Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/14/14

NEW ORLEANS - JUNE 29: New Orleans Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott addresses the media at a press conference for Julian Wright, the 13th overall draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft at the Dreyads YMCA June 29, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the term and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. “I do realize the collective product is increasingly terrible and I know the Cavaliers are the worst defensive unit in the NBA at the moment. I also listened to a pregame press conference spent discussing aspects of a spider zone that eventually helped Brooklyn shoot 70-percent in the first half last night too. So there is no way I blame any Cavs fan who is actually still paying attention at this point and believes that the coach should be fired for the product they are being forced to watch. I actually left the Q with six minutes remaining myself because the pain I felt in my eyes was so fierce I feared the possibility of future blindness. In saying as much, though, the Cavaliers are still best served by allowing themselves to find out what Scott’s capable of doing when equipped with a reputable NBA roster and an organizational goal of winning basketball games. He has not coached in that environment since arriving in Cleveland.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules] —- “The rust is still being knocked off – Meyer called a scrimmage last Saturday “awful” – but several go-to guys have emerged. “I think Philly Brown has had a great spring,” Meyer said. “Devin is still a little up and down, but he’s doing pretty good. We have two good tight ends. Vannett and Heuerman are doing a really good job. “We’re a lot better than we were last year at this time. I couldn’t tell you, first of all, probably who they were a year ago, because we were not very good.” Smith continued his big-play ability in 2012, catching game-winning touchdowns against Cal and Michigan State. That promise began with a play that will be remembered for a lifetime, a dramatic final-minute 40-yard catch in the end zone against Wisconsin in an otherwise forgettable 2011 season. “You’re not going to find a more talented guy than Devin Smith,” said wide receivers coach Zach Smith. “He’s got to take his game to the next level, and I’ve got to take his game to the next level. That’s what we’re expecting out of him. You can see the growth, but he’s not where we expect him.” It’s no secret that Meyer is a master motivator, and Devin Smith confessed that the coach’s harsh words last spring spurred growth and production from him and his wide receiver mates.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors] —- “While the “Byron Scott can do no wrong crowd” loves to dismiss the collapses against the Miami Heat and New York Knicks away by saying that the Cavaliers had no business having that lead in the first place, that’s no excuse. The NBA plays all 82 games in a season for a reason. On any given night, any team in the NBA can beat any other team. Games between two teams that are comically mismatched don’t just get skipped over, their outcomes assumed. They get played. And they get played because upsets can and do happen. The Miami Heat have lost to the Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic this season. It’s totally possible for them to lose a game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially if the Cavaliers were carrying a 27 point lead. That’s why these collapses cannot be just brushed away under the rug. There are lessons to be learned from these games and, unfortunately for the pro-Byron Scott contingent, that lesson is that Coach Scott sometimes mismanages the game clock and time-outs. The Cavaliers walked away from the Miami Heat loss with a timeout left. When Shane Battier and LeBron James were raining threes down in the Q, Scott failed to make any attempts to disrupt their momentum with a timeout. Examples of this are plentiful throughout most of these Cavaliers collapses. Say what you will about the inevitability of the loss, Scott walked away from those games without exhausting every possible strategy he had available.” [Benedetti/Fear the Sword] —- “Aggressive is the new buzzword in Berea. No longer do the Browns hammer on incessantly about “the process” or how they “battled.” Horton’s defenders, clad in burnt orange and seal brown, will be coming for the other team’s quarterback. Horton’s mentor is Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Horton broke into the league as a defensive back with the Cincinnati Bengals where LeBeau was on the coaching staff. Then, during Horton’s coaching career, LeBeau hired him once in Cincinnati and once in Pittsburgh. As a result, Horton likes to blitz because he likes to create pressure by his defenders playing fast and aggressive.” [Delco/The OBR] —- “Smith recently put himself under the microscope of a more experienced and respected evaluator when he agreed to participate in “Gruden’s QB Camp,” the show in which former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden goes one-on-one with draft prospects. It’s a fascinating series, because you get to see Gruden ask a lot of the same types of questions you might see if you were in a team interview — especially when the player is asked to go to the whiteboard and detail the schemes and structures he used to get him to this point (You can view a programming schedule here). “I want to see how much substance is behind these statistics,” Gruden said in the show’s opener. “I want to find out how they pull this off. How they practice it, and how many concepts they have in their offense. I want to find out how he reads patterns, and some of the exact responsibilities he does have.” Gruden got his answer pretty quickly.” [Farrar/Shutdown Corner]
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