This one was lost well before the no call…

Well Cavs Fans things certainly haven’t started off the way we would have liked and the good news is that it’s still early.  Coach Brown has a huge task at hand.  One being the Shaq factor 
In my opinion what we saw tonight was a force feeding of the Big Cuyahoga at the expense of the Franchise.  Repeatedly we saw posts and reposts into Shaq in the 4th quarter and at times he got his but it really hurt Lebron from getting into any type of rhythm himself.  When we got Shaq I had visions of converging double teams being burnt by the Diesel throwing up lobs to Lebron or finding him on a wing with the D actually – get this – tilted away from him.  To this point we’ve seen nothing that resembles this.  At times we’ve seen Shaq draw and kick to a wide open shooter for a three…but…it’s no secret that Lebron has been getting wide open 3’s for anyone at anytime on any spot they want it for 5 years now. So how does this improve our team?  Well really it doesn’t.  The only way to truly make this acquisition work is to incorporate Lebron playing off of Shaq.  We need to see Shaq’s “hockey assists” getting to a cutting Lebron or an isolated Lebron, not a spot up shooter each time.  Does Coach have what it takes to make this happen with Kuester up north? Only time will tell. 
On The Rotation…
Never Coach’s strong suit.  Tonight was truly wacky.  I can’t recall a one possession game in which Lebron was on the bench with 5 to go in the 4th quarter.  West was clearly struggling and got most of the crunch time minutes with an emerging Daniel Gibson on the bench.  All the while Andy was on the pine watching Brad Miller pick and pop us to death with both Z and Shaq on the floor together.
Season’s young, but clock is ticking… 
I’m going to have some faith in Coach Brown that he’ll get this figured out.  I’m just going to hope it’s before we’re buried behind Boston and ORL and praying for a 3rd seed.  The thing that scares me the most about this team is that our biggest weakness has zero solutions.  I get this feeling that it’s going to be my least favorite words in the English language come May:  Pick and Roll.  Somebody can make a lot of money devising a plan to combat this with Z or Shaq on the floor – let alone both of them.  I never would have imagined we’d acquire Shaq and I would feel complete relief when we run Andy out at C and Lebron at PF but that’s the case for right now. 
But luckily Cleveland it is early and we still have the King.  If all else fails and the X’s and O’s become too complex just throw it to ’em at the top of the key and let the man go to work.  After all that got us to the Finals.
Bill Nagel wrote this post for Stepien Rules…Bill is a contributer here at Stepien, look for more from him as the season goes on.  To contact Bill direct hit him up at
Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.