Why Did The Game End:
The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-6) were outran by the Minnesota Timberwolves (6-3) at Target Center on Wednesday night, falling by a final score of . Minnesota’s fast-paced offense, headed by Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Corey Brewer, ripped the Cavaliers, even with one of their top scorers in Kevin Martin out with an illness. The Cavaliers frontcourt was weak, players weren’t matching up with their assignments and the PnR was abandoned on multiple occasions. Just an overall pathetic performance.
Where The Outcome Stood Out:
The Cavaliers were outplayed in every single phase of the game: rebounds (-12), assists (-16), three-point percentage (-18.7) and field goal percentage (-13.5), just to name a few. What’s perplexing is that Kyrie Irving can’t seem to find his stroke at all, and that’s causing him to have very weak performances from outside the arc. He shot 1-of-5 from three, but his selection was extremely poor. Between him and Dion Waiters, the backcourt hasn’t been on the same page all season long. Also, Kevin Love had his way down low all night long. He used his body to get to the line for 14 attempts, making 12 of them. He also shot 10-of-12 from two-point range. The Timberwolves ran the Cavs off the court before the second quarter was over. Flashbacks to last year surfaced.
Who Did What:
Point Guard Matchup
Kyrie Irving — 20 points, two assists, one rebounds, three turnovers and 8-of-17 shooting from the field in 27 minutes played
Ricky Rubio — 16 points, 16 assists, six rebounds, three steals, 5-of-7 shooting from the field and one nutmeg on Jarrett Jack in 31 minutes played
Anthony Bennett — six points, five rebounds and 3-of-11 shooting form the field in 20 minutes played
Shabazz Muhammad — zero points, four rebounds and 0-of-4 shooting from the field in 10 minuts
Love Being Love
Kevin Love — 33 points, eight rebounds, six assists, 12-of-14 shooting from the line and 10-of-16 shooting from the field in 31 minutes
When Did The Critical Turning Point Occur:
Watching Anderson Varejao panting profusely on offense after the ball went out of bounds on a possession early in the third quarter, I knew that the Cavaliers were no where close to being capable of coming within one like the T’Wolves did when they where down 23 at Quicken Loans Arena earlier this season. That was when the team zoned out, Kyrie became the only starter moving on offense and Matthew Dellavedova saw some court time (later on). Sad effort, especially on defense where they just let Minnesota transition into the fast break off of rebounds and out-of-bounds passes all night long.
What’s Up Next:
The Cavaliers will look to redeem themselves against the Charlotte Bobcats (4-4) this upcoming Friday. They came out flat against the ‘Cats in Charlotte, so it will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers respond at home after getting throttled on the road. It should also be noted that the Cavaliers are undefeated at home and defeated on the road. Tipoff at the Q is set for 7:30 p.m.