From Distance: In a Roundabout Way

four point play….

1. Tunisia loves its roundabouts. Like much of the non-US world, Tunisia eschews the American style four way stop in favor of the occasionally frustrating wheel of driving “fun”.

While engineers have focused on overall rule clarity, volume, and safety when comparing the two systems, it seems one crucial point has been lacking in their data input.

Smart Phone use!

I know, I know. One shouldn’t text and drive.

By most  accounts, a roundabout is roughly 20 percent more efficient than a four way stop. If only contrasted head to head, it seems a no brainer. Roundabouts save gas, weaken collision impact, and allow for higher traffic volume.

Still, how can we factor in the added danger of phone use while driving when stops are eliminated from a normal commute? If one never gets that same red light after crossing Route 20, how will Instagram survive? How will we survive?!

In most European countries, a roundabout is a relatively uneventful affair. Once one is acclimated to the necessity of orientation maintenance, the wheel of “fun” verges on fine.

In Tunisia, it is more sport than transportation. Lanes are only members of Superman’s extended family and a rogue bicycle can sneak up on even the most attentive driver.

Once one leaves the centrifuge, the chosen spoke is often filled by people who see literally no difference between a “pedestrian only” zone and a freeway.

In this pleasant North African country, it is not uncommon to see grandmothers walking their children across the equivalent of Route 2. No worry creeps into their faces. That’s just how they roll. Or walk. You feel me.

“He got there eventually, in a roundabout way”. The great thing about roundabouts is that you can simply keep driving around until you decide where you are going. If you choose the wrong spoke, another roundabout is waiting nearby to give you a nice legal U-turn.

If your chosen spoke is seemingly clogged with obstacles, just keep driving. Those obstacles have brains and will likely cross after you pass. Keep moving. Write the map.

And so it will need to be with the 2018-2019 Cavaliers. It may be tempting to “stop and check the phone”(the antithetical brother of the roses phrase), but the success of the season will largely hinge on the Cavs’ ability to attentively go with the flow.

In Vardons recent Wine and Gold podcast, former Cavs GM David Griffin repeated the word “optionality” somewhere between six and “if you say that obnoxious word once more, I’m going to slowly take out my earphones before putting them back in to listen to the rest of the podcast” times. It was very annoying.

Griff, I know you are using the finance term as a buzzword, but sometimes the word you really wanted was plain old “options”.

Regardless of my word fatigue, it’s clear that optionality, essentially the value of flexibility, is paramount to both short and long term success.

Start the season, evaluate how the team is coming together, and make each decision with the understanding that the ultimate goal may be reached in a non-linear manner. Koby Altman need not stop his car to decide to tank, or rev his engine in an effort to make the playoffs.

Follow the roundabout of the NBA landscape and while moving. Like Griff alluded to, it’s the best way to get to know your passengers.

2. Much was made of Cedi Osman’s post training photo with the best small forwards on planet Earth. The thing that stood out to me was Cedi’s sheer size. He is every bit as large as Kawhi and only slightly shorter than Kevin Durant. Obviously, Osman doesn’t have the length of those players, but photos can often remind us of things that many people may not have completely internalized.

Cedi is a big, athletic dude.

Here’s hoping he has been working on his left hand. In my scouting of Cedi over the years, much has made me squeal with delight. However, his left-handed dribble drive game worries me.

Thus far, Cedi has gotten away with being a two dribble guy going that direction. Most drives aren’t more than two dribbles anyway so it hasn’t killed his ability to get to the rack.

It will soon. Osman will need to show his full range of talents so that Ty Lue has no choice but to play him heavy minutes. As teams devote more energy to Cedi in their video work, defenders are going to time up his shot after his second lefty dribble with full trust that Osman cannot put it down a third time.

I see no reason why Osman can’t improve this aspect of his game. He has decent enough dexterity on the left side to add more sauce to his pet move arsenal.

If training against Kawhi Leonard didn’t highlight this weakness, nothing would. I’m confident we will see more variety from Cedi in camp.

3. If not, Ty Lue might continue to torture me and other fans of defensive basketball. If we are to believe David Griffin, Ty Lue is set to have his best season as a coach. Griffin asserts that Lue’s primary talent is his ability to coach up young players. I sincerely hope that that is the case. Thus far, we have only seen Lue, the often confused game manager, and not Ty Lue, the developmental mastermind.

Griffin did not discuss how different lineup choices could have positivley affected the Cavs’ poor defensive showing from a season ago. Lue is Griff’s guy afterall. Here is your chance coach. LeBron is gone. It is your team now.

4. Count me as one NBA fan who is saddened by the retirement of Manu Ginobili. A close colleague friend of mine in Germany is the biggest Ginobili fan whom I have met. My friend, Frederik played a few seasons in the Euroleague himself, and modeled his game after the great Argentinian shooting guard.

Playing with Frederik felt like playing with Manu. The incredible basketball IQ mixed with an intense love of the game made playing ball all the more entertaining.

If having Manu Ginobili as a teammate was anywhere close to the experience that I had with my friend Frederik, it is no wonder that the Spurs had such an incredible run of success.

The modesty, passion, teamwork, and commitment to purpose, that Freddy exhibited on the court (and still onstage) is what the NBA world will miss with Manu’s retirement.

And that man could straight ball.

Somehow the Kobe Bryant narrative continues to morph post retirement. Young players who have beef with LeBron like to claim Kobe as better. His similarity in playing style to Jordan has also given him a boost. Kobe is without question, a top 10 shooting guard of all time.

And yet, Manu was better. The career numbers favor Bryant. Kobe’s usage consistently blew Manu out of the water. But if we look at playoff basketball, overall efficiency, and two-way play, Manu is, at a minimum, in lockstep with Kobe.

The media and Kobe himself have made such a statement seem absurd, but I have watched both players’ entire careers. I have seen them go head to head. I have accounted for the different team structures and usage. I can confidently say that I would rather have had Manu in his prime than Kobe.

The killer instinct was there for both guys. Kobe was ridiculously overrated on the defensive end while Manu was incredibly underrated. It’s not a landslide, but I take Manu.

Quickies: Just another example of how silly the Kobe vs LeBron debate is. Kobe wasn’t even the best player at his position during his prime, let alone in LeBron’s class.

Lest you think I am simply a sucker for the Spurs and their culture of team, I will quickly mention that Shaq was much better than Duncan in their corresponding primes as well. LeBron is the only guy who has approached the sheer domination that Shaq exhibited at his peak.

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Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
13 days 2 hours ago

Hey, all. Never heard of this award, but Doris deserves any and all recognition that comes her way.

https://mobile.twitter.com/espn/status/1037866085163442177

JRL
Guest
JRL
12 days 19 hours ago

Shes the absolute best. Great for her!

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
13 days 8 hours ago

Great video Tom — led me to wonder.. who’s the better at the rim finisher.. Manu or Kyrie?

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
13 days 3 hours ago

Manu wasn’t even the best finishing guard on his team and he is head and shoulders above Ky for his career in terms of %. Tony Parker was way way better than both. Likely will be better than Irving’s best year at the rim. Not even close. Maybe the best pg finisher of all time at the rim. Consistently shot 65+% at the rim during his prime and finished near 70% a couple of years. As it sits for his career he is 64.7% at the rim which is absurd for any guard let alone a pg.

Slammin Sam
Guest
Slammin Sam
12 days 19 hours ago

Looks like Manu and Parker were actually pretty close. Manu 62%, Parker 65%. Manu has the best season at 71%. Kyrie at 60% for career but was at 65% last season.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
12 days 10 hours ago

Three percent is a pretty big number over an entire career.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
13 days 3 hours ago

Especially for a guy who drove most of the time and didn’t rely much on an outside shot.

JRL
Guest
JRL
13 days 10 hours ago

Clarkson played good at the Asian Games.
26PPG / 6.5RBG / 5.5AST / 46% FG / 39% 3pt.

You guys think not having to deal with the LeBroness of it all will calm him and make him better?

daspec90
Guest
daspec90
13 days 5 hours ago

I saw a few assists in those highlights. I’m interested to see whether Lue can work with him to form his raw offensive talent into something more.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
13 days 19 hours ago

agree nate—-OUCH !!!!

Nate Smith
Admin
13 days 19 hours ago

This one hurt.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
13 days 12 hours ago

Lol and ooof at the same time. Mr untradeable. At least this year. Maybe next summer.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
13 days 13 hours ago

HaHaHa

JRL
Guest
JRL
13 days 10 hours ago

I actually feel bad for the guy.

Tom Pestak
Admin
13 days 20 hours ago

yeah, I probably posted a hundred different times side by side stats of “Player A” and “Player B”. and it was always Kobe and Manu.

I think durability and usage do tip the scales in Kobe’s favor, but you are spot on that in terms of efficiency and giving Manu the nod on defense, they were very similar from a production standpoint. And of course, I always loved Manu’s unselfishness. The fact that he was on par with Kobe and embraced being a “6th man” which in basketball subcultures would place him far below the elevated status of “starter”.

Manu was my favorite non-Cavalier for a decade and the Spurs my favorite non-Cavs team. Additionally, I was repulsed by the 7-seconds-or-less Suns, so I always enjoyed the sonning that the Spurs gave them seemingly every year in the playoffs. Also, the dunk on Bosh followed by the step-back 3 (a Ginobili trademark) was one of the most exciting sequences in NBA history.

Great article, Ben.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
13 days 12 hours ago

I loved the Suns personally and thought they got shafted a few times. I respected the Spurs but they were still playing grind out ball with a lot of post isos back then. Wasn’t very aesthetically pleasing offense in those days.

West coast cav
Guest
West coast cav
13 days 13 hours ago

What a pleasure to watch., thanks Tom. If Manu had the usage rate of Kobe he would have easily eclipsed Kobe’s career numbers. He certainly had the talent to rationalize a high usage rate, but being a spur means you’re part of a system and no one is going to see the ball like Kobe did. Not even close, I’m taking Manu. GINOBLI !

Jason
Guest
Jason
14 days 17 hours ago

Love the Yes stuff. Underrated band.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
14 days 17 hours ago

so true believeland—-and the BUCKS / TRIBE /—–just a little impatient to see all the ‘new ‘ pieces fit into place and get ALL THE CTB GANG BACK TOGETHER ON A REGULAR BASIS …………….DOES ANYONE HAVE AN OPINION ON NIKE’S ‘KAP COMMERCIAL ‘——-WILL IT PROMOTE SALES OR HAVE HUGE NEGATIVE REPERCUSSIONS —–I AM THINKING THE LATTER

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
15 days 9 hours ago

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..wake me up when cavs training camp starts

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
15 days 3 hours ago

Browns playing this weekend, wake up!!

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
15 days 15 hours ago

JR is still here? Why is that’s so?

JMay
Editor
15 days 14 hours ago

Dang near impossible contract to move right now. It’s only partially guaranteed after this year but still, his stock could not be any lower after his Finals Gaff. Doubt he gets moved before the deadline if at all.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
16 days 11 hours ago

unfortunately ORCHARD is no longer a BROWN ——which I thought was surprising—thought he always played hard / intelligently—a lot of competition at that LB SPOT

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
16 days 14 hours ago

Really enjoying this season of Hard Knocks – it’s just refreshing to see the Browns portrayed in a positive manner and it has me excited for the start of the season. Hoping all of the additions (both coaching + players) help turn this thing around. I especially like seeing the personal side of some of the players e.g. Myles Garrett, Nate Orchard, Christian Kirksey, Jarvis Landry etc. Go Browns!

Jason
Guest
Jason
17 days 14 hours ago

Let us not also forget that a sizeable portion of this blog thought Eric Bledsoe was the solution at PG for the King’s Cavs.

I get that everyone has hits and misses. But it is telling the Bucks have had enough already.

Nate Smith
Admin
17 days 13 hours ago

Actually, Bledsoe would’ve been fine with the king but he was always a good, not great player. He’s better as a secondary ball handler, slasher and transition guy. He was a damned site better than who they had at the time, Rose, calderon, and Wade.

Jason
Guest
Jason
16 days 20 hours ago

He got his butt handed to him by Boston & cannot shoot from deep. I also think he is a knucklehead/none too bright. Especially bad traits for a PG. Overrated defensively. We do not need guys like that (though we seem to collect some). But I like your loyalty.

Wade could have helped come PO time but he was poor in the locker room.

Nate Smith
Admin
16 days 16 hours ago

One playoff series does not a career make. Regardless, wanting an improvement over who the Cavs had at the time does not mean that any of us were wrong. It wasn’t a binary situation. And don’t confuse trade chatter with actuality. Bledsoe has a good year and he could be right back with the bucks on a new contract.

Jason
Guest
Jason
17 days 14 hours ago

Tunesia? Is that a joke I missed?

Perhaps Tunisia is the place you are looking for?

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
17 days 17 hours ago

Roundabouts. Ben you just keep finding devices to get my attention.

I have two enduring memories of driving in Cleveland.

The first was when I turned confidently out of the Cleveland Clinic into the dual-lane carriageway popularly known as “RIGHT DOWN EUCLID!” and discovered I had oncoming traffic. I had temporarily forgotten that you drive on the right in the States.

The second, when driving MLK Boulevard into University Circle, we happened upon a roundabout. I’d not seen one since being the the USA. In Australia, you cannot drive for more than 20 seconds without seeing one. What a find! “Aha!” I said to my family. “They have roundabouts! Now I feel like I’m right at home!”. I proceed to confidently negotiate the centrifuge, only to be roundly tooted by other drivers. Thinking I’d messed up, I googled the area that night and found the roundabout being there was a temporary measure during roadworks, and was causing much confusion to locals. The post I read was 5 years old. I was again comforted by the shared nature of the government roads departments of my host country and my own. Bless.

Nate Smith
Admin
18 days 17 hours ago

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
18 days 16 hours ago

Bulls need to Bring. Him. Home.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
18 days 21 hours ago

Prime Manu is one of my favorite players ever. Ridiculously great teammate, too…Spurs struck gold in that pick. Imagine if he had come into the league as a 19 year old.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
19 days 8 hours ago

yes we are all hungry for a “delly ” sandwich ( and his Australian brand coffee )—-throw in brogdon why you are at it

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
17 days 17 hours ago

That coffee was the bomb! So upset when my stash ran out.

Nate Smith
Admin
19 days 11 hours ago

Bring Delly home (and Brogdon too)

Report: Bucks hoping to make deal before season starts

JRL
Guest
JRL
18 days 11 hours ago

What are the Bucks doing???
There’s no rhyme or reason to anything other than Greek staying there.

Nate Smith
Admin
17 days 13 hours ago

Actually, I get it. Budenholzer knows they need to surround Giannis with great shooters. Of those guys only brogdon has that ability. But they also want to clear salary to bring in stars to play with Giannis.

Nate Smith
Admin
19 days 11 hours ago

I missed your column, Ben. I will miss Manu as well. The dude gave me nightmares.

Nate Smith
Admin
19 days 11 hours ago

Let’s not forget too: Manu was one of the great draft picks of all time, at the freaking 57th spot.

John B
Guest
John B
19 days 11 hours ago

Tony Parker and Kawhi were too given their peak value versus draft positions. Parker drafted 28th and Leonard 15th. Of course the spurs didn’t draft Kawhi but they either knew enough to trade Hill for him or the deal was in place before Indy drafted him.

Nate Smith
Admin
19 days 11 hours ago

The deal wasn’t in place if I recall. It was actually a great trade for both teams. If the axis of ego doesn’t happen in Miami, that Indy team probably makes two finals.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
19 days 14 hours ago

our community just put in it’s first ‘ROUNDABOUT “—–$ 1 ,OOO,OOO / 6 MONTHS LATER– it is finely operable ( so to speak ) ——which has created a “minor revolution ——–simple street light — up in 1 weeks time for a fraction of the cost would have sufficed —–sorry to vent —but ben started it !!!!——GO CAVS / BROWNS / BUCKS / TRIBE !!1

rick in boise
Guest
rick in boise
19 days 16 hours ago

Manu… agree completely. A baller AND a glue guy. I shudder to think if he’d gone to the wrong team.

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