Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 1/30/13
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. “About a month ago, I was chatting with two NBA officials at a Knicks game a few days after Irving had come to New York and put up 41 points in a ludicrous near-comeback. None of us had attended that game, and we all agreed: We’d never miss an Irving visit to New York City again. He is already one of the half-dozen most entertaining players in the league, with an unusual combination of poise, smoothness, explosiveness, and creativity in the lane. That jumper … my god, that jumper. Every once in awhile, he’ll unleash something so crazy — a running/fading lefty floater from the baseline, for instance — as to require an immediate rewind and/or audible profanity. He’s still a limited defender, but that’s typical of most young guards carrying heavy offensive responsibility, and he’s getting better. Electrifying.” [Lowe/Grantland] —- The Facebook map of NFL fandom. WARNING: the high level of Pittsburgh infiltration may make you lose your breakfast. [Deadspin] —- A second link to Grantland? Well, why not- “Behind the arc, Ray Allen from the left corner remains the most potent player-spot combination in the NBA. Allen’s shooting an incredible 60 percent from the left corner this season, up from a measly 57 percent last season. Aside from that, with all due respect to CP3, we’re also reminded that Kyrie Irving may soon be the best point guard in the NBA. Not only does he have a ridiculous handle, but the masked man can also shoot, especially from his left. For a player his age, this is a devastating combination. With only marginal improvements to his jump shot and his free throw shooting, Irving could be a 50/40/90 guy by the time he’s 23.” [Goldsberry/Grantland] —- “You know – the one about the NEW TEN YEAR WAR set to take place between Ohio State and Michigan while the rest of the Big Ten is forced to lower its collective ceiling for either Orlando or America’s gentleman’s club capitol Tampa on New Year’s Day? The one where following Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez veering Michigan football into Bump Elliott territory, the Wolverines’ resurgence under Brady Hoke meets and occasionally barely exceeds what Ohio State re-established ten years ago and is set to maintain with its new reinvigorated world-beater running things? Yeah, funny thing about that little narrative: It’s happening. And based on how both coaches are recruiting and the rest of the B1G isn’t, the new War might actually be ahead of schedule. National Signing Day is one week from tomorrow. Per its usual grand finale fare, a few genuinely torn players will decide and sign their college decisions in blood. There might even be a few surprise twists. Perhaps someone at Illinois will get fired for failing to put toner in the fax machine. The final five percent-or-less of the nation’s recruiting board will shake out and the 2013 recruiting season will finally bow, but on a macro level in the Big Ten there will be no surprises. The majority of highly sought-after players going to play in the Big Ten will be heading to two schools. Again.” [Ramzy/Eleven Warriors] —- Debating the value of Alonzo Gee, who for the record had 0 points in 28 minutes last night- “I do see Gee being a valuable part of the team, for the foreseeable future. Before I get into what role I envision, I should admit that there are some biases that color my views on Alonzo Gee, and my guess is they are there for a lot of Cavaliers fans. Every Cavs fan is on board with the rebuild, as far as I can tell. There are a lot of disagreements on whether it’s on track, or if Chris Grant or Byron Scott are the right ones to lead it, but most people are pretty understanding of the fact that the process is going to take time. In the meantime, the Cavs are now in their third year of giving Developmental League players serious playing time. The list is long, and depressing: Manny Harris, Samardo Samuels, DJ Kennedy, Lester Hudson, Jeremy Pargo, Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuer, Kevin Jones, Donald Sloan, Luke Harangody, and Alonzo Gee. Of this list (and I am sure I am missing a couple others) Alonzo Gee is the only one who actually has been able to look like a viable NBA player over a series of more than five games. So I think it is natural that Cavs fans want to believe that over three years, Grant and Scott were able to find and develop a real diamond in the rough. If Livingston continues to impress, he will find himself in the same boat. I want to believe that the hours I spent in 2011 and 2012 talking myself into Alonzo Gee were not in vain. So before you shatter my dreams and try and prove to me that Gee isn’t good enough, I will tell you what I am looking for from him. I want 18-22 minutes a game spread out between the 2-3 positions. The 7th or 8th man. This season, Gee has played 1469 minutes, more than any other Cavalier, and over 200 more minutes than any Cavalier not named Tristan Thompson. A pretty high percentage of those minutes are spent guarding the other teams best perimeter player. Bring his minutes down, and I would hope his efficiency numbers go up. Right now, we are simply asking him to do too much.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]
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