Archive for September, 2011

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode 17)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

As you may or may not know, I have a loose deadline of every Sunday morning for these cartoons. This week, I may or may not have hit it. What happened was John and I were working on our new CBA and couldn’t come to terms until this morning. I now get 100% of Cavs: the Blog’s advertising revenue.


On David Stern and the NBA lockout:

This is getting serious.

Words like “monumental” and “deadline” are being thrown around, and that usually means that there’s some sort of monumental deadline on the horizon.

What’s the deadline for?

From what I gather, it seems the company line from Stern and the owners is now that this weekend’s scheduled meetings will mark the last attempt to start the season on time. Meaning that if we don’t have a deal (or substantial progress) by Monday, a 50 game season probably becomes our best option. There would be “a lot of risk” to not getting something done by the end of the week was Stern’s direct quote (via Brian Mahoney). That and, “there are enormous consequences at play here on the basis of the weekend.” You could call it a bluff, but in truth, it’s likely not. The first games are supposed to start in a month.

If you’re rooting for a season, the worst thing that could happen would be the sides emerging from this weekend without making any headway.

Because at that point the conversation will turn from saving the start of the season, to saving the season at all.

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Thanks for reading guys! (As per usual, the above picture was done by the biggest Cavs fan at CFAAP.com and colored by AJS…and the same goes for the one below, which came as a result of my playing around with the first pic and might even have turned out better.)

I think Stern should walk into the meetings this weekend and just slide that across the table. Provided Gilbert Arenas isn’t there, that’s what I think he should do.

And…want one for the Road?

Here’s an interesting Kyrie-tidbit published Saturday from new Cavs beat writer Tom Reed:

Irving has played just 11 games since last October in part due to a right foot injury — which doctors tell him won’t completely heal for another three months.

And, while he feels “150 percent” and is training with no restrictions, the NBA’s top overall pick in June is a player without a game. The league lockout has him parked at Duke, taking four courses this semester and working out twice a day.

Silver lining of the lockout right there. It sounds like Kyrie’s done a good job of letting his foot heal completely by taking a few months off post-draft (at the Cavs request), and I kind of don’t mind that he’s not yet dealing with the pressure to overdue it early on an injury that may be better off with more rest.

If the league’s first game is in January, I’m not sure that anyone benefits more than KI.

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode 16)

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Happy Sunday everyone! (And go Browns, should you be so inclined.)

We’re back with the latest entry of Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant, and sadly, today marks our third pictorial foray into the NBA lockout ripple effect. (For those keeping track, here are the first two: Barren NBA Website & the lonely NBA ball.)

Can we put an end to this already? Kyrie needs practice and the Cavs have to get their money’s worth for the one season Jonas Valanciunas is ineligible.

Is 50 games now the most likely scenario here? Even amidst the apparent reality that the NBA would be submarining itself during the upswing of a resurgence?

I honestly have no idea, but Brian Windhorst is tweeting pessimistically.

Not good for two reasons.

One—He’s usually right, and two—My birthday’s next week and the hottest place still open is Friendly’s.

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(Picture by CFAAP.com, colors by AJS.)

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode 15)

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

The following contains both a tribute to and a musing on Cavs PF Luke Harangody.

Here is the tribute: An illegally procured copy of XXL’s new LH cover.

Initially, I’d planned to make cover art for a fictitious Harangody rap album (tentatively titled, “SPF-44”), and I wrote the following faux-review excerpts to paste on the cover:

-“Incomprehensibly white.”

-“I bought this in a grocery store parking lot.”

-“Better than Ron Artest’s album.”

I couldn’t fit them all in and so I went with the magazine.

Okay, now for the musing.

I read and loved Kevin’s excellent series on Cavalier “Diamonds in the Rough,” and if I valued having an honest relationship with myself, I’d probably go ahead and admit that I think he’s right in his assertion of Luke Harangody (In case you don’t remember, it’s: At best, a “starter for a second place team in the German League.” Which is harsh, but fair. The German League places a premium on undersized, un-athletic 4’s.).

But since I traditionally lie to myself to suit the needs of any individual moment, here’s one potentially more optimistic stance/comparison that I think is somewhat grounded in reality.

Luke Harangody is Brian Cardinal; he’s just too young for us to see it yet.

My theory?

Cardinal, the funnily shaped, self-deprecatory, 34-year-old 10th man had so little “legacy” invested in a Finals win that it ultimately enabled him to perform with surprising effectiveness if only because he was one of the only guys on the court unaffected by the magnitude of the moment. He didn’t win the Finals (he played 30 total minutes), but he helped.

Is it possible that all Harangody is missing by way of comparison is the self-awareness that comes with being a bit-player for 11 NBA seasons?

In my mind, the number one most incriminating Harangody statistic is his current 38.4% shooting percentage. Not good for an interior player.

Brian Cardinal’s career shooting percentage? 41.3% (and he’s 6-8 too).

The key note to take away is that while 40% shooting from a power forward is bad, it doesn’t hurt as much when he’s only taking three shots a game.

With his unique combination of toughness and self-awareness, Brian Cardinal has quite probably now affirmed his status as the best 10th man in basketball.

I believe it’s possible that we’ve found someone similar, we just need to let him age. (And also, maybe send him to the Groundlings. Brian Cardinal is funny.)

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Thanks for reading everyone!

(Picture by CFAAP.com and colors by AJS.)

(Also see, related picture: “Black Luke Harangody.”)

(One last note: I realize I’m posting this at 12:00 AM on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and though I am probably in no position to substantively comment on it, nor is this the place to substantively comment on it…consider this my best wishes to any and everyone who may have been affected, however they were affected. May the world keep getting better.)

International Cavs of Mystery

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The FIBA Americas and FIBA Europe tournaments are ongoing, but most of the Cavs with international ties are not participating for their countries.

Anderson Varejao didn’t suit up for Brazil. Omri Casspi isn’t on the court for Israel as he is rehabbing a knee injury. Tristan Thompson chose not to play for Canada this summer. Turkey is pretty deep in the front court with Hedo Turkoglu, Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova, and Enes Kanter. That may not be the reason, but Semih Erden is not active. Jamaica didn’t qualify for FIBA Americas, so no Samardo Samuels.

At least one Cavs related player is participating in these tournaments. Milan Macvan, the Cavs’ recent second round draft pick, is a key reserve for the 4-2 Serbian squad. In a little over 15 minutes per game, he is averaging 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds on 50% fg shooting and 79% ft shooting (58% true shooting). He has registered less than one assist and turnover per game, and does not have a steal or a block yet.

He may never play a game for the Cavs, but I’m rooting for him. Bring home a medal, Milan!

(Update: Seeing as Cavs fans are surely invested in Milan Macvan’s successes and failures; there is disappointing news to provide. Serbia got handled by Spain today, 84 -59, dealing a huge blow to their medal chances. The Gasol brothers were too skilled, finishing with a combined 46 points and 18 rebounds. In 18 minutes, Macvan finished with 6 points on 3 – 8 shooting and also grabbed 5 rebounds. It will take some luck and a Herculean effort by Mr. Macvan in order for Serbia to advance to the final 8. Best of luck!)

Milan Macvan #15

Lockout Update

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

From ESPN.com via the AP newswire:

NBA owners and players met for about 5½ hours Wednesday, plan to resume negotiations Thursday, and could even sit down again Friday.

While neither side would say if progress is being made, the frequency of the discussions seems a good sign. They met only twice in the first two months of the lockout that began July 1.

But they went for about six hours last Wednesday, and decided they would go multiple days this week. Both sides said they could even carry over the discussions into a third consecutive day if things go well during Thursday’s session.

There was also a cryptic accidental tweet from Players’ Association VP Roger Mason of “Looking like a season. How u” yesterday, so interpret that however you like. It’s simultaneously encouraging and disheartening that the NBPA and the owners are finally sitting down together for an extended period of time, but this is the first granule of optimism floated NBA fans’ way in months. Here’s hoping Hunter, Stern, and Fisher find some common ground this week.

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode ‘Labor Day’)

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Happy Sunday, Cavs fans!

I come to you this morning having solved an interesting and entirely self-manufactured quandary: essentially, how to post a new DFTNOCG whilst honoring the nation’s 118th Labor Day by not doing any labor?

I think I found an answer. Everything I’m putting up today was drawn a few months ago.

Two pictures this entry…

The first marks our initial venture “Around The NBA” (something I might explore a bit further in the coming weeks), and was done back in May for another (and obviously, less cool) website.

Let it go, Braun...

Can I claim that I’m over it while holding the sentiment that I wouldn’t trade Tristan Thompson for LeBron James? (Because you don’t trade big for small…)

The second picture…well, the second picture is from my dyslexi-racist, seven-year-old cousin who accidentally drew the white Antawn Jamison a few weeks back. The kid doesn’t see race…or rather, he sees race backwards…which I guess is a positive? At the very least, I think he’s developing a “thing.” Very important for an artist.

Anyway, without further ado…the second published work of Adam Braun.

"Black Luke Harangody"

Obviously, Luke’s taken the lockout to improve his vertical.

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Hope everyone is having a good weekend, and thanks for reading!

I’ll be back with something good next Sunday.

-Ryan, of the massively popular CFAAP.com.

Diamond in the Rough?…Alonzo Gee

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The last of these articles will be about Alonzo Gee. Gee is technically in his second year, but was undrafted and played less than 200 minutes his rookie season. Similar to Luke Harangody, Gee was limited for good comparisons due to a couple of extreme statistical categories. He ranked 131st of 137 swingmen (SG & SF) for turnover rate but was 7th for offensive rebounds. He was also very lowly ranked for usage and assist rate. His high energy, low usage, turnover prone style of play was to be expected based on his college performance. To find comparable players, three items were focused on: usage, turnovers, and passing. From 2002 – 2003 to 2008 – 2009, there were 16 swingmen (19 seasons) that had usage rate lower than 16%, turnover rate greater than 11%, and assist rate less than turnover rate. Gee easily fits into each of these ranges. Half of the 16 players were on their way out of the league, playing less than 1000 minutes for the remainder of their careers. The other half are:

These players can be sorted into the following categories:

Martell Webster, Shawne Williams – Young & talented high first round draft picks (6th and 17th, respectively). Gee doesn’t really fit this mold.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Mickael Pietrus – Good defensive players. In Mbah a Moute’s case, an excellent defensive player. For Pietrus, he is also a decent three point shooter. Despite good tools, Gee often lacks good fundamentals and focus on defense, and he was a 33% three point shooter in college and last season with the Cavs.

Sasha Pavlovic – Bad player, mainly known because he played 6000 minutes on a team with Lebron James. It’s not fair to compare anyone to Pavlovic.

Linas Kleiza, Joey Graham, Dahntay Jones – Players that aren’t particularly good at offense or defense but manage to survive in the NBA. Kleiza can be acceptable offensively, but Graham and Jones have been very bad (Career PER of 11 and 10, respectively). None shoots the three well. Jones is overrated defensively. Presumably this group gets by based on playing hard, and the fact there are 30 teams with 15 roster slots per team.

Ultimately if Gee sticks in the NBA, it’s probably going to be as part of the last group. His best bet is to turn his “motor” and athleticism into high quality defense, however to date; he’s a player with good energy on both ends of the court that hasn’t translated that into performance. Even accounting for Gee’s high offensive rebounding numbers doesn’t signify greater likelihood of success. Of the eight comparable players who were on their way out of the NBA, three had higher offensive rebounding rates than Gee and six had a rate above 4.5%.

That is the conclusion of the “Diamond in the Rough” series. To summarize, a reasonable ceiling for the five “draft day afterthoughts” is:

 Samardo Samuels – 11th man on a 58 win NBA team

 Luke Harangody – Starter for a second place team in the German League

 Manny Harris – 8th man / 2nd best bench scorer for a 43 win NBA team.

 Semih Erden – 7 NBA seasons, 5 teams, never a season with PER above 11

 Alonzo Gee – 6th man for a top 16 Euroleague team.

This study deems Harris as the most likely to succeed, however instead of a diamond, he’s more like a cubic zirconium.

Thanks for reading. Here’s to the Cavs continuing to build towards a much better future.

(Finally, here’s a fun fact about low usage, turnover prone swingmen. From 2002 – 2003 through 2009 – 2010 in the NBA, there were 1050 seasons of over 500 minutes played by a SG or SF. Only 23 of these seasons featured poor passing, turnover prone, low usage players like Alonzo Gee (based on the criteria above). That’s less than three players per season. The Cavs had three players like this on their roster last year in Gee, Joey Graham, and Christian Eyenga. That’s some useless trivia for helping to explain how bad the Cavs wing rotation was last year.)