While We’re Waiting… Looking for Cavaliers role players

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Great article over at FTS about the specific kind of role player that the Cavaliers need: “This brings up an intriguing question in my mind, because Arron Afflalo is the perfect case study in the value of a “3 and D” player in the NBA. Let’s stop and define “3 and D” players first. In my mind, a pure “3 and D” guy must be able to shoot threes at at least a 38% clip, plus play above-average defense while guarding multiple positions. Most of the time, these guys are swingmen, however I do think that Harrison Barnes may present an interesting case study in the future if he doesn’t improve from this season and stays as a combo forward, playing the small-ball 4.” [Sam Vecenie/Fear The Sword]

Nice look at all the options for the Cavs at No. 1: “The team landed budding superstar Kyrie Irving with the top overall selection in 2011, Tristan Thompson three picks later and Dion Waiters last season. Irving has been a stud, Thompson serviceable and the jury is still out on Waiters who was a questionable pick just one year ago. The one thing that all of this lottery luck hasn’t brought the team thus far? On-court success. And that lack of success in the W-L column is the exact reason why GM Chris Grant needs to hit a home run with this pick. Unfortunately landing the top pick brings expectations that will difficult to fulfill in such a mediocre draft.” [Clayton Crowe/]

Detailed article on the mystery of the Tom Hamilton Facebook page: “In fact, 12,573 people and counting feel the same way I do about Tom Hamilton. The Facebook fan page “Tom Hamilton has the Best Home Run call in all of Baseball” was a haven for those looking to relive great Indians moments over the last few seasons through the sultry sounds of Hamilton. As page creator Ben told me, he “saw a void that Major League Baseball wasn’t filling”. Major League Baseball has held its entire media collection as close to the vest as it possibly can for a long time. It wasn’t until this season that MLB started posting videos on Youtube.” [Adam Burke/The Cleveland Fan]

Always fun to read a Pluto recap after an Indians victory: “Last season, Jimenez was 1-10 with a 6.63 ERA after the All-Star break. His 17 losses led the league, as did his 16 wild pitches. Since coming to the Tribe from Colorado on July 31, 2011, he is 17-24 with a 5.20 ERA, but Francona’s “forget the past” policy seems to have helped Jimenez. He is now 4-3 with a 4.83 ERA. This was the sixth time in seven games that Jimenez has held a team two or fewer runs.” [Terry Pluto/Plain Dealer]

A quick-and-dirty review of May for the Indians: “There was a lot to be happy about this month. The two biggest pleasant surprises: Going 16-8 the first four weeks of the month and the solidification of the starting rotation. Going into this season, the biggest question mark was the starting pitching.” [Susan Petrone/It’s Pronounced “Lajaway”]

This picture of Tim Tebow at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was swell. [Luke Zimmerman/Land-Grant Holy Land]

ESPN is ranking all of the various college basketball programs at their ability to create good pros since 1989. The Buckeyes ranked No. 19: “Because this is a solid, albeit not particularly inspiring, list of former NBA draftees? Let’s start with that. If you’re young enough to have just started watching professional basketball in the past few years, and have only seen an aging, slightly paunchy Redd chucking 3s for the Phoenix Suns, you might not be aware of just how good of a pro he was for almost all of the aughts.” [Eamonn Brennan/]

Finally, it’s always sad seeing any type of publication go to rest. Say goodnight to the old Pro Football Weekly.

  • the TCF article is soft.

    MLB enforces their copyrights on material and the writer gives us:
    let’s talk about what Major League Baseball SHOULD be focusing on. Have you watched the umpiring around the league this season?

    like,, huh? should there not be copyright law? or should umpires be perfect? how are these related? what’s your point?

    an embarrassment for an otherwise smart site and strong writers.

  • mgbode

    The article brings up some good points on each player, but undercuts their own arguments with some of their statements.

    I could not imagine pairing McLemore on the team if we had Barnes (as they suggest would have been the “best” option). Neither Barnes nor McLemore has any propensity to be a lead dog, which would have made us one of the most passive teams in the league. Think OKC with Durant, Westbrook, and Harden. Except the exact opposite.

    They state Noel doesn’t fit a need w/ the team. They cite how he duplicates some of what Tristan does (and I agree with that portion), but I think adding a defensive frontcourt member is certainly a need and that is pretty much agreed upon by most Cavs fans.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Interesting, in the article, Crowe asserts that Cleveland is said to be dissatisfied with Tyler Zeller. I don’t remember hearing anything of the sort, does anyone else? I remember hearing that the coaching staff and GM think that he needs to add muscle, but that’s about it.

  • mgbode

    I read it as Zeller wasn’t very good his rookie year (I have not read anywhere else the Cavs are not happy with him). Though, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t expected as many of us thought he’d struggle until he added some strength (though he struggled more on offense than I thought he would). He’s a mid-round project big. Regardless, he’s likely a backup big for the next couple of years.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Could be… in that case, I don’t like the use of the word “dissatisfied” as it means that Zeller failed to meet the expectations the Cavs had for him. I think they expected him to struggle on both ends of the floor this season, although they might have expected him to be better as a jump-shooter than he was.

  • mgbode

    as I mentioned below, I don’t like a few key components of that article. the writer tried to do more with it than he probably should have. regardless, I think Tyler will be fine moving forward.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    So do I… I still feel like he’s going to be an excellent backup big when he hits his prime… maybe even an average starting center.

  • mgbode

    Yes, I think most centers now are situational guys (other than the really elite). So, I feel like he can still get to the backup/starter level depending on what we need to do in any particular game.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve come to doubt all such reports regarding the supposed inner thinking of Cavs FO. Grant has been as good as anyone at keeping thoughts on players in-house. And this is an org that moved up for Zeller to wash away the need for the likes of Semeh Erden and Ryan Hollins. Guessing they’ll withhold judgment until he’s had some time to attempt modifications of his physique and his game.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    True, I could see Zeller being used in a little offense/defense switch with Noel or whoever the Cavs end up with as the defensively-inclined center on the roster.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yep, agreed. I think the only people who were dissatisfied with Zeller are people who thought that since he was the most complete center in the draft, that he would immediately come in and contribute successfully and consistently to the team. That might have happened if Zeller wasn’t forced into the starting role due to Andy’s injuries, but it didn’t… and it was probably unreasonable to think that anyway as it was apparent early on that Zeller didn’t have the muscle yet to bang down low with the vets.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Noel better be a defensive savant period in order to make up/gloss over all of the other potential drawbacks he’ll present.