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“There are obviously some mitigating factors. The Cavs are young, and young players are generally overmatched on defense in their first couple of years in the NBA. Starting Tyler Zeller at center is a big disadvantage; bullies can push him around, and like most rookies, he has found NBA-level help-and-recover stuff confusing.
But the lack of improvement in the big picture is alarming. Kyrie Irving is almost no better in Year 2 than he was in Year 1 (which is to say, he’s not good), and there is just a general lack of coordination to Cleveland’s defense that would worry me if I worked for the team. The Cavs can usually execute the first step of help defense without any problems, but the steps that must take place behind that first line of defense are a complete mess. Nobody helps the helper at the right time, guys are way out of position, miscommunication is rampant, and teams generally score easily against them.” [Lowe/Grantland]
“Mobile data traffic is exploding, particularly in high-traffic areas such as Major League Baseball ballparks,” Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Qualcomm, said in a statement. “Qualcomm has been preparing for an astounding 1000x increase in data demand, and we are leading the charge with MLBAM to provide passionate baseball fans with access to digital content, resulting in unparalleled in-ballpark experiences.”
The rise of smartphones and always-connected consumers sharing experiences on social networks has had a massive effect in how live sports are watched — at home, on the move, and at the events themselves.” [Lunden/Tech Crunch]
“Weeden is capable of making big-time NFL throws, but they came too few and far between in 2012. Besides being 29 and having mostly defined reads in last year’s system, the leading concern with Weeden is that he’s very methodical in everything he does. He must get quicker in his drop, then speed up his mechanics and, most importantly, his reads. A quarterback can’t have success staring down his primary receiver.
It’s amazing that no pundits were vociferously disappointed in Richardson’s extremely mediocre rookie campaign. His burst was evident at times, when he was healthy, but too often the highest-touted back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson was less than 100 percent and ineffective. In fact, there were even occasions where Cleveland’s offense was noticeably livelier with Hardesty in the backfield.” [Benoit/Football Outsiders]
“Guys, look it. The sample size is incredibly small, but Reynolds has landed in Cleveland with gusto. And it’s not just baseball: I mean, here are five things Reynolds did last night cooler than anything Chuck Norris or the Dos Equis guy have ever done ever: 1) Mark Reynolds went back in time to give Adolf Hitler a high-five and then pulled his hand away at the last second, just to piss Hitler off.” [Allard/Scene]
“I have seen enough, and I don’t need for Lou Marson to wind up in a hospital to know this must stop. Marson is lucky, and the rest of baseball is stone silent today rather than outraged or deeply reflective simply because of Marson’s dumb luck. Marson is the Cleveland Indians catcher who Saturday happened to be holding a baseball, stock still, as Desmond Jennings of the Tampa Bay Rays, after gathering about 80 feet of full-speed energy, plowed into him — his tucked shoulder smashing into Marson’s helmet — on what otherwise was an obvious out play at home plate.
The jolt knocked the helmet and mask from Marson’s head. He lurched backward and fell. Marson’s unprotected head slammed against the ground. (He held on to the ball for the out.) Incredibly, after a brief examination by medical professionals, the Indians allowed Marson to stay in the game. They removed him the next inning, announcing that he suffered only a strained neck.” [Verducci/SI]