I came into the Wolves' game vs. the Cavaliers tonight thinking it would be an easy win for the upstart Timberwolves. The Wolves' players may have been thinking the same thing! Jamison poured in 22 points and the Cavs rolled over the TWolves at the Target Center: 98-87.
Tonight's game ends a five-game homestand for Minnesota as they'll head out on road for two games (Washington on Sunday & Toronto on Monday). The game on Tuesday vs. Chicago will end the Wolves' first (of two) back-to-back-to-back game sets in this shortened 66-game season.
Darko got going early, with 11pts in the first quarter on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. By the end of the first, Cleveland held a 28-24 lead, a lead Minnesota would never regain! After one half, Cleveland held a 7-point lead; 52-45.
It was a lackadaisical game for Minnesota all night long! It was a 12-point lead for Cleveland after three quarters. Kevin Love seemed the only one exerting himself in the second half with 20 of his 29 points coming in the final two quarters! By the end of the game, when Minnesota knew it was over and checked in Wayne Ellington & Nikola Pekovic checked in, sending Love to the bench, you could plainly see the frustration--despite Love's 29-14, the Cavs steamrolled Minnesota 98-87.
Let's take a look at some stats for each team from tonight's game...
The Timberwolves were beaten in just about every aspect of the 'game' tonight. They shot higher percentages from the field, deep & the line; out-rebounded the Wolves with a +2, had more assists, steals, blocks, fast break points & forced turnovers. The Wolves scored 4 more points in the paint, but shot less than 40% from the field in the game, and once again left A LOT of points at the free throw line--tonight's biggest culprit: Darko Milicic; who shot 1-of-6! Had Minnesota drained all their free throws it's suddenly a ball-game again (one of the MANY things this young team needs work on). The difference in team turnovers was just 1, however Cleveland's ability to get points off them was key. Cleveland is the best team in the NBA at limiting fast break points and showed it once again tonight allowing the Wolves just 3 points on the break.
Let's take a look at some stats for each team's key players in tonight's game...
Clearly, you can simply take a glance at those stats and see the Cavaliers got contributions from a lot of players! Our key matchups were Jamison vs. Love & Rubio vs. Irving. Love had the better game on offense, however it could easily be negated by his defense as well as his turnovers and fouls, while playing 6 more minutes than the vet Jamison. In the rookie matchup, the two point guards got close to the same minutes, Rubio had a great defensive game with 3 steals while shooting 50% from the field. Irving had 14pts, but also had 7 of his team's 15 turnovers, by any account--not a great game when you turn the ball over that many times!
OTHER NOTES: Michael Beasley sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter, he was on crutches and in 'great pain' after the game, word is he could miss a few games (likely won't go on the two-game road trip)....J.J. Barea was out again tonight, word is the coaching staff has yet to determine if he'll join the team on the two-game road trip, something to be determined very soon....Nikola Pekovic saw his first game action in the regular season tonight, playing two minutes in garbage time....
All around a lifeless effort from Minnesota tonight, something we also saw in that loss to Memphis. Hopefully the Wolves will step up the effort and production during this road trip. Their first stop is a game vs. the winless (0-8) Washington Wizards on Sunday and the Raptors on Monday! We'll have gameday preview of those games coming up in the coming days! Also, stay tuned for some pictures and a video recap of tonight's game--all on WeeblyWolves sometime tonight! GO WOLVES!
"I told the (the team) that no one said this was going to be easy. We're not playing well enough as a team."--Rick Adelman following tonight's loss
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!