Links to the Present: January 6, 2011

January 6th, 2012 by Colin McGowan

Here’s a very thoughtful piece from Scott Sargent over at WFNY that discusses the ways in which the “character” (or lack thereof) of the players around which teams are built (high draft picks, big free agent signings, etc.) impact that team’s present and future. It’s kinda football-centric, but I think the ideas it espouses are applicable to all sports, really, and especially to the Cavs since we have heard Chris Grant and Byron Scott state that one of the reasons they felt comfortable choosing Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving as crucial elements of the foundation of the new-look Cavaliers is because both TT and Irving are exceptional human beings.

“While they said all the right things about Williams’ athleticism and physical appeal, privately the Cavs didn’t have much debate between Irving and Williams.┬áCavs coach Byron Scott wanted a true point guard, and Irving was, in the Cavs’ eyes, the best overall talent available. Williams could easily carve out a great career for himself, but he entered the draft without a clear position. At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, he doesn’t quite have the size to be a power forward, but he could struggle defending some of the better small forwards in the league.” [Jason Lloyd]

“Kyrie Irving is playing like a No. 1 overall pick. Derrick Williams is looking like the second-best rookie on his team.┬áThe statement is neither an indictment on Williams’ potential nor a reflection on how the Timberwolves view the power forward they selected No. 2 overall behind Irving in the NBA Draft. But as Irving and the Cavaliers face the Timberwolves Friday night in Minneapolis, any talk of rookie-of-the-year showdowns must include Ricky Rubio, who’s part point guard and part pop star to a fan base that has been eager for a reason to get excited since Kevin Garnett left town in 2007.” [Tom Reed]

Since we don’t often do full-fledged game previews, I highly recommend you watch tonight’s Cavs-Wolves tilt. Minnesota has quickly become one of my favorite NBA League Pass teams: they’re young, talented, and a complete mess. This game will have Rubio v. Irving, The Guy the Cavs Passed On to Take Irving (Derrick Williams), Darko (always fun), some Andy Varejao v. Kevin Love action on the boards, and two hyper-athletic power forwards who should never shoot outside of 10 feet in TT and Anthony Randolph. This has the potential to be one of the most entertaining games the Cavs participate in all season. (If the game turns out to be a boring 81-75 rock fight, I accept full responsibility for jinxing it.)