In response to this website being recently named to SportsOverdose.com's List of the Top-10 Most Influential Independent NBA Team Blogs, I just wanted to take a minute to thank everybody who finds time to check in with us here on a regular basis. Whether you've downloaded the Stepien Rules App for your Iphone or Android (highly recommended btw), stop by the site daily, every few days, or just once in a while, it's greatly appreciated. Thanks for doing that, seriously.
There are so many tremendous NBA team blogs out there that I read on a regular basis, it really is an honor to be included on SportsOverdose.com's list; which was as follows:
1) Forum Blue and Gold – Los Angeles Lakers
2) Posting and Toasting – New York Knicks
3) Hot Hot Hoops – Miami Heat
4) Need4Sheed – Detroit Pistons
5) Stepien Rules – Cleveland Cavaliers
6) Eight Points Nine Seconds – Indiana Pacers
7) Blog-A-Bull – Chicago Bulls
8) Raptors Republic – Toronto Raptors
9) The Knicks Wall – New York Knicks
10) Knicks Journal – New York Knicks
I also wanted to thank all my friends who've contributed to the site in the past as well. That includes Dave Wooley (@dwooley81), who helped carry us through last season with the Skyenga Points Tracker Series, David O'Leary (@DOL17), Kirk Lammers (@KirkWFNY), Bill Nagel (@bnagel81), Amin Vafa (@av321), my Wine and Gold Show Co-Host Glenn Moore (@GlennMooreCLE), as well as Cleveland Jackson (@WayneEmbrysKids) who I asked on multiple times to bring his Chris Grantland Series to Stepien Rules and he eventually did after a bought him a few beers at an Indians games this past summer. So thanks fellas, and thanks to SportsOverDose.com for the recognition too.
Previewing Cavs at Utah, tonight at 9pm ET:
After hopping a one hour flight down from Portland yesterday, the Cavaliers tip things off against the Utah Jazz tonight at 9pm ET. The Cavs head into tonight's game against this 5-3 Jazz team having won four games themselves so far this season, however they haven't beaten a team who is currently above .500 yet. The Detroit Pistons (2-7), New Jersey Nets (2-8), Charlotte Bobcats (2-7), and Minnesota Timberwolves (3-6) have a combined record this morning of 9-28, so winning this one against this Jazz team, currently in possession of the 5th most wins out West, would be a big one.
Jerry Sloan is no longer stomping the sidelines out in Utah, and in his place is Tyrone Corbin. Corbin's group is coming off a game on Saturday where former Butler Bulldog Gordon Hayward paced his Jazz squad with a team high 18 points, on their way to one point win over Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors. Through eight games this season, the Jazz have demonstrated a pretty balanced scoring attack overall as well, with six guys (Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Devin Harris, Josh Howard, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson) all averaging at least 9 points per game or more. Jefferson is leading the way with 18 per night, and Millsap is averaging 12, with each of those two big guys also grabbing over 8 rebounds per game as well.
It will be another test for Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers entire frontline tonight again as a result. Varejao and Jamison will have to deal with those two guys early on in the game, but then it doesn't get easier for Tristan, Samardo, and whoever else comes in from there with Derrick Favors and company coming in off the Utah Jazz bench after that. Cavs fans should also get a look at the big man from Turkey who some people hoped would be taken with that 4th pick back in June too, as Enes Kanter is expected to play the 14 minutes or so per night that he's played thus far this season. Kanter is averaging 4.6 points and 5 rebounds per game thus far as a heads up.
If the Cavaliers are going to accomplish the goal of coming home off this roadtrip at 6-6, one I've mentioned a few times here by way of going 3 up and 4 down over these 7 games away from Cleveland, tonight is going to have to be one they'd probably need to get. I suppose there'd still be a chance to count on winning in Phoenix and then in Charlotte, with the Lakers game probably going the other way, but it would be markedly more reasonable to assume 3-4 is possible by getting this one in Utah tonight. It would be the Cavaliers best win of the season so far if they did too.