Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Fluorescent Hat Guy At Indians Games

There's a lot going on with the Indians this week. Cliff Lee had a solid outing throwing (8) shut-out innings on Monday, only to have new closer Kerry Wood blow the game in the (9th). On Tuesday, the Tribe came back, though, and took advantage of a few misplayed bounces by the Bo-Sox to get a win. Then Travis Hafner went to the DL again afterwards. And on Wednesday the Indians knocked Jon Lester all over the park, all the while Fausto Carmona put a solid start of his own together.

Despite all that, the only thing I could focus on last night is this guy.

No not the captain, Jason Variteck, the fluorescent hat guy at Indians games. Seen in the picture above wearing a fluorescent pink ensemble.

And then seen above in the next inning wearing a fluorescent yellow hat, because why...well simply because he changes his hat every inning.

If you don't believe me, watch the next game and see for yourself.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Franchise - By Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst...Revisted

With about a week to go before the Cavaliers tip it up again, there is no time like the present to take a flip through the pages of Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst's book The Franchise...LeBron James and the remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In reading through the book again yesterday, there were some additional highlights that I wanted to touch on, in addition to my previous post back in March.

As the Cavaliers sit in the midst of a title run, you are presently aware of how much is owed to the calculated efforts of Dan Gilbert, Danny Ferry, Mike Brown, and most obviously LeBron James, for the 66 plus wins and counting. However, a debt of gratitude is owed to the embattled GM before Ferry, Jim Paxson, who my opinion of changed drastically after reading this book, as well as the owner that saved pro basketball in Cleveland, Gordon Gund, and his remarkable story.

Jim Paxson: In the past I wasn't the biggest supporter of Cavaliers ex-GM. However, after reading this book my opinion is changed. While he might not have been the best GM the NBA has ever seen he certainly wasn't the worst. Given the circumstances with which he had to operate, in retrospect, he did give the job everything he had, and had the best of intentions for Cleveland, the Cavaliers, and their fans. While Jiri Welsh, Trajan Langdan, and Luke Jackson will always haunt him as a GM, unloading Shawn Kemp was an unbelievably remarkable move, and deserves your respect as a Cavs fan. Additionally, while fans may want to blame him for Boozer, this book clearly details that this move wasn't Paxson's fault. And making the move to get Gooden and Varejao - for Tony Battie - after losing Boozer was a stellar play, and showed a lot about the resiliency of this man.

Gordon Gund: This book is worth the read if for no other reason than to gain an understanding of who Gordon Gund was as an owner, and what he stood for. This book tells the story of how he saved pro basketball in Cleveland by rescuing the Cavaliers from Ted Stepien, and also details the sense of moral obligation and decency with which he operated the franchise during his tenure. His battle with blindness is a courageous tale, and makes you sit back and think about how much more we might learn if we listened in the way that he does.

Thanks again to Gray and Company Publishers for sending me this is a great read, and I encourage everyone to go buy it today if you haven't already done so. It will make you appreciate this title run that much more!

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Who Do Want Next: Hawks or Heat?

The Cavaliers made short work of the Pistons, sweeping the series with double digit wins in each of the the (4) games. The Cavaliers became (1) of (3) teams in NBA history sweep a series in that fashion, and now sit in wait for their next opponent. So who do you want next, the Miami Heat - who currently hold a (2) games to (1) lead in the series - or the team picked by most to advance before the series began - in the Atlanta Hawks.

In the spirit of NBA History, I say bring on the Heat. Why? Because how good would this title run read in the tales of NBA lore:

1st Round: Sweep a Pistons team that once laid claim as the perennial power in the Eastern Conference in the seasons soon to be referred to as B.L. (Before LeBron).

2nd Round: Beat Dwayne Wade - Olympic teammate of James - and a Miami Heat team that won the NBA Title (3) short seasons ago, prompting some to ask the question, is Dwayne Wade better than LeBron James?

Eastern Conference Finals: Beat the Defending NBA Champions, and one of the (2) most storied franchises in all of the NBA, in the Boston Celtics.

NBA Finals: Beat the other (1) of the (2) most storied franchises in all of the NBA, in the LA Lakers. In addition to that, beat the coach who coached LeBron's hero (Jordan) in Phil Jackson, and the player said to be the closest to Jordan since, in Kobe Bryant.

To me, there would be no better way to close the book on the Best Season In Cleveland in last 45 years, than to go through those teams, those franchises, and those players. And the next chapter begins with Dwayne Wade.

Around the NBA Playoff Blogosphere

Pistons Offer No Resistance as Cavaliers Advance via Waiting for Next Year

Lakers Bounce Back on Saturday to take a 3-1 Series lead, after losing with 2.2 Seconds left to Utah on Thursday via With Malice

With Game 4 Going the Rockets way, as well as a 3-1 Series Lead, Portland is asking...What Now for the Blazers? via Blaze of Love

Ray Allen tied it up at the end of regulation, but (2) OT's Later, The Bulls Tie the Series up with the Cetlics via Sports of Boston

Four Games into the series with the Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks look like The Better Team via Uwe Blog

Are the Bulls better than people thought, or are the Celtics worse? via Pippen Ain't Easy

Mike Leach Doesn't Think Much of Mangini

Reports surfaced about Micheal Crabtree being a 'diva' after a meeting with the Browns last week leading up the draft, and according to some, those reports caused Crabtree to be sparred the experience of having to play for the Raiders...eerrr...slip to the 10th spot in the Draft.

Mike Leach, Crabtree's college coach, believed that Eric Mangini was the source of such reports, and absolutely blew the Man-Genius up in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.

The Sporting Blog, earlier today, had Leach's quote on the subject:

“Crabtree as a receiver has been more successful than that guy has been as a coach. ... I think he took it upon himself to figure that in a few minutes he had all the expertise on the subject of Michael Crabtree that he needed. And so we’ll see how those non-divas up there in Cleveland do this year."

The 'he' Leach was referring to was Eric Mangini. And I guess Leach is saying that Crabtree didn't get fired after a second half collapse last season that cost his team a shot at the post season...or something like that.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A.L. Casoni Presents: A View From The Burgh

A.L Casoni is a die hard Cleveland fan, from the East Side of Cleveland, he now is forced to reside in Pittsburgh...unfortunately. He will be offering his opinion of the Cleveland sports world, from the darkside...below is the first of a feature series from Casoni:

As we near the beginning of May, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of something they have not experienced in over a decade and a half, a winning record. Even though the Penguins are in the heat of a Stanley Cup race, fans are still embracing the boys of summer, or make that spring. The problem is, the team is not any good. By the time summer rolls around, this team will be well below .500 as they have been since 1992, and they will continue their run of the longest losing streak in the history of sports. Pittsburgh is a city of "bandwagon fans". It frustrates me beyond belief that nobody has paid any attention to the Pirates for over 10 years now, and now they are all about them. Banners are flying, newspapers are reporting and apparel is being worn. As a Cleveland fan, I look for Pittsburgh teams to falter as most Cleveland fans do. Cleveland fans are loyal to their teams, and are still striving and yearning to see their first championship in their lifetime. With that said, I can't wait till the Tribe rolls in to the Steel City in mid June and brings these clowns back to reality. I'll be there in the second row on the Cleveland side with my Tribe gear. The question is, will the Pirate fans still be embracing their team by then, or will we already be seeing the dreadful terrible towels?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Game 3 Tonight: 8pm TNT / WUAB

Game Three, live from the D, tips off at 8pm - you thought I was gonna say 8p didn't you - anyways, in preparation for that, I will offer you my score prediciton for tonights game:

Cavaliers 99 - Pistons 86

My series prediction is still the same...Cavs in 4...the workmanlike dismantling of the Pistons continues.

Previous Playoff Re-Caps:

Game 1: 1 Down...15 To Go

Game 2: Pistons Mail It In...Cavs Roll

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remembering The 2007 Cavaliers Roster

As the Cavaliers cruise past the Pistons, with (66) regular season wins in the rear view, the NBA world is well aware of how good this team is this season. Everybody also remembers that the Cavs went to the Finals (2) seasons ago. But do you remember how bad the roster was that LeBron carried to an Eastern Conference championship? If you don't, I'll remind you...

Of the (15) players on the 2006-2007 Cavaliers Roster, only (5) still rock the wine and gold.

The hold-overs include LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson, and Sasha Pavlovic.

Here's the list of the other (10) guys from that Finals roster...let me if you miss 'em:

1. Larry Hughes
2. Drew Gooden
3. Donyell Marshall
4. Damon Jones
5. Eric Snow
6. Shannon Brown
7. Ira Newble
8. David Wesley
9. Scot Pollard
10. Dwayne Jones

Here is who Danny Ferry - Executive of th Year - has replaced those guys with:

1. Mo Williams
2. Delonte West
3. Joe Smith
4. Ben Wallace
5. J.J. Hickson
6. Wally Sczerbiak
7. Tarrance Kinsey
8. Darnell Jackson
9. Lorenzen Wright
10. Jawad Willams

On that roster from (2) years ago, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Donyell Marshall, and Damon Jones, averaged (37) mpg, (28) mpg, (17) mpg, and (20) minutes per game respectively for the season.

Even being forced to play with those scrubs, LeBron still took his squad to the Finals.

Now let him play with guys like Mo Willams, Delonte West, Joe Smith, and Ben Wallace instead of the aforementioned (4)...and you wonder why it looks like he having so much fun this year.

Delonte West on Jim Rome Is Burning

I referenced the Out-takes from Delonte West's Correspondent Piece for Jim Rome is Burning last week, which aired on the Radio Show prior to JRIB, but if you haven't seen what did make the cut on Jim Rome's ESPN show, click below. It's worth it.

Delonte West on JRIB, Final Cut:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pistons Mail It In...Cavs Roll 94-82

Don't make too much of the 4th quarter comeback by the Detroit Piston J-V team. Last night's win was a laugher.

Prior to last night I did not think it was possible to win a Seven Game Series in a little over a game and a half. But apparently it is. When LeBron James, on a break-away, went with the underhand, windmill slam, with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter to put the Cavaliers up (22), the series was completely over by the time James landed. The Cavs went up by (29) at the end of the third, tried to give their starters the rest of the night off, and ended up bringing them back in with (5) minutes left, still preserving their second of back-to-back double digit wins.

They'll play the last two games out, but forget Piston bench players on cell phones, I am predicting that at least (2) Pistons are caught on camera taking a nap at various points during games (3) and (4). After watching the game last night, for the life of me, I can't Remember the Pistons teams that went to the last Six Eastern Conference Finals at all. The will of this team is completely broken. Don't let Will Bynum fool you.

Quick Hits from Game 2....

On the Amir Johnson foul in the first half, how does LeBron not fall down? That was three guys, 6'5 plus, 225 plus, that hammered him, and he doesn't fall...He's Shaq O'Neal on wheels.

How about Darnell Jackson...our boy...playing in his first minute and half ever he picks up a Technical Foul...classic...nice work D-Block...nobody likes Kwame Brown anyways!

Mo Williams seem to have found his playoff legs..look out now.

Oh and the Cavaliers were up by 29 going into the 4th and only won by (12) who cares...Cavs in 4.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Game Two Tonight: 8pm FSO / TNT

Brought to you by the man known as Chosen Two himself...

Expect a lot of what you saw from the Cavaliers in Game 1 again tonight. Cavs in (4).

Mike Brown Deserves Coach of the Year

Mike Brown was named the NBA's Coach of the Year yesterday, and there is no other sideline stomper in the Association that is more deserving of the Award. But don't make the mistake to think that Mike Brown was a great coach this year, and not in his previous three. The commitment to defense, commitment to winning, and commitment to team play that he has brought to, and instilled on this team, so evident in their play this season, started when he got here. He knew what he was doing all along, even if he'd never tell you that.

Like any good young coach, or manager, Mike Brown picked his battles early. He figured, if I can just get these guys to play defense first, believe in defense first, then eventually, with a talent like LeBron James, the offensive end will take care of itself. You could see him working early on. It's not as easy as it sounds, get a bunch of NBA millionaires to D-up? For who, what's your name, Mike what? He knew what he was doing though. Yet along the way, despite the 50 plus win seasons, a trip to the Finals, and all that comes with it, he caught a lot of grief around here from fans, specifically directed towards the Cavaliers offensive execution.

To that point, people would call sports talk radio and rant on about 'why is LeBron just pounding the ball out top?' What? Did you want him to pass to Damon Jones. How about Donyell Marshall? Where you looking to get Drew Gooden more touches? And if you even try to say you wanted LeBron to come off screens or post up to get the basketball, who was gonna pass it to him? Larry Hughes? No. Mike Brown figured - and he'll never admit this - I'll get these stiffs to play defense, I'll let LeBron do whatever he wants with the basketball, and then when I get some decent players to surround James, I'll put in an offense.

So enter 2009: Mo Williams is your point guard, instead of Larry Hughes. Delonte West is your two guard instead of Sasha Pavlovic. And then you still have LBJ rounding out the backcourt. So now, with these ball handlers, who know what pass to make, what shot to take, how to execute in the half court, he opened it up a little bit. And all the sudden Mike Brown is not only a great defensive mind, but an offensive one too. Give me a break.

This guy can flat out coach, he can flat out run a team, and I am glad to have him on the sidelines here in Cleveland. He's been deserving of this award, and he'll win a couple more before its all said and done.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bulls Beat Celts: Both Sides of Blogosphere

While I wasn't surprised with the Cavaliers workmanlike dismantling of the Pistons Sunday, I was a bit surprised - not shocked, but surprised - with Chicago's Game 1 upset of Boston. With the Biggest of the Big-3 sidelined, Derrick Rose of the Bulls looked like the best player on the court.

Here's what both sides of the Blogosphere had to say about Chicago's 105-103 OT Win:

Chicago: Pippen Ain't Easy via Zoner Sports:

"Rose had 36 points on 12-19 shooting and added 11 assists, 4 boards and a steal. He converted all 12 of his free throw attempts and crossed over Rajon Rondo so many times he might have vertigo."

Boston: Sports of Boston:

"Ray Allen, meanwhile, was ice cold and missed his shot attempt at the end of the first overtime that would’ve won the game. He finished an awful 1-12 from the field and 0-6 from beyond the arc and was really the reason the Celtics lost the game."

Tough break for Beantown.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1 Down...15 To Go

Yesterday afternoon, the bars surrounding the Q were packed with enthusiasm and energy in anticipation the start of the Playoffs.

At the Harry Buffalo, across the street from the Q, before the game, even the Piston Fans - like this guy pictured here in standard Detroit Apparel: Pistons T-Shirt, long mullet, and sunglasses strategically placed on the back of the T-Shirt - couldn't damper Cleveland's spirits.

Early on, the Pistons did not disappoint their fans that made the trip. During the Pregame lay-up lines, they were on fire.

But then the Cavaliers took the floor.

Right after the National Anthem, my brother turned to me and said:

"Watching these two teams is like watching one franchise's fall from dominance, while watching another teams rise to the top, all at the same time."

How right he was. Once the game started, the crowd was electric, LeBron James was spectacular, and the Pistons moved three games closer to being swept by Cleveland.

Before the game we also stopped down at the Clevelander to check out the WKNR Pregame Party. While there, an old friend of mine predicted the Cavaliers would win by (18). He was right. I hope he bet on that.

More on the Game 1 Win:

Brian Windhorst: It's a Good Start...

Game 1: Box Score via

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Its Basketball Time at the Q"

As my Uncle Three Times Removed on my Mothers Side, the Great Joe Tait, likes to say...


I'll see you at the Parade... Go Cavs!

Friday, April 17, 2009

At Least We Ruined Their Housewarming Party

Whether the Indians beat them or not, I would have found some joy in the New York Yankees losing their home-opener - In the House That Hank's Dad Bought For Him - 10-runs to 2, regardless. Call it doubly sweet that the Indians were on the winning end of the 10 to 2 victory. And I'll say this...if the Indians, who currently sit at 3-7, end up finishing in last place in the Central, at least they'll have this one, and it was a nice one to have.
But who knows...maybe they are about to make a run. They won two games in a row...Cliff Lee had a good outing...I was going to bench him on my Shaver Sports Fantasy Team if he went 0-3 - so he has that going for him...back to back wins...everybody got knew they weren't as bad as 1-6 right?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

J.J. Hickson as 'Brokeback J.J.

In other Cavaliers Rookie Hazing News, J.J. Hickson has a new nickname amongst teammates.

As detailed earlier this week in the outtakes from Delonte West's correspondent piece for ESPN's Rome is Burning Show, J.J. Hickson is referred to as 'Brokeback J.J.' by Delonte West and company.

Why? No that's not why. They call him 'Brokeback J.J.' because simply...he has a broken back...according to his latest MRI.

And you thought it was something else!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Key to Cavaliers Success...Krispy Kremes

Don't discount the importance of doughnuts to the Cavaliers' NBA best record this season. A (2) box per rookie mandate for every shootaround has been in effect all season, and it seems to be paying dividends.

Pictured below is Cavaliers Rookie Forward Darnell Jackson, fulfilling his first year obligations, a bit too tired to open his eyes.

When asked, during and interview with Fox Sports Ohio's Dionne Miller, what would happen if he didn't bring the doughnuts to a shootaround, he said the following:

"I forgot one time, and they (the veterans) kicked all the basketballs all over the stands, and we (Darnell Jackson, JJ Hickson, Jawad Williams) had to go and pick everyone of them up. I was ahh man."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jon Barry Doesn't Like LeBron James

I could not agree more with Waiting For Next Year's post from Monday titled: NBA MVP: Jon Barry's Agenda Knows No Bounds.

Scott not only details the understatement of the NBA season by Barry, but goes on to highlight the fact that he is the only analyst at ESPN that wont give the award to James. Check it out.

If I were a lawyer, and was trying to prove my Lil' Jonny Barry is a Ridiculous Hater case, filed last week with this blog, I would call a motion to submit this WFNY post as factual evidence to my claim. Well done fellas.

Also, if interested in checking out a You Tube Video of Jon Barry falling out of his chair when approached by some GlobeTrotters with box of confetti, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Magic Number is Zero

In beating the Indiana Pacers 117-109 tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the number one overall seed for the upcoming playoffs. With an overall record of 66-15, the Cavaliers come home to the Q for Fan Appreciation night Wednesday, and what fan couldn't appreciate these Cavaliers.

In wrapping up the best record in the NBA this year, the Cavaliers become only the 4th Cleveland Professional Sports Team in the last 45 years (approximately 130 professional seasons) to finish with the best overall record in their sports (NFL, NBA, MLB).

And they're just getting started.

Manny Ramirez Back To Cleveland?

Our friends at the Midwest Sports Fans sent us this link earlier today, detailing some interesting comments made by Manny Ramirez recently about returning to Cleveland.

The quote from Manny is below:

“I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started,” said Ramirez, with the Dodgers playing their home opener Monday against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. “I have so many good memories there, why not? ...I think to go back where you started is everyone’s dream.”

Check out the MWSF post for additional details on this quote, and the USA Today Article by Bob Nightengale that goes on to talk about a possible re-union with Jim Thome as well on the shores of Lake Erie.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ray Allen Is Not a Fan Of Varejao

On Easter Sunday you'd expect a lot more from a guy they once called Jesus.

Playing on a Celtics team that was frusterated and embarrased by the Cavaliers all afternoon, Ray Allen directed his anger below the belt of Anderson Varejao.

Unfortunately for Andy, he LeBron looked on, not really sure what to think.

Forunately though for the Cavaliers, they won going away 107-76.

Click Here to See Video of The Cheap Shot posted by The Big Lead on Monday

Click Here for Ball Don't Lie and Reaction Across the Web to Allen's Elbow

Mitch Albom, and His Hair, Believe LeBron Stays

On ESPN's Sports Reporters this morning, award winning sports writer Mitch Albom said the following in regards to LeBron James, marketing, and the NBA Finals:

"They (young sports fans) also don't care that he comes from Cleveland. Now the NBA and marketing used to say that he (LeBron) has to be in New York. What's gonna happen here, though, is if he gets to the Finals, if they (Cavaliers) don't win, or they do win, he is cementing his place in Cleveland. Everyone keeps talking about how he is going to New York. I don't think so. I think he's going to stay there. Because of the way the whole global views of things (are now), it doesn't matter if you play in Cleveland, or whatever. You can be that big a star, he's got every big commercial there is. What I want to see is, these two guys (Kobe and LeBron) play against each other in the Finals, they go to commercial break, and I want to see who's commercial comes up first. "

Good point Mitch, as cruise back into Best Cuts and get that lettuce trimmed up.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cavs Clinch #1 Seed In Eastern Conference

With the 102-92 win over the 76ers last night, the Cavaliers clinched the Eastern Conference (1) seed. This may come as a foregone conclusion, to some, but it is nevertheless worth feeling good about.

LeBron James agrees:

"It means a lot for us to go out there and set out a goal and accomplish it. We all know there is a bigger season out there, but anytime you get an opportunity to do something like this, you should feel good about." (Brian Windhorst)

While this good feeling may not cause people to flood the streets of Cleveland in celebration, accomplishing that goal for the 'bigger season' certainly will.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Best Cleveland Season In The Last 45 Years

As of Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers (63-15) were holding onto (1) game lead over the LA Lakers for best overall record in the NBA, with a (4) games left to go in the regular season.

Throughout the history of professional sports in this town, how significant would finishing the regular season with the best overall record in the league be?

Since 1964, a Cleveland Professional Sports team has finished their regular season with the best overall record in their respective league (NFL, NBA, MLB) a grand total of three (3) times.

In other words, over the last 45 years, the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians have combined to finish their respective regular seasons with the best overall record in their sport three (3)

Should they go on to hold off Kobe and company for the league's best mark, this years Cavaliers would make four (4).


Since 1964, the Cleveland Browns won their division in the regular season (9) times. Out of those (9) seasons, the Browns had the best overall record in the NFL at the end of the regular season (1) time... 1965.


Since '64, the Indians won their division in the regular season (7) times. In those (7) seasons, the Indians held the best overall record in baseball at the end of the regular season twice. The 1996 Indians had the best overall record in the MLB finishing 99-62 and in a strike shortened 1995 season, the Indians finished 100-44, also good for best overall mark. In 2007, they were close to finishing with the best record in baseball, but lost the tiebreaker to Boston, finishing the regular season with a 96-66 record, good for second best.


The Cavaliers only regular season crown came in the 1975-76 Season...they won the Eastern Conference's Central Division that year. They had the 3rd best record overall in the NBA that season.

So, Cleveland, I hope your enjoying the '09 Cavaliers for all their worth...if your 45 years old or younger, this is most likely the best Cleveland season you have ever been alive to Witness.

Editors Notes:

The years the Browns won a regular season conference title include: 1965, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989. Pro Football Reference

The years the Indians won a regular season conference title include: 2007, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995. ESPN All Time Records

The year the Cavaliers won their regular season conference title includes: 1975-1976 season. NBA

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Austin Carr Line of Night: Cavs - Wiz

This AC Line of Night came after a LeBron James 19-foot jumper found nothing but the bottom with 2:24 left in the 2nd Quarter last night. After it went down, Fred McCleod said that LeBron James' jumpshot has looked good all season, but looked especially pure over the last six weeks of the season. To which point Austin Carr said the following:

"Well, its money time. He knows what time it is. Its time to be on-the-money."

Money time indeed Austin.

How you like that Rick Barry?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anderson Varejao Inked Up as 'Chosen 2'

While most people are aware of the fact that LeBron James is the 'Chosen 1' what you may not have known is that Anderson Varejao is the 'Chosen 2'.

He got that tatted up recently so you don't forget, and rocked his fresh ink yesterday at practice.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas refused to watch antics.

I guess Ray Allen didn't like his tattoo.

Wallace Coming Others Go Down

While key players continue to go down with injury on the two teams that ended the Cavaliers title chances the past two seasons... San Antonio and Boston ...the Cleveland has a key guy coming back. Expect Ben Wallace back in the line-up shortly; this according to Joe Gabriele at And don't mistake the record of 18-3 over the (21) games that Wallace has missed to mean they don't need him. That run with the team's starting PF on the shelf doesn't mean anything other than the fact that the Cavaliers are a very deep, very good, team. Ben coming back is a good thing, and may be even bigger come playoff time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cavs Lose in First Round...Heat Win Title

When the Cavaliers lost to the Pistons in the first round, I felt like - if it wasn't us - than surely Detroit was a team of destiny. But as the tournament wore on, destiny proved to belong to the Miami Heat.

For the fourth time in as many years, the Miami Heat won the Dance Tournament...and judging solely by their moves...nobody's arguing.

Keep your chin up though Cavalier Girls...title's yours next year.

Let's Play Baseball

The Snow came down in Cleveland yesterday, and so did a lot of people's expectations of this years Indians not too soon after the season got underway in Texas. The reigning Cy Young award winner - and Shaver Sports 8th round fantasy draft pick - Cliff Lee got shelled. The Indians lost 9-1, but hey, at least Hafner got a hit right? A hitless streak would have been an ugly way to start the season for that guy. And you can find some solace in the fact that CC got shelled too, rocked actually, in his Yankee debut. Memorable opener for the fa...err...Big Fella in the house that Hank bought with his Dad's money. Get ready for the post season Carsten...they're not gonna be as nice to you as we were around here. All in all though, its one game, and after I go to the home opener at 4pm on Friday, its back to LeBron and company until the snow is gone, the sun is shining, and the parade on Superior is over. Go Cavs. Here's hoping I can hang in the Fantasy Baseball race until then...for more on the Cleveland Sports Blog Fantasy Baseball Leage, check out the details and implications via our good friends at Cry Me a Cuyahoga River.

Monday, April 6, 2009

LeBron Leads Cavaliers Past Spurs: 101-81

The Cleveland fans that remained shooken up Sunday morning, despite the vote of confidence from Scot Pollard, let out a collective sigh of relief Sunday afternoon as they watched their Cavaliers take San Antonio apart from start to finish in a 101-81 route of the Spurs. The win was impressive for a lot of reasons. Not least of which was that it stopped the losing streak at (2) and pushed their home record out to 37-1. But they also beat Tim Duncan and his Spurs without the services of their starting Power Forward (Ben Wallace) and back-up PF/ top reserve (Anderson Varejeo). Starting Darnell Jackson - no slight to D-Block - they held Duncan to (6) points and beat the Spurs going away. Why and how you ask? LeBron James and his leadership that was defined, demonstrated, and on display all afternoon long.
What LeBron did was significant on Sunday because he put his team on his back - not because Oscar Robertson was there - but because they needed him to. If any confidence from Cavalier players were wavering a bit coming off the debacle in Orlando, it call rushing back in the 1st quarter thanks to LeBron who went out and got (18) points, to push the Cavaliers out to a lead they never looked back from. From there, everybody got right. Mo Williams played like an All Star, Delonte West got his swagger back, Z contributed, Darnell Jackson got some key experience against the front-line elite of the NBA, and at the end of the day, LeBron throws in 38, to go with 8 boards, and 5 assists, while sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying a Sunday afternoon in Cleveland for the majority of the 4th quarter.

I'd say they're ready for the Playoffs.
For More on the Cavaliers 101-81 Win Sunday:

Right At Home: Brian Windhorst

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lil' Jonny Barry is a Ridiculous Hater

During the Halftime Analysis of the Cavs - Spurs game, Sunday on ABC, the MVP conversation was inevitably discussed. After Avery Johnson said that LeBron James is the 'crystal clear cut' favorite to win the trophy, his partner, Lil' Jonny Barry, offered his opinion as to whether LeBron is the clear-cut favorite to win the award:

"Absolutely not. Oscar Robertson is in the building (Sunday), so obviously LeBron's gonna play better today. He's gotta show people he's as good as Oscar was. So this is not clear cut. He is not the clear cut MVP. He will win. But if you ask me who should win, that's a different story."

The son of Rick Barry went on to say that he's pick is Dwayne Wade. And while I disagree, he can think that. That's fine, Wade's and elite player... BUT...don't tell me, Jon, that LeBron has (26) in the first half because 'Oscar Robertson is there, and LeBron is playing better today because he wants people to think he is as good as Oscar was.'
That is ridiculous Barry, and you sound like a jealous hater. Check yourself.

Relax Cavs Fans...Scot Pollard Says Its All Good!

After the Cavaliers followed a disappointing effort on Thursday, with an emphatic beatdown by the Magic on Friday, some in Cavalier Nation began to panic. With the Spurs on the docket for later today, it doesn't get any easier, but fear not Cavs faithful - Scot Pollard says its all good. On GameTime Live last night, NBA TV's own analyst Scot Pollard, offering the following analysis:

"Nothing against my Celtics but I am calling a Cavs - Lakers Finals and I'm calling the Cavs if they stay healthy. They are sputtering right now, and I think they are just getting into the end of the season doldrums right now, they're just kinda like eehh not really fired up, but when the playoffs start up they are going to be re-energized."

And Scot...while I don't agree with your hair-cuts, or your use of the word eehh, I do agree with the latter analysis. They will be re-energized come playoff time, and these end of the season doldrums are nothing to get too shook up about. Look for the Cavaliers to come out fired up today against San Antonio.

Lost Lettermen via Docksquad Sports

Our friends over at Docksquad Sports had a link up to a site called Lost Lettermen last week and it is worth checking out if your an college basketball fan. With the Final Four in play, I looked up former Boston College and OSU Buckeye great, Scoonie Penn - who I was wondering about since referencing him last week in the BJ Mullens post.
According to Lost Lettermen, Scoonie Penn is currently playing for a professional team in Turkey, and has played in Italy, the NBDL, Serbia, Croatia and Greece since leading the Buckeyes to a Final Four in 1999. I loved watching him with the Buckeyes, and I am sure that the Italian, Serbian, Croatian, Greek, and especially Turkish fans everywhere feel the same way.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Plaxico Out In New York...Braylon In??

With ESPN reporting that Plaxico Burress is officially no longer a Giant, the speculation is heating up that Browns WR Braylon Edwards could be heading to the Big Apple in his stead. Former running mate Kellen Winslow did nothing to stem those rumors this week on Sirius Radio.

This via Browns Gab:

[ The Tampa Bay tight end and former Browns teammate of Braylon Edwards was on Sirius NFL Radio today when host Solomon Wilcots asked him if he thought Edwards would be playing for the Browns in 2009.

“For some reason I don’t,” Winslow said. “I know Braylon would love to go to New York. The Giants would fit him to the T and he would have so much fun up there. I know he loves Cleveland, but New York would be a great fit for him...He would love it there. He’s a city guy and, yeah, I know he would love it there.” ]

If Braylon does go to New York, look for Brian Brennan and Reggie Langhorne to come out of retirement and be the leading candidates to start for the Browns at Wide Receiver this year.

Linking Up The Final Four

With the Final Four tipping off later today, Shaver Sports is rooting for a couple of things specifically. I would specifically like to see Northeast Ohio's own Delvon Roe and Raymar Morgan lead the Izzone into the Finals. Beyond that, I would specifically like to see James Calhoun lose. As for the other match-up, call me indifferent. I like 'Nova, and also think that Carolina has like 8-NBAers on the roster, and would be okay with either of those teams moving on. As long as it not against Miles...errr...Thabeet and the Huskies.

Final Four Links of Note:

Midwest Sports Fans: UConn-MSU Preview

Cleveland Frowns: NCAA Final Four

The Big Lead: Let's Get Those Final Four Picks In

Fanhouse: How MSU Can Upset UConn

Cavaliers Call Mulligan on Back-to-Back

Have no fear Cavaliers fans. After giving one away to Wiz on Thursday, and then getting blown out of the gym 116-97 on Friday by Tiger Woods and the Orlando Magic, reports now indicate that the Cavaliers have called a press conference, and officially called for a Mulligan with respect to this most recent back- to- back trip.

C'mon, like they don't deserve one. They have the East locked up, and are still up on the Lakers for the best overall record in the NBA. Whether they finish with the best record now or not, I don't know. But what I do know is that I like the fact that the Cavaliers have stumbled where they have, of late, going down the stretch. Why? Because now they need to use the handful of games left in the regular season to right the ship. They'll be no Jim Sorgi under center for Mike Brown's Cavs after these two beat-downs. They need work now. They need to get their swagger back, and I like the fact that they will have to be going hard to close the season. I think they will carry that momentum right into the next season - the playoffs.

Friday, April 3, 2009

AC Line of the Night: Thursday

Austin Carr is not all Hammer Downs, and Deeps during the broadcast. He'll tell you what he thinks from time to time about his Cavaliers, even if its not all rosy. This AC Line of the night is just that.
With the 4th quarter getting underway, FSN had up on the screen the 'points in the paint field goal percentage stat,' illustrating the Cavaliers lack of production in that area against the Wiz. In regards to paint production, AC thinks the Cavs need to step their game up:
"That is the one area that they will have to clean up when playoff time comes. They cannot give up those kinds of points (in the paint). In any sport, you have to be strong up the middle, in order to win on a consistent basis. The Cavaliers did a good job of that before the All Star Break, but they have been kinda lacks with that particular stat, since the All Star Break."

Agreed. While its hard to find a lot wrong with this team, they will need to improve this come playoff time. Hopefully Ben Wallace can help in this regard.

That's Why I Don't Order Papa John's

I almost forgot why I swore I'd never eat Papa John's Pizza again for the rest of my life not too long ago. Then, when I head the fans of Washington's basketball team (insert nickname: Wizards, Bullets, Zephyrs, Haters) booing LeBron James, it all came back to me. I am glad this team will be nowhere near the playoffs this time around, and not because I am afraid of losing to them, like the Cavaliers did last night 109-101, snapping the winning streak at 13-games. Last year's series was just ridiculous looking back on it - no? Deron Stevenson - wasnt that his name? And that fourteen year old rapper he brought to the game - Little Romeo was it? Oh, well. What does it matter anymore. The only thing the Wiz...urr...Zephyrs have going for them these days is the McGee kid. He can get up off the deck. For the rest of those has beens, meet Blake Griffin. He's your reward for coming in last place this year. Nice season chumps.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Obama Likes Cavaliers In NBA Finals

President Barack Obama knows a little bit about basketball. That's been well publicized. What hasn't been talked about too much this week though, is the NBA knowledge he dropped on Monday.
In an interview with the New York Times Political Blog, The Caucus, President Obama was asked about which teams he thought would eventually meet up in the NBA Finals. His answer:

"Cleveland would play the Los Angeles Lakers."

When pushed to predict a winner, Obama stopped short. But he was certainly spinning towards Cleveland. Obama went on to say:

"I’m telling you, those Cavs,” Mr. Obama marveled. “They’ve only lost one game all year at home. Thirty-five and one. And they have home court advantage. That’s pretty impressive.”

Impressive indeed Mr. President. They also won 13 in a row overall as of Thursday.

Cutler Ain't Coming to Cleveland

From Zoner Sports - Cutler is going to Chicago.

And I have this to say...if the Browns would have paid the price the Bears paid for Cutler - (2) 1st rounders, a 3rd rounder and an average QB - Kyle Orton (substitute Derek Anderson) for Cutler and a 5th round pick I would have completely given up on those Clowns. For the time being, I remain on life support as a die-hard Browns fan.

The Herd:10 Championships?

Yesterday on ESPN Radio's The Herd, Colin Cowherd said that if the Magic were smart, they'd get themselves 10 Championships. How you ask? By simply getting LBJ in 2010. Get rid of Rashard Lewis, bring in Lebron James = 10 Rings. Colin went on: "You take the best player in the game (LeBron) and add him to the best Center (Dwight Howard) in the game? Unbeatable"

A little crazy talk, but Herd did have one interesting point in all of this. If the Magic can move some money around on their current roster and make the room, LBJ would have to seriously consider an offer from Orlando. He said professional athletes love playing in Florida and Texas due to the lack of state taxes.

Personally, I don't like to think of James playing anywhere but Cleveland, but at least this isn't New York..

Cavs 61-13 As Pistons Fall Apart

Check out my latest JD Shaver post up as of yesterday on Midwest Sports Fans: Pistons Bring Cell Phones, 100 - Pound Trucks, and Whining to Cleveland; Cavs Win 79-73.

Its a good me.

Cleveland Central Catholic Wins State Title

Shaver Sports would like to issue a belated congratulations to the Cleveland Central Catholic High School's Boys basketball for team winning the Ohio State Title over the weekend. The kids played great all season long, and they did their school and city proud. The big youngster Anton Grady is going to be a guy you are going to hear a lot about in the years to come. And don't think this will be the last banner this group will raise down at the 'Home of the Ironmen's.' Coach Kevin Noch, who did a great job with these kids, looks to be way ahead of schedule in his building of a juggernaut program in Cleveland, that will compete for State Titles year-in and year-out as long as he is at the helm. Congratulations to Ironmen everywhere.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bill Lubinger Interviews Dan Gilbert

Shaver Sports' favorite columnist and Austin Carr Drinking Game aficionado, Bill Lubinger, sat down with Dan Gilbert, for an interview that ran in the Plain Dealer today. Its a good read, and I would recommend checking out the whole thing. Below are a couple of excerpts from the article:

On his principal enterprise, Quicken Loans, one of the largest online mortgage lenders in the country . . .

Gilbert: "We never did these kinds of loans that really started this mess, the subprime loans. We just never got into that business. We were enticed a lot of times to do so by a lot of Wall Street-type players, but I, frankly, never understood some of this stuff. I'm sitting in this room, and I've been doing this for two decades, and they put this stuff on a white board and if I can't understand it, then I'm not going to do it. That was not just me, but a lot of other people at the company, too. So we never really touched that stuff. . .We actually had a slight profit in '08. It was our worst year profitabilitywise in 10 years, but it was probably our best year because we actually turned a profit in this crazy environment, and we're very proud of that."

On LeBron, does he stay or does he go?

Gilbert: "A lot of people think 'We need an owner who can write a check.' There's a lot of owners that write a lot of checks. Some are more frugal than others or whatever, but you really have to create an environment, culture, get the great people, the right people. [And] just as important as getting the right people is getting rid of the wrong people. . . .
"Everything's philosophically driven. We just say, 'Look, if we can create the best environment, the best franchise, a winning franchise in a city that I think loves its sports teams, then we're in the best chance and opportunity to not only keep our greatest people but to attract others.' . . . To me, it'll take care of itself."
My take is this...Gilbert has gotten rid of the wrong people, he does have the right people in place, and as a business man, if his company can survive the mortgage crisis this country is currently faced with, and go as far as turning a profit in it, the Free Agent summer of 2010 is going to be a piece of cake for this guy. Additionally, I like the comment about 'keeping our greatest people, and attracting others.' Instead of playing this thing not to lose, he's playing to win, as the aggressor, and that attitude is evident throughout the Cavaliers' organization.

Nice work Bill.

Shaver Sports' Fantasy Baseball Roster

As I mentioned last week, Shaver Sports will be competing in the Cleveland Sports Blog Fantasy Baseball League this season. In doing so, I am looking for any and all help I can get. As referenced earlier, part-time contributor, 'The Top Man,' will most likely be helping out as much as he did for the draft, so I am looking to you for any comments, suggestions, or tips on obscure players I may be able to pick up throughout the season, in my quest for the title. Below is my squad as drafted...let me know what your thoughts are:

C - Joe Mauer - (Min - C)
1B - Prince Fielder - (Mil - 1B)
2B - Howie Kendrick - (LAA - 2B)
3B - Ryan Zimmerman - (Was - 3B)
SS - Hanley Ramírez - (Fla - SS)
CI - Carlos Guillén - (Det - 1B,3B)
MI - Ryan Theriot - (ChC - SS)
OF - Álex Ríos - (Tor - OF)
OF - Magglio Ordóñez - (Det - OF)
OF - Vernon Wells - (Tor - OF)
OF - Torii Hunter - (LAA - OF)
Util - Milton Bradley - (ChC - OF)

BN - Justin Upton - (Ari - OF)
BN - Elijah Dukes - (Was - OF)
BN - Delmon Young - (Min - OF)

SP - Johan Santana -(NYM - SP)
SP - Cliff Lee - (Cle - SP)
RP - Bobby Jenks - (CWS - RP)
RP - Fernando Rodney - (Det - RP)
P - Matt Garza - (TB - SP)
P - Derek Lowe - (Atl - SP)
P - Chien-Ming Wang - (NYY - SP)

BN - Brandon Morrow - (Sea - SP,RP)
BN - Ben Sheets - (Mil - SP)
BN - Gil Meche - (KC - SP)