Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents "Pay him, pay that man his money"

KGB said it best to his boy Grandma in the movie Rounders after Matt Damon straight served him at the hold 'em table. "He beat me. Straight up. Pay him, pay that man his money." What more does Josh Cribbs have to do for the Browns to pay that man his money? 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns in 1 game? Apparently not enough. The all time NFL record for most kickoff returns for touchdowns? Apparently not enough. Play receiver, running back, punt returner, kick returner, and be on the punt/kickoff teams? Apparently not enough. I know the Browns just took a huge step in the right direction by getting Holmgren, and I am so happy about that. The guy doesn't put up with any crap, and I truly believe he will get this thing going in the right direction. Want to win over the fans Mike? March yourself and your beard into Lerner's office and demand a contract extension for Cribbs. There are 32 teams in the NFL, some bad, some good. Every single team in the NFL wants Cribbs, and its evident. The only thing the Browns are accomplishing by not signing him now is that they are losing more money. Seriously. The guy is making himself more and more money by not signing an extension. You know what the sad thing is? The guy actually wants to sign an extension with the Browns. Its on management, not the player. Nearly every other Brown wants to be so far away from Cleveland, and this guy, arguably the best athlete on the team, wants to be here. I'm going to throw this out there, and you may or may not agree with it, but Jimmy crack corn. Josh Cribbs is one of the top 5 most "explosive" players in the NFL. That's correct, explosive. I didn't say he was one of the best, or I didn't say he was the most gifted, I'm just saying explosive. There are like 9-10 guys in the league who every time they get the rock, they have the ability to take it to the "Cribb". He is one of those guys. Chris Johnson comes to mind, Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, and a few others. That is some great company. But no, he doesn't warrant an extension, no. A few other things about the game besides Cribbs? You have to mention Jerome Harrison. I mean 286 yards is very impressive. However, that defense of the Chiefs was bad, really bad. I am not taking anything away from Harrison. 286 yards is frickin unreal, but he had some help from a poor defense. Quinn was bad, he just was. 60 yards throwing and what, 41 points scored? Who can we thank for that? Oh ya, the guy who isn't resigned yet, that's who. Do it Holmgren, do it. Bacardi and cola do it.......


Friday, December 11, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... "Finally......"

So, where do I start? Well, I'll say this. This morning I woke up at 7 am (after closing the local Pittsburgh watering hole down in my brown and orange gear) and even though I like my job, I was the most excited I have ever been to go to work. Ear to ear baby, all day long, and it was fun, really fun. Even if its temporary, even if Roethlisberger never loses to the Browns again, I will never forget this day. But let's talk about the game. The best part of the game actually happened at halftime that some people don't know about. A couple minutes before the Browns headed out to the field for the second half, Mangini told the Browns flat out, "Do not even bother coming back in to this locker room without a win. I'll dead bolt the door shut, and I'm dead serious." That's bad ass. That is exactly what this team needed. The defense was absolutely outstanding when you actually factor in who they are playing without. 8 sacks too? That's phenomenal. Seriously though, i just don't get this funk the Steelers are in. I mean, they aren't that bad of a football team, but they just can't put anything together, but hey, I am just fine with that. The Browns beat the Steelers in every aspect of the game, every single one. Did Quinn play a great game? No, he didn't, but he didn't turn the ball over, and he did what he had to do. You know what player made himself the most money down the road in that game last night? Troy Polamalu. The dude is a stud to begin with, and now everyone sees how this defense plays without him, he might as well be given a blank paycheck when his next contract negotiation rolls around. So Hines Ward calls the loss to the Browns "embarrassing", huh? Ya, that's fine, I'm ok with that, since you did me a huge favor last night. You didn't smile like all game like a 15 year old boy who is making his first appearnace at a strip club. You were stopped by Ferocious Furrey.....


Monday, December 7, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... "Boom Goes the Dynamite and the Steelers"

Minutes after watching Alabama manhandle Florida, my buddy called me and asked if I wanted to go to a bar in downtown Pittsburgh and I agreed. As I mentioned before, I am a long time resident of Cleveland, but now I live in Pittsburgh. Anyways, the night started off like any other night, sitting at the bar watching whatever sporting event was on. I had my eyes glued to the Texas/Nebraska game, while my buddy watched the one sport that is less tolerable to watch then badminton, hockey. So around 10:00 we started doing some shots, and another one of our friends arrived at the bar. All of a sudden it was midnight, and one of the guy's I was with mentioned he had 4 tickets to the Steelers/Raiders game on Sunday and asked if I wanted to go. As I sipped on the absolute best tasting beer in the world, Corona, I started thinking about how cold it was going to be, how I could care less who wins, etc. Then it was 1:30 am, and not only had I agreed to go to the game at this point, but I was excited about it, and I had my friends south of the border in Mexico who brew those oh so tasty beverages to thank. As I sat in my seat at the game, I kept quiet and I listened. I decided that I was going to wear normal clothes since I didn't have any Raiders/Steelers gear obviously, but I wore my Browns winter hat. By the time the game was finished, I had heard approximately 10 things that reiterrated my opinion that Steelers fans may just be the worst in football. In order to keep this somewhat brief, I will give you my top 5.

#5- "The Steelers need to fire Dick LeBeau"---- Just an absolute ridiculous comment. The dude first of all is 87 years old and has led some of the most dominant defenses in the history of NFL. Seondly, the Steelers are minus quite possibly the best DB in the NFL in Polamalu. If LeBeau were fired, he would receive 31 phone calls in 11 minutes with job offers.

#4- "These guys are just not worth me spending $75 anymore to come see"---- What? Have you seen the Browns? the Lions? the Rams? People still go to those games. You are not even a full year removed from the Super Bowl, and you have roughly the same roster. You are in what's called a "losing streak". They happen, Cleveland fans have seen double digit losing streaks on more than one occassion.

#3- "Roethlisberger is overrated."----- Sir, if you don't want him, you can have half of the Browns starting offense in return. Seriously, take them, they aren't going to start for your team anyways. As much as it just kills me to say this, the guy is a certified winner. I think he is the definition of a tool, but the guy wins football games.

#2- "How much longer are we going to suck?"----- I mean come on. You won the Super Bowl last year. Yes, you lost to the Raiders and the Chiefs this season, I get that. But you just don't realize how truly spoiled you are as a Steelers fan, and I hate it. You people are all bandwagon fans, and its a complete joke.

and last but not least, the most ridiculous comment of the day was.....

#1- "It was a complete mistake bringing Mike Tomlin in as a coach."----- I actually turned around and said something to the guy who said this because I was in complete disbelief. Oh, I'm sorry, the dude has coached 2 years, been in the playoffs both seasons and won the Super Bowl once. No, no, you're right, he should be pumping gas for a living.

So, moral of the story, stay true to the Browns. They'll be back, I promise. Don't lose faith and become one of these clowns.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... "Who should you idolize?"

You either live in a hole or your parents have grounded you for a month in your room with no access to the outside world if you haven't heard about Tiger Woods' deal. You know what the worst part of the whole thing is though? I would be surprised if he lost one sponsor. I mean, the guy walks to the grocery store and money falls out of his butt to buy bread. I am one who believes he has a right to privacy. The media is eating this up like a fat kid eats cupcakes, and you really can't blame them I guess, but come on. This is a person who people all over the world idolize, and now not so much. Speaking of other sports star goofs, Ron Artest comes to mind. Seriously dude? Henny at halftime? No wonder you rolled in to the stands in Detroit, you were hammered. How does nobody smell this on your breathe? Anyways, my point is this. Athletes are like everyone else. They are human, they make mistakes, a lot of them. You want an athlete to idolize? Choose Albert Pujols. The dude is sick. More importantly, in an interview with ESPN, he openly admitted he would not walk in to an elevator in a hotel if it opened and just one woman was alone in there. There's a smart athlete. Artest, pour out a little liquor for Big Al.


Mike Brown apologizes to Z...now let's move on

Big Z broke the record last night, finally, and is now officially the Cavaliers all-time leader in games played. Hats off to the big fella, and we all know what Z has meant to this team and this town as chronicled throughout the week. However, record in toe, I must ask everybody to take a step back and get off Mike Brown's back for a minute. As referenced yesterday on Stepien Rules, Mike Brown might have had a few more pressing things on his mind going into the Cavaliers game against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. Keep in mind, the Cavs just played awful on Friday, and had a red-hot, first placed, Dallas squad coming into town. He made the mistake of not announcing Z would play, and then after the non-announcement, he didn't play him. Not right. Bad move. However, the Cavaliers won the game going away. And they just blew out the Suns right after that. Since Friday, Mike Brown has the Cavaliers back on the right track...would you agree? And Brian Windhorst is also reporting that he has since apologized to Z for the DNP on Saturday. And people around town, including Big Z, still appear to be bent about it. Memo to all involved, get over it. Move on. And to Z specifically, we are all proud of you, seriously, but you're a role player now. Embrace it...the team needs you to.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... Grady, show us your Sizemore

Dude, come on Grady. Pictures in front of a mirror with a coffee cup over your junk? Sixth grade called, they want their center fielder back. More importantly, how does this happen? People all over the world every day send pictures of themselves to other people, and nobody hears a word about it. Someone stole it from your girlfriend's computer? Again, how does this happen? Get ready for opening day at the Jake (that's right, I called it the Jake and always will) that will be headlined by Fruit of the Loom signs at the very least. Well, I will say one thing Grady, there probably are women in the city of Cleveland that are thrilled about this "mishap". However, I am not a woman, and I am not thrilled. Get the batting average up a bit for next season, your glove is solid though. And oh ya, keep your damn pants on.


Wanted: Football GM. Apply Within

Position Available:
*General Manager/VP of Football Ops/Football Czar/Someone Who Can Stop the Bleeding of the Cleveland Browns. Wait! Hear me out

*Must have an Ego as Big as Lake Erie. Only someone cocky and arrogant can think they can fix this mess.
*Must have some sort of success in the NFL. A Super Bowl ring or two would help.
*Must be willing to relocate to cold, snowy, Cleveland, Oh. In the grips of a depression. Brady Quinn's house is on the market.. Still interested? Keep reading.
*Will Inherit a coaching staff in WAAAY over their heads. Mangini has been here almost a year, and we are way worse than we were at this time last year. Actually- you will be responsible for firing him. And please try to find "cause" so I dont have to pay him too. This is getting ridiculous.
*Will take over 53 man roster full of players past their prime (see Eric Barton, Hank Fraley, etc.), players that never truly developed (Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson), players that dont have a clue (Mohamed Massaquoi, Brandon McDonald) and players that would rather retire than be a part of your team (Jamal Lewis). Through Week 12, this roster of rejects is 1-10, has the 31st Overall Offense, and the 32nd Overall Defense. Good luck to you.

We'll tell you you will get 3 years to turn this thing around. But let's be honest. You dont have that long. I am done with this "rebuilding" thing. And dont try selling me any of this crap that you need time to find players that will "buy into your system". I fell for that garbage last year and look what it got me. A team full of Chansi Stuckey's and Mike Furrey's.

Also- all signs point to you making the 1st Overall selection in the 2010 Draft, along with 10 other draft picks. Dont mess this up. They say a 'miss' on a High Draft pick can set your franchise back 10 years. Just so you know, WE ARE THE REASON they say that..

Negotiable. Let's be honest- You have all the leverage here. I'm pretty desparate.

As soon as possible, but I understand if you want to wait until our potential 1-15 season is over. I wouldnt want to be associated with this either.

Serious Applicants only.
Please send resume to RandysDesparate@clevelandbrowns.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... Stuck at Uno

Before I get in to the Browns/Bengals game a bit, there are 3 things I would like to address. First, every time I see Hines Ward smiling after a catch, block, penalty, what have you, I want to just punch him directly in his mouth. Secondly, there is absolutely, positively, no chance a college football team can beat an NFL team. 0% chance. Florida, Alabama, and Texas would all lose to the Browns by a minimum of 28 points. Lastly, if you haven't yet seen "The Blind Side", go see it. Its an outstanding movie about football, survival and many other things. Ok, now that's out of the way, take a look at these nunbers. 358, 155, 340, 141, 277, 358, 206, 329, 344, 304 and 348. If you haven't yet figured it out yet, these are the numbers the Lions have given up through the air this year, which is good for dead last in the league. Those of you who thought the Browns had "turned the corner" last week against the Lions offensively, please consult a therapist. The Lions secondary is awful. Brady proved again today why the Browns are the worst team offensively in the league, by ripping off 7 points today. The passing game was bad, the running game was worse. Jamal, I know you are retiring, but can you leave now by chance? You had a good career, but its over pal, sorry. The defense again today was decent. Cedric Benson or not, they were decent. The play calling/decisons made by the Browns is terrible. How do you go for it on 4th and 4 from the 50 yard line, and then punt on 4th and 3 from the Bengals 40 yard line? Does that make sense to you? If it does, refer back to what I said about those who thought the Browns had turned the corner.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LeBron James wins Player of the Week

As the Cavaliers prepare to resume play tomorrow night, the King took in some more hardware. LeBron James won his 21st Player of the Week Award Yesterday. Go to StepienRules for the week that was from LeBron James, including stats and highlight videos from each game.

LeBron James: Week in Review

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cavs fall to Wizards - 108-91

On the second night of a back-back, with Shaq and Andy inactive, the Cavaliers fell to the Wizards 108-91 to push their record to 8-4 on the young season.

Before you panic, a word of caution from our favorite Cavaliers Blog...Stepien Rules:

For a complete recap of the game, click here:

Alright Just Relax...Cavs fall to Wiz

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents "Come on Man"

If you are a regular viewer of Monday Night Football, you are familiar with the segment about 20 minutes before kickoff called, "Come On Man." If you aren't, it's just a little segment where each of the broadcasters pick a play from Sunday that was awful, embarrassing, pathetic, what have you. The problem this week was that the segment aired just about 3 hours too early. I was stupid enough to watch the game in its entirety last night, but you know what, I'm glad I did. Because I stayed up until roughly 11:30, I got to witness two of the worst throws an NFL "first round draft choice quaterback" can make. I mean, seriously Brady? Those two deep throws were so far off that you overthrew some guys on the sidelines. The benches are what, 8-10 yards back from the sideline? Dude, you threw the rock over the bench on one of those throws. I really don't want to get in to how bad the offense was last night, but I have to make one comment that is just killing me. The offense is so bad right now that they are throwing bubble screens to Mike Furrey. That's correct, Mike Furrey. He's 32 years old, he was born in 1977, and he's a Pisces. This is also the same dude that was released by the Detroit Lions. He was the leading receiver last night with 6 catches for 30 yards. Want my lock of the weekend early? The over/under of the Browns and Lions game this weekend is 38.5. If you own a home, don't be afraid to bet it. These guys will need 8 quarters to score 39 points, and that's pushing it. Our beloved Brownies have scored like 4 offensive touchdowns in 15 games. How do the guys in Vegas put up a 38.5 point line? The defense played pretty well last night, I have to admit that. Keep in mind they are minus the 2nd or 3rd best player on that defense in D'qwell Jackson who is out for the season. Shaun Rogers is an absolute beast. I think he'll come put blazing on Sunday against his old team Detroit. Wish I could say the same about Ferocious Furrey.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Did LBJ's silence on free agency speculation settle Mo down?

Since LeBron has made it clear that he will no longer answer free agency questions, Mo Williams numbers have sky-rocketed. Could LeBron have been refering to Mo when he said he wanted to no longer be a distraction?

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

LeBron's silence just what Mo needed to hear

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recapping Cavaliers 107-103 Win over the Jazz

Go to StepienRules for a recap and reaction to the Cavaliers 107-103 win over the Utah Jazz last night.

Included features:

JJ Hickson, welcome to LeBron's circle of trust...

On Coach Mike Brown and his rotation...

Redemption for Mo Williams...

Cavaliers move to 7-3 with the win.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cavaliers vs. Magic - Live Game Blog Tonight

The Cavaliers tip off at Orlando tonight in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Go to Stepien Rules to join the live game blog

Live Game Blog - Cavs at Magic

Allen Iverson to the Cavaliers

Could Allen Iverson be coming to the Cavaliers?

Go to StepienRules for details on the Answer and the Cavs...

Allen Iverson to Cavs is a ______ idea

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interview with Cavs Fans Rap Group

The Rap Group that most recently brought you the song A Ring for the King - set to the tune of Bone Thugs N Harmony's Ghetto Cowboy - and last season put out their breakthru hit Notorious Cavs - sampling Biggie Smalls and Bone - recently sat down with Stepien Rules for an interview.

Its worth the read...the link is as follows:

Interview with Group that brough you A Ring for the King

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marc Stein: LeBron to Dallas

Marc Stein decided to write that its possible LeBron could play for the Dallas Mavericks next season.

Go to Stepien Rules for the complete excerpt from Stein, and a reaction:

No Way Marc Stein Can Even Believe Himself

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cavs vs. Bulls Live Blog - Join In

Glenn Moore is bloggin live from Press Row at the Cavs game...go to Stepien Rules to join in now.

Live Blog - Cavs vs. Bulls - Join In

Cavs - Bulls: Pregame Interviews

The Bulls are in town tonight to tip off against the Cavaliers.

Go to StepienRules for video and audio of pregame interviews.

Video: Anthony Parker on Growing up a Bulls Fan, Comparing LBJ and Jordan

Audio: Mike Brown on Delonte West off Bench, Starting 5, D-Rose, and More

Audio: Vinny Del Negro on Tonight's Match-up with the Cavaliers

More Audio from Anthony Parker

Audio / Video: Cavs-Bulls Pregame

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cavaliers look to go 2-2 tonight

The Cavaliers look to even their early season record tonight against the Bobcats.

Go to Stepien Rules for a look back at Friday's 104-87 win over the Timberwovles

Also, go to Stepien Rules for a preivew of tonight's match-up with Charlotte:

Get to 2-2 and all is right with the world

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Previewing Cavs - T-Wolves: Game 3 Friday

The third Game of the Cavaliers regular season is Friday in Minnesota.

Go to Stepien Rules for a complete preview, including questions facing the Cavaliers, starting line-ups, and key match-ups:

Friday Game 3: Cavs vs. T-Wolves

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cavs Fans Rap Song: A Ring for the King

The group that brought you the Notorious Cavs last season has come out with their new release...

A Ring for the King

Check it out...its awesome.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bullish and Bearish Offerings from Cavs Game

The Cavs lost to the Wiz last night with about half the team out sick.

Go to Stepien Rules for a list of Bullish and Bearish Offerings from last night's game

Wednesday vs. Wiz: Bullish and Bearish

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cavs win preseason opener 92-87

The Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 92-87 in their preseason opener at the Q on Tuesday.

Go to Stepien Rules for details of the 2009-10 Cavaliers' debut:

Preseason Game 1: A Collection of Thoughts

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Email to Delonte West...

Delonte West missed practice today, and Mike Brown said the absence was unexcused.

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

An Email to Delonte West...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Browns Season Ticketholders Seek Advocacy Help from Ralph Nader?

At this point, in the history of the world, there may not be a group of consumers in more of a need for a high-powered consumer advocacy campaign than Cleveland Browns Season Ticket holders. Could Ralph Nader be getting involved? We can only hope.

Go to StepienRules for details:

A collection of thoughts on a Sunday night

A.L. Casoni presents.... "Are they that bad?"

I'll start this piece off by answering the question. Yes, the Browns are that bad. There is no reason to even try and rationalize it. I just reviewed the schedule, and I see a maximum of 2 wins. This team should stroll in to their week 9 bye fresh off of ripping off their 8th straight loss. Let's review. Already 0-3. Sunday they play the Bengals, followed by the Bills, Steelers, Packers, and Bears. See a win in there? If they have any chance of winning before the bye, it will happen in the next 2 weeks. I am a firm believer in a "hangover" game, and that could happen with the Bengals after a terrific comeback win over Pittsburgh. Next, the Bills are a mess. Wait, so are the Browns. A bigger mess then Buffalo, and this game is in Buffalo. That brings us back to week 4. We have 1 opportunity to win before the bye week. If you look at the Browns starting 22 (offense/defense combined), we have roughly 5 players who would start on nearly every team in the NFL. Braylon, Joe Thomas, Wimbley, D'Qwell Jackson and Shaun Rogers. If you throw in special teams, you could include Cribbs in the mix without a doubt, sure. That's it.... That means we have 17 starting players who would be lucky to be in the 2 deep depth chart on most NFL teams. How can you win football games with these people? You want the quarterback ordeal solved? Line Cribbs up behind center and let him play ball. Seriously, I would put Cribbs in at qb, let him run the "wildcat" (i hate that term by the way), and let him do his thing. What do you have to lose? The guy can throw the rock, he was a quarterback in college at Kent. Who said they can't run a college style offense? Run options, run slip screens, do whatever. Who cares at this point. I typically say at this point in the season that the season is only 3 games in, and don't give up hope, but this is a different deal. The season is finished, and if you don't believe it, you need your head examined. By the way, who in the hell came up with the name "Mangenius?" Probably someone who doesn't think the Browns season is over yet I guess....


Saturday, September 26, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... "Against All Odds"

In an effort to keep the woeful Browns out of your head, I decided to try and help make everyone some money in a segment entitled "Against All Odds". I'll be giving everyone my picks against the line for every game this weekend. I certainly do not consider myself by any means a good gambler, but we're going to give it a go anyways. Here goes.......

Washington (-6) @ Detroit. I like the Lions in this one. They eventually have to win, or at least cover, right? Washington looked awful against a "worse then the Browns" Rams team last weekend, and Portis is banged up.

Green Bay (-6.5) @ St. Louis. Green Bay, no hesitation. If you need more info, see above.

San Fran (+7) @ Minnesota. I am still not sold on either of these teams despite both of them being 2-0. I don't like this game, but history shows west coast teams do not perform well when heading east and playing in a 1:00 game. Take the Favre's.

Atlanta (+4.5) @ New England. The Pats should be 0-2, no question. I still can't believe the Bills choked that opener. I have heard everyone say the Pats are not going to be that good this year, and i somewhat get that, but I am not ready to believe that yet. Lot of offense in this game and the Patriots cover.

Tennessee (+2) @ NY Jets- Will the Titans fall to 0-3? Is Sanchez going to take the Jets to 3-0? The Jets defense is solid, but Sanchez still has a lot to prove. I don't think a team in Tennessee that went 13-3 last year falls to 0-3. I like the team from the Music City in this one. Also, I would like to thank the schedule makers in 3 out of 4 fantasy leagues I am in for deciding that week 2 was a good time for my squads to play against Chris Johnson.

Kansas City (+7.5) @ Philadelphia. The Chiefs are bad, Vick is back, and its in Philly. Will someone eventually agree with me and say that Cassell is a 1 year wonder who was surrounded by an incredible offense last year? Take the Birds

NY Giants (-6.5) @ Tampa. I do think this will not be a good game for the Giants. They are banged up again on the defensive line, and they are coming off 2 battles the last 2 weeks. However, they are playing the Bucs. Take the G-men

Cleveland (+13.5) @ Baltimore. Um.................. Ravens. The line should be more than this. One of these days the Browns may surprise us like when they beat the Giants on Monday night last year, but it won't be this one.

Houston (-3.5) @ Jacksonville. This may be the toughest matchup. You have no idea which Texan team or Jaguar team will show up. Something tells me this game is decided by a field goal, so Jacksonville...

Chicago (-2.5) @ Seattle. Forte runs all over the Seahawks which should make fantasy owners put his 2 previous games behind them. Seneca Wallace is just not a good quarterback also. Da Bears...

New Orleans (-6) @ Buffalo. This Saints team is something else. Is Brees serious with this start? I still think the Bills have a lot of questions to answer on defense with some of their injuries. The Saints march in to Buffalo and take care of business

Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Cincinnati. I think the Bengals are going to surprise a lot of teams this year, just ask Green Bay. I would pay money to see the Steelers start 1-2, but that just won't happen. The over under on this game should be 19, but the Steelers cover.

Denver (+1.5) @ Oakland. This Bronco team is very underrated. Their defense is solid, and Kyle "the beard" Orton is due for a big game in this one. Love Denver in this one.

Miami (+6) @ San Diego. Another tough one, but I like the Dolphins. Merriman is banged up, Tomlinson is out. Rivers threw for like 500 yards against the Ravens last weekend, he can't repeat that. I think San Diego wins, but the Fins cover.

Indianapolis (+2.5) @ Arizona. So let me get this straight. Peyton Manning leads an incredible drive against the Dolphins last week to win the game (and cover the line) in the last few minutes, and he is rewarded by being an underdog in the desert? Colts. The Colts running game is a mess, but I still like them.

Carolina (+8.5) @ Dallas. Jerry Jones looked pretty salty after his squad fell to the Giants in his opening game in that stadium, city, small village, whatever you want to call it. Carolina is just not looking too good right now. I like the Boys...

Good luck and remember, I'm no expert...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome to Cleveland Party for Shaq

The Barley House in Cleveland is hosting a Welcome to Cleveland Party for Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday September 27th, and basically every star in the world is scheduled to be there.

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

Welcome Shaq Party...Featuring David Huff

Monday, September 21, 2009

How About the Stephen Jackson Trade Now?

When Stephen Jackson first said he wanted to be traded to the Cavaliers it was pretty easily dismissed at the time. But with the uncertainty that currently surround Delonte West, what about that now?

Go to Stepien Rules for details on the latest:

Stephen Jackson Anyone?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cavs Beat: Update on Delonte Situation

With details slow to emerge, Cavs beat reporters Bob Finnan and Brian Windhorst weigh-in offering perspective and insight into the Delonte West situation.

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

Cavs Beat: Delonte West Situation

Cavalier Bloggers Wanted!

Stepien Rules...A Cavaliers Blog is currently looking to add bloggers to its staff for upcoming season.

If you are an NBA fan, passionate about the Cleveland Cavaliers, go to Stepien Rules for details:

Stepien Rules: Bloggers Wanted!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Delonte West Arrested With 3 Loaded Guns

Scary and sad news about Delonte West...arrested yesterday with 3-loaded weapons.

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

Delonte West Arrested with 3 Loaded Guns

LBJ to Star in Comedy Fantasy Basketball Camp

LBJ is scheduled to be a movie star, and he didn't need New York to do it.

Go to Stepien Rules for details, and discussion for the implications of this on the summer of 2010:

LBJ The Movie Star: Applaud him Cleveland

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Will There Ever Be Another Short, White, American Born, BBall HOF'er?

Is John Stockton the last short, white, American-Born, B-Baller who will ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Go to Stepien Rules for a detailed list of all possible candidates:

Stockton: Last Short, White, US -Born Hall of Famer...Ever

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... Recap of Game 1

Did you really think the Browns were going to win at halftime? Seriously, did you really want to believe that the defense was going to shut down Peterson for the entire game? There were a few highlights, so let's start with that. I was somewhat impressed with Jamal Lewis. I think he ran the ball hard, and caught a few balls out of the backfield. Obviously the return by Cribbs was the highlight of the day for the Browns. Other than that, I don't have a ton to say. The play calling was bad, really bad. I know we are trying to run a conservative offense. I get that. I don't agree, but I get it. If we are running a conservative offense, why do we decide to run the "wildcat" look on 3rd and goal from the 1 yard line? Give the football to Jamal and let him take it in. Period. There should have been no other play call. Its going to be a long year, I said it before and I'll say it again. I did however come up with 3 headlines to post from this game.

First- We really, really, really, really (add 17 more reallys) messed up by not taking Adrian Peterson. The guy is the best running back in the NFL, and he is just starting his second campaign. That 50 yard touchdown run, or whatever it was, solidified him as the best back and the Browns as the worst tackling team in the league.

Second- Percy Harvin will be one of the best receivers/playmakers in the league in a couple years. The guy is just flat out dangerous when he has the rock.

Third- Robert Royal is going to soon become a "must start" fantasy tight end soon. Call it what you want, but Quinn can't throw the ball further then 17 yards without looking like a high school trumpet player throwing the pigskin. Royal provides Quinn a safe target, and most defenses still believe he is a worthless tight end and won't defend him properly.

Good news is there were a few teams today that played worse. The Rams and Lions certainly come to mind. We'll see you in Denver....


LeBron in Browns Gear for Vikings Game?

Unconfirmed reports indicate that LeBron was rocking Brownies gear at the opener today against the Vikings. If true, could be lone highlight of afternoon with the exception of Josh Cribbs' TD.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details:

LeBron at Browns Game in Cleveland Gear

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cavs to Play Regular Season Game in Akron

The Cavaliers' Intrasquad scrimmage is to be held at Akron's JAR Arena on October 3rd but is it possible that the Cavaliers could schedule a regular season home game in LBJ's hometown of AKR?

Go to StepienRules for details:

Cavs to Play Regular Season Game in Akron

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cavalier Rotation Questions...

Danny Ferry has been active this offseason, and through his efforts, he has delivered a roster that ESPN has ranked as the best in the Eastern Conference. The questions now becomes who plays, when, and how does Mke Brown effectively manage this rotation. Stepien Rules took a look at some of those questions this week, in their series:

Cavs Rotation Questions...

Monday - Who Starts
Tuesday - Who Makes Active Roster
Wedensday - Managing Shaq's Minutes
Thursday - Go Big or Go Small

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cavs Sign Green...Did They Miss Out on Impact Player?

The Cavalies signed Danny Green this past week to a two year contract, but did they miss an impact player in picks 31 thru 46? Fact is, while Green might help, Eyenga won't. If summer league stats serves as any indicator, there are (5) players that outscored Eyenga and Green combinded taken in the second round.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details, and full breakdown of Summer League Statistics:

Did Cavaliers Miss Impact Player in Draft?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shaq and Sinjin Smith? In Shaq Vs. Tonight

In episode two Shaq will square off in a sand volleyball match agains Misty May Trayner and Kerri Walsh...Could Sinjin Smith an Randy Stoklos be possible teammates tonight?

Go To Stepien Rules for Details:

Shaq Vs. Episode Two

Monday, August 24, 2009

LeBon Steps Into DJ Booth...

In the summer of rap that is the Cleveland Cavaliers offseason, LBJ stepped into the DJ Booth this past weekend at the Akron Nike Tourstop...did he kick a rhyme?

Lets hope not...go to Stepien Rules for details:

LBJ in the DJ Booth...Don't Do It!

A Walk Thru World History With LBJ

Go to Stepien Rules for pics of LBJ walking thru the Akron crowd at Nike Tourstop...and a prediction that comes full circle for Akron's mayor...

"I told my mayor friends back when LeBron was 14..."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A.L. Casoni presents.... Eric, pick your "Man"gini, would ya....

New England.... Indianapolis..... San Diego..... Dare I say it, Pittsburgh.... What do these teams have in common besides consistently being good? They don't have quarterback issues. Seriously, what is Mangini proving by waiting to name a quarterback? What does that do to the offense? I'll tell you what it does, it makes it worse. How are the receivers and running backs supposed to get comfortable with the quarterback if they don't know who it is going to be? You see Favre last night? I did, and it was like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, without a chance of success. He was pointing everywhere at the receivers of where he thought they should be, missing targets by a mile, etc. Granted he has been there 4 days, but my point is the offense is not comfortable with him. The Browns are not going to be a good football team. There, I said it. It sucks, but its reality people. But if they want to win any games, choose a quarterback, and choose him now, or we will repeat Detroit's amazing story last year....


CP3 Joins LBJ on Court in Akron

Chris Paul joined LeBron James on the court in Akron for a shoot-around yesterday at Nike's MTAG tour. They looked good playing together, future teammates?

Go to Stepien Rules for pics of CP3 and LBJ in Akron:

CP3 Joins LBJ On Court in Akron

Friday, August 21, 2009

LeBron Tours Akron with Nike and MTAG

The Nike More Than A Game Tour was at Summit Lake Park in Akron Friday, and Akron was there to meet their King.

Go to Stepien Rules for Pics of LBJ taking the stage in Akron:

He Put On For His City

Nike's More Than A Game Tour: Akron, OH

Nikes Worldwide tour promoting the upcoming film More Than a Game touched down in Akron last night.

Go to Stepien Rules for an inside look at the movie scheduled to be released in October, as well as the Q & A which followed the screening with LeBron James and company:

MTAG Tour: Akron Civic Theatre

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Newest Cavalier Forward: Rob Kurz

Go To Stepien Rules for Details and Perspective on the Newest Cavalier Forward: Rob Kurz

Monday, August 17, 2009

Shaq Vs. Big Ben is a Must Win

After losing the last 10 straight head to head match-ups with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland's best chance to beat Pittsburgh on the gridiron might just be tomorrow night on ABC's premiere of Shaq Vs.

Go To Stepien Rules for Details:

Shaq Vs. Big Ben is a Must Win

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Catching Up on the Weekend...

Joe Smith signs with Atlanta...Rob Kurz signs with the Cavaliers...Shaq Versus to premiere against Big Ben...More than a game Tour Stop touches down in DC...

go to Stepien Rules for Details:

Catching Up on the Weekend...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Joe Smith in Rap Battle w/ Cavalier Rappers?

With the Cavaliers acquiring platinum selling artist Shaquille O'Neal, then the Delonte West freestyle success, and now the recent exploits of Nike Rapper Fog Raw, it seems there might not be enough mics to go around for Joe Beast in Cleveland these days.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details:

Too Many Rappers in Cleveland for Joe Beast

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mo Williams as Fog Raw

Mo Williams is the latest in a long line of Cavalier rappers:

Go to Stepien Rules to see Mo Williams as Fog Raw

Check out Mo Williams in the new Nike Commercial as Fog Raw

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cavs Sign Leon Powe: Great Deal for Cleveland

The Cavaliers have rolled the dice on Leon Powe to a contract that is well worth the risk.

Go to Stepien Rules for details:

Cavs Ink Powe: Great Deal for Cleveland

Monday, August 10, 2009

The New LBJ VII's Look Sweet, But...

Do they work for nearly 30 - year old rec league basketball players?

A question you must answer before purchasing...

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details, and LeBron's take on the Shoe:

LeBron on His New Shoe: The LBJ VII's

Sunday, August 9, 2009

LBJ on Contract, PED's, Dunktapegate, and Shaq

LBJ spoke on a variety of topics in his press conference friday, including his contract status, the 10 game suspension of Orlando's Lewis for PED', Dunktapegate, and playing with Shaq.

Go to Stepien Rules for the details and comments:

LBJ on Contract, PED's Dunktapegate, and Shaq

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Villanueva Lacks Talent Evaluation Skills

Charlie Villanueva recently tweeted about the Pistons' signing of Ben Wallace.

He said it will bring hard nosed defense and rebounding.

In reality, it will bring a once dominate player who is about 4 years past his prime...just ask Cavs fans.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details:

CV31 Lacks Talent Evaluation Skils

Friday, August 7, 2009

Complete Lyrics to the Delonte West Freestyle

The detailed research had to have been tedious, but that didnt stop the folks at Cleveland Frowns from digging deep and gaining that extra yard on 4th and 2.

The Complete Lyrics to the Delonte West Freestyle were posted today by Cleveland Frowns.

Stepien Rules has details, analysis, 1st verse.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 5 Lines from Delonte's KFC Freestyle

While D-West dropped a number of gems in his KFC Freestyle, go to Stepien Rules for the Top 5:

Top Five Lines for Delonte's KFC Freestyle

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jamario Moon's Top Ten Dunks

Jamario Moon will add some excitement and energy off the bench this season.

Go to Stepien Rules to see Jamario Moon's Top Ten Dunks:

Jamario Moon's Top Ten Career Dunks

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cleveland Needs More Stepien Rules

Larry Dolan is running the Indians into the ground in an eriely similar manner to the way that disgraced Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien did his club. Dolan will say that the dollars he can afford to pay are based on the fact that his club is in a small market. Except Dan Gilbert has the third highest payroll in his league. Same market.

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details:

Cleveland Needs More Stepien Rules

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Odom for Haslem Trade Possible

The latest rumblings have Odom going to Miami for Udonis Haslem. At least Boozer isn't going too.

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details.

Possible Sign and Trade: Odom for Haslem

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shaq Gets Baracked Out...LBJ Quiet on Offer

Shaq tried to get into the White House yesterday, but couldnt get in.

So he took out his frusterations in the world of makebelieve wrestling.

And LBJ isn't talking contract.

Go to Stepien Rules for the details.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Leon Powe to Cleveland?

Rumormill: Leon Powe to Cleveland.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details

Shaq Won't Help Cavs...According to My Uncles

I was at my family reunion last weekend, and according to my uncles, Shaq won't help the Cavaliers.

Go to Stepien Rules for Details of the Conversation.

Shaq Won't Help Cavs...According to my Uncles.

Deal Martinez and Lee?

If I was forced to watch a Cleveland Indians game for the remainder of the season, I would only really find solace in the fact that I could watch Victor Martinez hit, and Cliff Lee pitch - every fifth day. If the rumors of the Indians making a deal with the Dodgers for James Looney, and whoever the heck else they are looking to acquire in a 'return to the old days salary dump manuever' come to fruition, I would have no reason to turn them back on for the next two years. Sorry Grady. I know they are awful this year, but if the Indians had any real intention of every being good, wouldn't a Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee type player be the two guys you built your team around? Or is the better question, do the Indians have any real intention of ever actually being good. Bring back nickel beer night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shaq Versus Is a Good Sign For Cavs Fans

Shaq's new show - Shaq Versus - is a good sign for Cavaliers Fans.

Go To Stepien Rules for Details:

Shaq Versus: Good Sign for Cavs Fans

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cavs Ink Jamario Moon to Offer Sheet

The Cavaliers have reportedly inked Restricted Free Agent Jamario Moon to an offer sheets.

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details:

Cavs Ink Jamario Moon to Offer Sheet

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Odom and Boozer to Heat: Don't Be True

They wouldn't be the team to beat necessarily in the East but the Heat would be real solid, and capable of winning the East if they acquire Odom and Boozer.

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details:

I Hope the Following is Not True

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parker v. Langdon: 2006 Euro League Title Game

Anthnoy Parker is a great sign for the Cavaliers, but did you know that he was beaten and outscored by Trajan Langdon in the 2005-2006 Euroleague Title Game?

Go to Stepien Rules for the Details:

Anthony Parker, the European Years

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brown on Hot Seat

Despite the wins in the first four years of his career, 2009-2010 will undoubtedly put Mike Brown on the Hot Seat.

Will Brown beat the heat?

Go to Stepien Rules for the details.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dunktapegate: Nike Commercial to Follow

It is my opinion that the Dunk heard round the web will soon be a Nike Commercial classic featuring LeBron James.

For more on that go to Stepien Rules to read:

Dunktapegate: Nike Commercial to Follow

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Anderson Varejao: Chosen 2 Stay

Resigning Varejao was a move the Cavaliers had to make.

Go to Stepien Rules for the reasons why choosing to sign Andy was a solid play:

Anderson Varejao: Chosen 2 Stay

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Josh Childress and the Full MLE

If you are the Cavaliers, and you have to pay the 6'8" 26 year old Josh Childress 5-years at $5.8 mil per to get him, I say you do that.

Go to Stepien Rules for full details:

Josh Childress and the MLE

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stepien Rules - New Member of Bloguin Network

If you are wondering what's been happening with the Shaver Sports posts of late, I apologize for the delayed response. While Shaver Sports was founded by two bloggers to remain nameless, one is getting married, and the other has launched a new site which will be home to the majority of his blogging energy. It is our hope here at Shaver Sports that Stepien Rules...A Cavaliers Blog will become one of your new stops on this the world wide web of information that Al Gore was so gracious enough to invent.

A proud member of the Bloguin team, Stepien Rules was recently launched, and if it weren't for a series of trips out of town over the last few weeks, the launch would have been quicker. But I'm home now, and if you stop by Stepien Rules in the days to come, you will find posts on a daily basis, that if you don't find interesting, I hope you read and come back anyway, because I am sure that one day something will be posted that you will be glad to have skimmed over.

Stop by Stepien Rules today...if you have time.

Stepien Rules: The Ariza Developments

Go To Stepien Rules:

The Ariza Developments Are Encouraging if your a Cavaliers' fan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jason Whitlock Hating On Shaq - Stepien Rules

Jason Whitlock called Shaq a 40 year old groupie with breast implants...Whitlock Hates on Shaq

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stepien Rules - A Cavaliers Blog

Check out Stepien Rules - A Cavaliers Blog - for the best in Cavaliers coverage and banter. Go to StepienRules today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A.L. Cassoni presents....Money Talks, Stallworth Walks

I really don't even know how to start this article so I'm just going to flat out say it. 1 frickin month? Excuse me, not even a month, 24 days. More importantly, the victim's family is happy with the punishment (or lack there of) to Donte. Who said money can't buy you everything? Drunk Stallworth never said that. It bought him another life. Seriously, money bought him another life. Sad but true. It also bought the Reyes', the victim's family, another life. This guy rips off an all night bender, decides to hit up a late night spot (or make that the middle of rush hour spot if you will at 7 am) and hits and kills a guy. Not only is he going to serve less then a month in jail, but he is going to play ball for the Browns this year. Hell, I don't even want him. Get rid of him. What did he have last year, 200yards receiving and 1 touchdown? Let these rookies prove themselves. Goodell has one chance to salvage this thing and give him a big suspension, but who knows if that will happen. Apparently dogs are more important in civilization now then people since Vick got a couple years for his thing, and Stallworth gets just over 3 weeks. I really don't get people saying Vick's thing was premeditated and Stallworth's was not. Who cares? Stallworth ended a human being's life, and more importantly, he was drunk when doing it. I was talking to a guy at my office about this, and he goes, "Well, I heard Stallworth has his license taken away from him for the rest of his life, so that should count for something." Stallworth should be thrilled about that. The guy has enough money to buy a limo with a driver, and have him take him around whenever and wherever he wants while he sits in the back and sips on a cold one. Many new stations reported that if this were a regular dude with average income, he would probably have to serve 15-20 years in jail. So I guess ACDC put it best... "Come on Come on, lovin' for the money. Come on come on, listen to the money talk." Say hello to Art Modell in hell Donte...

Monday, June 15, 2009

More on the Shaq to Cleveland Rumors

For more on the Shaq to Cleveland rumors, read what I had to say about in my latest post on Midwest Sports Fans.

The Link is as follows: How Real Are the Shaq to Cleveland Rumors?

A.L. Casoni presents- Too much Bubbly ... A View from the Burgh

Like many Clevelandlers, I really don't understand icing and high sticking. I don't get it when you are sometimes allowed to catch the puck in mid air and sometimes you can't. None of that really mattered this past Friday night though. As I was sitting at a bar in downtown Pittsburgh Friday night, there were tons of Penguins fans and Red Wings fan around. As the clock struck 0:00 in game 7, I closed my eyes because I knew it was coming. The roar of another championship. The sound of drunk and sober people (mostly drunk) celebrating another one. The noises of a self proclaimed city known as, "City of Champions". It made me sick. I have lived in this city since April of 2005. Pittsburgh has brought home 3 World Championships in that span. 3 of them, are you serious? Out of a total of 13 possible championships that they could have won during that time, they have won over 20% of them. That stat even includes the God-forsaken Pirates who haven't had a winning record since the Reagan administration. What made me even more angry was some of the Penguins fans at the watering hole saying, "Finally the Penguins won one." It took me everything I had not to turn around and say something to them. Are they that spoiled? The stupid Penguins won the Cup in 1992. Sorry that winning a title every 17 years is not good enough for you. The Indians are somewhat close, maybe. The Cavs are even closer. The Browns are, well, the Browns are better then the Lions, at least last year. Yet Cleveland fans hear about our "championship drought" more in the media then from their peers. We all know how long its been, yet we still don't bitch about it. Cleveland has earned the right to say "Finally" when we win a championship, not these ridiculous people.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Shaq In The Hand's More Than 2 In the Bosh

Plastered on ESPNEWS rolling ticker this morning is the sentence: "Shaquille O'Neal to Cavaliers trade talks heating up."

ESPN's Chris Brossard reported this morning on Sportscenter that the trade deadline talks that spurned rumors of Shaq teaming up with LeBron earlier this season never actually died, and are currently gaining new momentum. While he noted that the deal is not imminent, from all indications former teammates Steve Kerr (Suns GM) and Danny Ferry are certainly talking about the possibilities of it.

Waiting For Next Year while supporting the possible move, posted on this subject this morning saying in part: "...the trade would essentially tie up the Cavs roster for the year and hinder their ability to make any sort of trade during the season (like say...Chris Bosh). This would most likely be the final product we go to war with next postseason..."

Details of the trade involve the Cavaliers moving Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to make way for the Big Fella.

While it is certainly true, that trading for Shaq and his $20 mil price tag would prevent other possible moves as the offseason and season move forward - specifically the aforementioned Bosh - that really shouldn't matter at this point. You can argue that the Cavaliers are not 'desperate' to improve their roster at this point, but there is no denying the fact that the sense of urgency is at an all-time high.

If you want to argue that Bosh is a better move than Shaq, I'll give you that. But how real is it? I don't see how the Cavaliers could wait on an opportunity like that (Bosh) presenting itself, when it may never come. If this Shaq deal, or a variation of it, presents itself, there is no way that Cleveland cannot make that move. Shaq makes you better right now, and there is no more time to wait on that. It's all in time for Cleveland, and I'll take my chances on the 37-old Shaq.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fire Mike Brown?

Sam Amico caused a stir recently indicating that Mike Brown's job is in jeopardy. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but let's talk about that for a second.

Here is the only way I would fire Mike Brown: If LeBron James wants him fired. Right or wrong, if LeBron wants him fired, fire him.

But lets assume for a second that LeBron isn't leading this campaign. Can you really fire this guy?

Mike Brown won 66 games during the regular season. He won Coach of the Year, and then went into the playoffs and won 8 out of his first 8. 74-16 going into the Orlando series.

With that being the case, you are saying that he should be fired due to his performance during the Orlando series. Okay, so what went wrong there? Defensive match-ups, and offensive performance.


Hedo Turkulu: The Cavaliers best option on Hedo Turkulu was Delonte West. That being said, Mike Brown's best play on the 6'10" Turkulu was a 6'3" combo guard. No matter how gritty West might be, that's not good. And its not Mike Brown's, nor West's fault, that this was his best option here.

Rashard Lewis: What would you have liked Brown to do there. Cover him himself? Wally? Sasha? C'mon. Both guys would have been dominated inside. Or maybe he should have played his other 6'9" athletic big man...well that guys not on the roster. Should Ben Wallace have been covering him on that last second shot? No way, that was a bad move, but Lewis made plenty of other baskets besides that one. And truth be told, Anderson had a chance against Lewis inside, but when Rashard stepped outside it was over.

Rafer Alston: They left him open by design, and he hit shots. Should LeBron have been covering him? In hindsight no, but it was a decent idea. If Alston missed shots, you leave your biggest, best athlete to help all over the court on all the other mismatches, which were at the other four positions - all over the floor.

Courtney Lee / Mikael Petrus: Mo Williams is an average defender at best, and stood no shot against either player. Who should they have played instead? Daniel Gibson?

Dwight Howard: Z? Ummm...

Offensive Strategy:

The famous knock on Brown. During the regular season people said that Brown made dramatic strides on the offensive end of the floor as a Coach. I don't think so. He just had the luxury of having a point guard who could distribute and hit open shots - Mo Williams - and a combo guard that did the same in West. What happened then you ask? Well Mo Williams couldn't kick it into Lake Erie for one, and when your second best option doesn't show up, your kind of in a jam offensively.

The reports that are surfacing indicate that Dan Gilbert wants to see Brown replaced, and Danny Ferry disagrees. While I don't buy that, let's ask why Ferry wouldn't want to see Mike take the fall for this? Well, because the Cavaliers don't have enough talent. And before you say then why did they win 66 games then, I will tell you its because the Cavaliers played hard every night of an NBA regular season where teams take nights off regularly. As a result, they won more games than their talent should have dictated. They got into the playoffs, where every team plays hard, and talent won out.

Did Mike Brown Coach a perfect series? No. In addition to the Ben Wallace on Rashard Lewis basket at the buzzer, I blame Brown for not getting the ball to LeBron James more at the free throw line with a live dribble like they did in Game 5. They didn't do that in Game 6, and it cost the Cavaliers. But if your fire Mike Brown now, your acting irrationally as an organization. Your acting like, well, that team in Berea...and I think the Cavaliers are better than that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Names Surfacing In Cavalier Rumors

Micheal Reghi mentioned (3) names as re-curring rumors as possible Cavalier offseason moves on air today, and while all three probably make the Cavaliers better, its hard to say that any put them over the top. I've listed them below though, and you can decide for yourself.

Jason Kidd - This was the move LeBron wanted a few years ago, and he was p.o'd when it didn't happen if you recall (Cavs made deal for Wallace, Szerbiak, Joe Smith, and Delonte at deadline instead - Kidd went to Dallas). You might make this move if for no other reason but to appease the King, but does Kidd make you better? A little better I guess. He adds size and consistencey to the Cavaliers back court, two things noticeably lacking against Orlando. Leadership? Sure he does. But how much does he have left in the tank at 37? That remains to be seen.

Charlie Villanueava - He would probably be the best offensive big man the Cavaliers have. Actually there is no probably involved there, he certainly would be. But is that saying much? Not really. The thing with him is if you can get him for (3) years, and reasonable dollars I say why not. But chances are you won't. I think he is going to be asking for (5) years, double digit millions, and do you pay that to a guy who averaged 26 minutes a game this season, and will be playing on his (4th) team in (5) years? Sounds a little like a guy with a hair patch growing out the back of his head that used to wear number 90 if you ask me.

Rasheed Wallace - Okay, he makes you better too - if healthy - but I initially say no. He is 34, played awful this past season, and is most likely going to disrupt any locker room that he is in at some point. Does he bring an edge the Cavaliers at time seem to lack? Yep. Additionally, he could step outside if healthy, and knock down the perimeter shot, and he would have matched up well against Rashard Lewis this past series. But I don't know. Health and dollars are huge factors here. The downside is huge, and is the upside at this point in his career really that high?

Lets just hope Ben Wallace retires, and go from there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Aldrige Are You Serious, Call Byner?

I respect David Aldridge as an NBA Analyst. ESPN made a bad move replacing him with Screamin A. Smith, and I think that goes without saying at this point. However, in his recent article where he says that LeBron should call Earnest Byner to learn about sportsmanship? C'mon. Earnest Byner should call LeBron to learn how to not fold under pressure.

An excerpt from Aldrige's NBA.com Article is below:

Byner went left, looking like he'd score for sure. And then, he was hit from the side by a Broncos' defensive back, Jeremiah Castille. Byner fumbled. The Broncos recovered. Denver won. Cleveland lost. Again.

If anyone -- anyone -- had the right not to talk after losing such a game, in such a manner, after having been so heroic on the field, after having his heart broken in front of 75,933 fans at Mile High Stadium and millions more watching at home, it was Byner.

But Byner spoke. Did he ever.

"I was going for the touchdown, obviously, and the ball came out," Byner said. "So what can I say?...I tried to split two guys and the ball just popped out."

Time and time again, he answered the same question, over and over again: what happened? He answered it at his locker for more than half an hour, still in uniform, and if he raised his voice or was curt or profane to anyone, I am not aware of it, and neither are the dozens of reporters and camera people who were there. It remains the single most courageous, classy thing I have ever seen an athlete do. Ever. It should be required reading and/or viewing for anyone who plays any sport on how to handle defeat.

That's why you should call him, LeBron. He knows.

David, you might have be wowed by this at the time, but the whole event made Cleveland sick. And while everybody in Cleveland is well aware of the fact that Byner fumbled away a ticket to the Super Bowl, nobody remembers - or cares - that he talked to the media after he did so. And nobody would have even noticed - or cared - that LeBron didn't shake hands after the game, or talk to the media, if guys like you weren't making it a major issue. Move on. Time to cover the Orlando Magic and LA Lakers. And reminding us about Byner? Thanks for nothing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

So LeBron Didn't Shake Hands, Huh?

LeBron was supposed to shake Dwight Howard's hand huh? Because why? Because Dwight Howard is some great sportsman that deserves the respect of a humbled half court handshake from the King after his team bounced LeBron from the playoffs? The same great sportsman that threw powder up in an ESPN halftime interview during the Lakers - Nuggets game, mocking LeBron? In the words of Ozzie Guillen, 'shh please.'

I for one am glad that LeBron James was pissed off about the loss. I am glad that LeBron was so mad about losing that he didn't want to shake anybody's hand, give anybody dap, give anybody hugs, wish anybody good luck in the next round, and exchange pleasantries on national television, while I sat at the Harry Buffalo in Cleveland debating whether or not I should throw my chair through the window of the Corvette that was parked right outside in front of me. Props to my brother for telling me that would only make it worse.

My brother was right, that would have made it worse. And LeBron would have made it worse too had he shown Howard love. He sent him an email. Get over it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A.L. Casoni Presents- "You too can be an NBA analyst"

Chris Broussard of ESPN published an article after last night's game entitled, "Cavs advanced as far as they could." He picked the Cavs to win in 6 before the series started. Jalen Rose was seen on Sportscenter late last night saying that he knew the Cavs just weren't ready for this stage. He chose the Cavs to win in 6. J.A. Adande stated on one of the weakest sports shows on t.v. (Around the Horn) after game 4 that the Cavs don't have a chance to win the crown because of Cleveland's lack of talent besides LeBron, and he even said he had been saying that for months. Surprisingly enough, Adande casted his vote for the LeBrons to win in 5 games. I can keep going, but for what? Does the term hypocrite mean anything to these guys? Since when are you just able to completely change your mind after things aren't going as you predicted? To make matters worse, if the Cavs had come out to a 2-0 lead in the series, these guys would be saying "I told you so." Did the Cavs lose to a better team? Maybe, maybe not. I really don't have an opinion on that. The Magic are a very talented shooting team, and had a great game plan in part by Stan Van Jeremy. They got the rock to a physical beast down low, and when we doubled, he kicked it out to the best shooting 3 point team in the league. And Cleveland had the coach of the year this year? Brown didn't know what hit him. The so called "experts" are all over Brown for getting outcoached. I even heard Tim Legler say they should choose the coach of the year after the season. While I agree with that, Legler had the Cavs in 6. These guys can say the Cavs just aren't a complete team right now, but that wasn't the case 2 weeks ago. Nearly everyone had them in the finals. Of the 10 experts that picked every series in the playoffs for ESPN, all 10 of them chose the Cavaliers. So, if you are unemployed in today's pathetic economy, pack up the bags and move to Bristol, CT. There's hope...


And So It Ends

As fast at it seemed to come, its gone. The Cavaliers were exposed this series against the Magic as being exactly what they were all season long. I realized it after Game 3 but didn't want to say it. I didn't want to believe it. But its true.

The Cavaliers were a team that played hard night in, and night out during the regular season.

Sounds simple, but in an NBA where teams take regular season nights off on a routine basis, the Cavaliers never did during the regular season. No matter who was in the line-up they played defense, they attacked the rim, and they enforced their regular season will on their opponents. Some nights, they beat teams with more talent by out executed them. By out hustling them. By playing harder then the other team.

But in the playoffs, everybody plays hard.

Nobody takes nights off. With all else equal, talent wins out. And the Cavaliers simply do not have enough legitimate talent to keep up with the Orlando's, Lakers, and Nuggets of the world.

If you look, as I am sure you have, at the (3) other conference finals contenders, you will find 3-7 players on each team that would not only start for Cleveland, but could very well be the Cavs second best player.

Case in point:

Orlando: Howard, Hedo, Rashard Lewis, and Petrus would all be the second best player on the Cavaliers; specifically, they are all better than Mo Williams. Jameer Nelson might be as well, and at times Alston looked light years ahead of Mo, but I can't quite go their for sure.

Lakers: Kobe aside, Pau and Odom would be the second best player on the Cavaliers. Ariza would possibly start, and on an aside, Shannon Brown looks better than Daniel Gibson at this point in their careers.

Nuggets: Melo, Chauncey, JR Smith, would be the second best player, and Martin, Nene, and Birdman, would all start for sure.

What this brings me back to is the offseason: The Cavaliers needed to add a significant piece. Nobody thought that piece was Mo Williams at the time, and as the regular season wore on it looked like maybe he was. But he's not. At the trading deadline there was a clamoring to add a piece. I wrote about and supported Danny Ferry's move to stand pat on a number of sites, and I still can't blame Danny for the demise of this team, but it obviously needs something.

So on to the offseason. And the Cavaliers will likely add something, but to what nucleus. I have to imagine that Mo's confidence is no doubt shaken, and how will he respond? Z looks like he doesn't have too many starting center games left in him, and the Cavaliers have far from a top flight bench. Can you continue to start Delonte West and Mo Williams together? That back court kinda looks to small these days no?

So what do you change? What do you add? Who knows. But the Cavaliers need to do two things somehow if they are going to compete for the title next year. Get bigger, tougher, and more athletic inside, and get bigger, more athletic, and more consistent from the perimeter.

And while last night was tough. While people dressed in Cavs gear were ready to explode downtown last night, only to head home at 11, and while the disappointment of waiting another year stares us straight in the fact this morning, we still can't overlook the season the Cavaliers had. They didn't choke, they just aren't really good enough yet. The roster's not there, Mike Brown's not there yet, and the experience is not there yet, LeBron James aside.

This team overachieved this season whether you can admit that or not. And while the Cavaliers do have the best player in the world, he can't beat five good players by himself, and this is as much of an understatement as the fact that Cleveland hasn't won a championship in long time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A.L. Casoni Presents: Look on the Bright Side-

In order to get everyone's minds off the Cavs and their struggles, I thought it would be a good idea to look at some other struggles Cleveland has endured. Let's see, let's make it a nice round number and look back at the past 25 years. So here it goes, here is my list of the most dissapointing moments in Cleveland sports over the last 25 years, 1984-present. This is completely an opinion, so I am certainly interested in fellow Clevelanders' input as well. Keep in mind this is 1984-present only.

10. Cavs fall short to the Celtics in the 2008 playoffs- after a truly magnificant series, the Cavs are eliminated in Game 7 by the Celtics even with a 45 point effort by LeBron.

9. Jordan hits "The Shot" in the 1989 playoffs- while some Clevelandlers would rank this higher as a dissapointment, I do not. Its dissapointing since everyone has seen it at least 387,463 times, but the truth of the matter is that it was the first round of the playoffs.

8. Tim Couch turns in to one of the biggest busts of all time- Fans excited we got our team back, players excited to take the field, quarterback is a bumb. Couch is part of the reason to blame the Browns are still struggling to this day.

7. Browns lose to the Steelers in the 2002 playoffs - After the Browns finally make it in to the playoffs for the first time since 1994, the Browns give up a late score to the Steelers in the final minute. Despite a 429 yard passing effort by Holcomb, the Browns came up short.

6. Indians lose 101 games in '87 despite S.I. article- Don't believe in the S.I. jinx, huh, tell that to the '87 Tribe. Despite the cover boys Corey Snyder and Joe Carter under the heading "Indian Uprising" predicting the Tribe to make the series, the Indians rip off 101 losses which was good for last place in the A.L. East

5. Cavs swept in the '07 finals against the Spurs- The Cavs finally reach the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history, and are decimated by the San Antonio Spurs.

4. Tribe loses game 7 to the Marlins in the '97 series- Just as we think are woes are over as we head in to the 9th with a 2-1 lead, the Tribe chokes game 7 and the non-championship streak continues.

3. The Fumble (1987)-Byner fumbles at the goal line, need I say more.

2. Browns move to Baltimore in 1996 - Modell, you are just the worst type of person. You took away the team that has the best fans of any team sport in professional sports.

1. The Drive (1986)- While I contemplated putting the Tribe losing to the Marlins in Game 7 in the #1 spot (as that was are closest chance at a championship), my love goes to the Browns. John Elway marched the Broncos 91 yards to send the game to overtime in the final minutes to end a chance at the Super Bowl. 91 yards, seriously Elway?

Well, that's my top 10 list. You know, the best part of being a Cleveland sports fan is that we are the most deserving city in the country for a championship. As much as the Browns, Cavs and Indians dissapoint, we love them and continue to love them. And mark my words, it will be the greatest party in the history of mankind in the streets of Cleveland the day we take home a trophy in any of the 3 major sports. Here are my odds of who will win a championship first.

Cavs- 75%
Indians- 20%
Browns- 5%


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Speechless; We're All Tied Up

The Shot that Saved Cleveland. Le-Shot. The Chosen Three.

Call it whatever you want.

After all these years, now its Cleveland that has that player, that makes that play. Its Amazing. I can't wait for the commercial.

(Picture is courtesy of Tracy Poulian, The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Friday, May 22, 2009

LeBron Calls For Sasha to Step In, and Step Up

Thursday morning we said that you might need to call on Sasha Pavlovic to counterbalance the mismatch issues the Magic exploited on Wednesday night.

[See Takes From Game 1 - As scary as it is to say we might have to trust Sasha with some meaningful minutes in this series.If Z continues to be cold and can't improve on the pick n roll we could go stretches with Andy on Howard and not have a huge drop off and put Sasha on Lewis ]

Friday Morning, LeBron James Agreed.

From LBJ via Cleveland.com:

"I think Sasha can be huge for us," James said. "Mentally, if Sasha's in tune, he could be really good for us with his 6-7 or 6-8, 240-pound frame, he could really help us on the defensive end, and he's also an offensive threat. You just cannot leave him open on the offensive end because he can make shots. Mentally, if Sasha's in tune, which I think he can be, and if he's called upon, I think he can be really good for us. We need that type of active body on the defensive end who can take a little bit of the load of myself and Delonte. . . . We could use him out there."

But make no mistake. LeBron did not say 'Mentally, if Sasha is in tune' twice, by accident. Its a big if, but looks to be a needed move here.

Go Cavs Tonight. One Goal.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Takes from Game 1

Disappointment obviously doesn't even begin to describe what occured last night. Especially since that crowd was in a frenzy unlike any I've been a part of at the Q. During Lebron's dunk-swat-three sequence I actually turned to my pop at the game and yelled something and didn't hear the words coming out of my mouth. You have to give credit to the Magic for overcoming that type of atmosphere on such a stage.

First off on Lewis' three, there is no way that dagger should have ever been thrown. I know it's a lot to ask Andy to go out in space and stop Rashard Lewis. It's just not his game. But under no circumstances can you allow a three to even be taken there. Even if Lewis gets by him and converted we're tied up, we take the last shot, if we miss we get 5 extra minutes at home against a Howard-less Magic.

Second, the layoff effected us in this game. It's hard to imagine that being the case considering we were up 15 at half and looked to be the same wrecking ball we've been for the last three weeks. But when you have 9 days off there's no way around the fact that you're going to lose just a little bit of game stamina because you can't simulate that without risking injury in practice. Atlanta was an ideal team to come off a long layoff against because their the kind of team you want to pack it in against and shrink the floor. Unlike the Magic when you have to rotate hard and sprint to close out on shooters on almost every possession. There's no disputing the fact that we were a step slow closing out in the 2nd half last night. Look for the Cavs to maintain their defensive effort for a full 48 minutes in game 2 as they get their legs back.

Third, the bench. Wow! Horrendous. The +/- for our 4 bench players that came in were laughable. This is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to play Boston. Wally has been a very solid producer for us and we need his offense coming off the bench. If we had Boston we would have lost virtually nothing on D because he could've hung out at the three point line with Scalabrine. But now, well, hopefully we don't have to watch him try to check Pietrus anymore. As scary as it is to say we might have to trust Sasha with some meaningful minutes in this series.
If Z continues to be cold and can't improve on the pick n roll we could go stretches with Andy on Howard and not have a huge drop off and put Sasha on Lewis. Probably too early in the series to make that move though.

Finally, if West and Mo shoot around 30% for the series we're done. Plain and simple. But I don't think that'll be the case. Even after struggling all night Mo hit a huge three down the stretch and so did West. Unfortunately neither could hit one more to send the roof off the Q.

With all this being said I'm still liking the Cavs. I'm still on board. As much as it hurt walking down Prospect last night I still think we'll win this series for a few reasons and I think everyone knows one reason. Lebron James. The 2nd is that Orlando relies on those three's. Howard will not beat us by himself. He just can't control the game that way. He had a better half then I could've possibly imagined in the 1st half and they were down 15. They couldn't get it turned around until they started to catch fire from outside. That's why they're one of the better road teams in the league. If they catch fire they'll win anywhere. The flip side of that coin has me optimistic still. If they go cold they'll lose anywhere. I would bet a paycheck on the Cavs winning Game 2 and winning one in Orlando. Step off the ledge for now cavs fans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cavaliers - Magic: Series Prediction

Before I give my prediction for the Eastern Conference Finals I want to first send a shout out to Dr. Anklesnap and our good friends over at the Hoop Doctors for the link yesterday - appreciate that fellas.

That said, I really want to agree with his Cavaliers in (5) prediction, but somethings telling me its going to take (6) to dispose of the Magic.

My guarantees for the series are as follows:

The Cavaliers will win Game 1 handily. They will also win Game 6 by at least (15). Other than that, I am not really sure how it will play out, other than the fact that the Cavaliers will lose (2) games somewhere in there; with (1) being at home, and (1) being on the road.

The (2) loses won't be all bad though, as they'll advance to the NBA Finals with a postseason record of 12-2 overall.

So now that that's out of the way, its time for some Le-Bombs...I want you to wake up with sugar all in your hair tomorrow...Go Cavs!

Cavaliers in 6

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Western Conference Finals: Lakers - Nuggets

Game 1 Tonight:

Series Prediction: Nuggets in (6)

While Kobe v. LeBron would be one helluva Finals match-up, I don't see Phillip getting his crew there this time around.

Chauncey Billups is going to be a serious problem for Derek Fisher this series. Fisher had enough problems with second year PG Aaron Brooks last time around, and if Brooks didn't play at stretches like a second year player, the Lakers might be fishing right now. However, in his 7th straight conference finals appearance, Mr. Bigshot is no Aaron Brooks, and he will consistently dominate Fisher, Farmer, and whoever the hell else the Lakers roll out there to try to slow him down, all series long.

On the interior, while the Laker frontline looks great on paper, they were outplayed twice by a Yao Ming-less frontline -featuring Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, and Carl Landry. The physicality of the Nuggets front line, lead by Kenyon Martin, Nene, and the Birdman, is going to be a problem for Pau, Lamar, and Bynum - none of whom care much for mixing it up.

Kobe is going to play great, and probably win (2) games on his own, but I don't think the rest of his squad matches up well enough to help him win two more. Anthony will be good, not great, but good enough to move on, and face his buddy LeBron in the Finals.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cavaliers - Magic: Game 3 Wednesday

As predicted here at Shaver Sports on Saturday, the Magic went into Boston and took Game (7) from Celtics. While I would have thoroughly enjoyed completely dominating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, I am fine with the consolation prize of eliminating the Magic.

I know we will hear a lot about the frontline of the Magic in days to come. The way they beat the Cavs in Orlando towards the end of the regular season; and how much better Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis are than Z and Andy. But before all that happens, I want to say this. The Magic have no LeBron James. And while I'll give the edge to the Magic at the 4 and 5 spot, I have to give the edge to Cleveland at the 1, 2, and 3.

In other words, I like Mo Williams over Rafer Alston, Delonte West over JJ Redick, and LeBron James over Hedo Turkulo...by a ton.

Cleveland will have to deal with Howard, that's a given, but I'll let Mike Brown take care of that. And defensively, on the interior for Cleveland, I'll say this right now, Anderson Varejao will come up huge this series.

Further analysis as well as a series prediction to follow.