Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 5/6/12

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 hate watching “hero ball”. Hates it. Which is just another reason I’m so excited for the Kyrie Irving-era. “Anthony is a great scorer. He is not yet a great player, because he does not consistently elevate his teammates. He averaged a modest 3.6 assists per game this season, and has a career average of 3.1.

By contrast, consider his close friends from the 2003 draft class: Wade has averaged 6.2 assists per game for his career, and James 6.9. Both Miami stars can control a game through their playmaking alone. The same goes for Kobe Bryant (4.7 career average), when the mood strikes.

In Cleveland, James led his teams deep into the playoffs (including the 2007 finals) despite a lackluster lineup, proving that a selfless star is infinitely more valuable than a single-minded gunner.

Kurt Rambis — a former teammate of Magic Johnson and a former coach of Bryant — put it best in an ESPN podcast, saying of Anthony: “One of the things he has to learn is how to involve his teammates more. There’s a lot more to winning ballgames than just scoring points.”” [Howard Beck / New York Times]

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Hooray for Jeff Manto references! “Even more Manto references await. But first, let’s get back to the man of the hour for a minute: Matthew Vincent LaPorta. For those arguing in favor of benching Kotchman and handing the first base job back to the Great MaTola, the prime basis for their case—aside from Kotchman’s notable slow start– is the following statistical line:

24 Games, 9 HR, 20 RBI, .371 AVG, 1.188 OPS

That’s Matty Boy’s production thus far in Columbus. Admittedly, even the staunchest LaPorta bashers have to pause for a moment at digits like that. After taking a deep breath and a brief gander at the man’s recent AAA past, however, perspective quickly sets in—particular when you look at his last somewhat extended stint in the state capital back in 2010.” [Andrew Clayman / The Cleveland Fan]

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Haven’t seen The Avengers yet. But soon. “The Incredible Hulk – Dwight Howard. Big, dumb and bi-polar. Can you imagine the number of shirts Bruce Banner would go through if he turned into the Hulk as often as Dwight Howard changed his mind? There’d be more costume changes than a Madonna concert – though it would only be half as scary.

Black Widow – Chris Bosh. Too easy.

Thor – Is Blake Griffin for his ability to throw the hammer down. See what I did there? If you’ve ever watched Blake Griffin take a shot, any shot, even a free throw –he thinks he was fouled. He probably wants free throws because I just took a shot at him in that last sentence. So there’s your God complex.” [I Go Hard Now]

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Yikes. “Brantley’s early season performance has left a lot of room for improvement. His .239/.300/.326 batting line puts him only ahead of Casey “groundball out” Kotchman on the team in terms of production (and Brantley actually has much less BABIP regression working in his favor). The problem is more of the same for Brantley. His contact rate is once again a team-leading and ridiculously high 93%. If he swings, he makes contact. And somewhat strangely, when Brantley makes contact he almost always puts it in play. Only 18% of Brantley’s in the zone pitches result in foul balls, second-lowest on the team (Hafner is at 15%). All that contact is not amounting in much production, though. And like last year, Brantley is letting too many hittable balls go past him. While he leads the team in contact%, he also (together with Kotchman) leads the team in the percentage of strikes he lets go past him (40%). The league average is 29%.” [Adam Vanarsdale / Let's Go Tribe]

 

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