carolina. That’s too bad for me, because Kidd-Gilchrist was apparently excellent, leading Kentucky with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tasked with guarding potential top 3 pick Harrison Barnes, he helped turn Barnes into a role player. Barnes made only a single two-point field goal and shot zero free throws en route to a 14 point, 2 rebound, 0 assist showing.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]
Exploring the Tribe line-up in the likely event of injuries- “We tend to focus on Sizemore’s injury risk (for good reason), but neither of our other projected starting outfielders have positive injury histories. Both Choo and Brantley spent periods on the DL last season, each player ending the season there. Out backup OF depth is much less certain than our middle infield depth. Shelley Duncan should get semi-regular ABs even with a healthy quartet of OFers, but any scenario that sees him playing the field on a daily basis is likely to be a negative defensively. He has only logged 156 innings in RF, and his 574 innings in LF are enough to suggest his range is subpar. He has the arm to fill in on either side, though. Behind Duncan on the 40-man roster are the inspiring due of Ezequiel Carrera and Thomas Neal. Carrera should be better, both in the field and at the plate, than he showed last year, but his value is clearly not as a starter. There is not much to say about Neal except that his 2011 was dreadful, and part of a 2-year decline from his oustanding 2009 campaign in high-A. In other words, he seems like one of the more likely replacement spots on the 40-man roster. In terms of OFers, the two non-roster players vying for this spot at the moment would be Trevor Crowe and Felix Pie. Crowe is a known commodity at this point, with the added caveat of having gone through significant injury problems of late. Pie is more of an unknown for Cleveland, but has shown across more than 1000 major league plate appearances that he is good at getting out. His defensive numbers highlight how difficult it is to interpret UZR numbers. He has logged more than 1000 ML-innings in CF, grading out as average to slightly above average across the board. Sounds nice…but he has also logged more than 1200 innings in LF and has graded out there, seemingly an easier position, as dreadful, driven entirely by extremely poor range. So…acceptable range in CF but atrocious range in LF.” [Let’s Go Tribe]
Looking at what the Cavaliers do well- “While the team was on its way to such a poor record they also proved to be equally as bad on both ends of the court. The Cavs finished the season ranked 29th on both offense and defense based on their points scored and allowed per 100 possessions. They ended up scoring 102.2 points (ahead of only Milwaukee) per 100 possessions and surrendered 111.8 (ahead of only Toronto). In doing more deep research on the team, I found the something that they actually did well was get to the free throw line and keep their opponents off the stripe. Today, we’ll take a look at the offensive end of that.
In some important offensive statistical categories, the team finished 25th in offensive rebound %, 15th in turnover %, and a lowly 28th in effective Field Goal percentage. For those of you who are new to those statistics, ORB% is the percentage of your own misses that your team grabs, TO% is the percentage of your possessions which end in turnovers and eFG% is a percentage that adjusts to show that a 3-pt FG is worth more than a 2-pt one.” [Fear the Sword]
Speculating the starting line-up- “What the Cavaliers eventually do with the SG and PF positions respectively will go a long way towards determining how they view this upcoming season. If you want to open the year feeling most comfortable about your chances to win right now then I guess AP and Antawn fill out those starting spots; even though they’re in no way part of this rebuilding effort long-term. If you want to roll the ball out, take your lumps, see what happens, and start four first round draft picks all 23-years old or younger, you have the option of starting Eyenga and Tristan alongside those other three guys.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]
Finally, video of the NBA All-Star game introductions from Cleveland in 1997. (Garnett still playing!) [Rebuilding Since 1964]