Scouting Report: Wolves (5-3) vs. Cavaliers (3-5) | Nov. 13, 2013

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Scouting Report: Wolves (5-3) vs. Cavs (3-5) | Nov. 13, 2013


Timberwolves vs. Cavaliers | 7:00 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

The Wolves only play the Cavaliers twice this season.

A loss on Wednesday would give Cleveland the 2-0 season series win as Minnesota has lost to Cleveland already. The Wolves obviously don’t want that to happen being they are at home and they are coming off of a tough loss to the Clippers on Monday night.

The two main attractions in this one are Minnesota’s Kevin Love and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving. While both are fantastic basketball players, they are also very good at acting like they are old people.

Love joined Irving in his series with Pepsi called “Uncle Drew.”

On Wednesday, the two will not be teammates, though. Don’t expect them to confuse commercials with reality.

The Wolves come into the game in second place in the Northwest Division. The Cavaliers are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.

Last Meeting

Minnesota was riding high have taken down the New York Knicks the night before. Everyone loved the Big Apple, the team was 3-0 and Love was giving Spike Lee high fives. Reggie Miller was jealous.

Life was good.

Wolves Minute: Nov. 13, 2013

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But then Nov. 4 came.

Cleveland handed Minnesota its first loss of the season on Nov. 4 at the Quicken Loans Arena.

While it was a 93-92 loss, Minnesota showed some heart, battling back from a 55-38 halftime deficit. In fact, Minnesota had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Love missed a 3-pointer from “his spot” on the left side of the 3-point line.

C.J. Miles led Cleveland with 19 points off the bench in just 18 minutes and 34 minutes of play. Irving scored 15 points, hauled in eight rebounds and had six assists. Not so impressively, though, he committed the ball over nine times. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao both had 12 points while newly acquired center Andrew Bynum added 10.

Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 23 points while hitting five 3-pointers. Love finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Derrick Williams and Corey Brewer each finished with 13 points.

Those five 3-pointers from Martin were the only ones Minnesota would hit on 28 attempts.

This Week’s Results

On Monday night, the Wolves lost a close one to the Los Angeles Clippers, 109-107.

The Wolves can’t say they didn’t have a chance to send it to overtime. In fact, they had three chances.

With 11 seconds left, Martin forced a shot on the left block and was deep. Pekovic hauled in the rebound and went up with a baby hook that rattled out. Then an open Love attempted to tip the ball in as time expired, but was short. In Love’s defense, trying to judge how much time you have to tip a ball in isn’t easy.

“When Kevin [Martin] had shot the ball, I knew we had 11 seconds left. Pek [Nikola Pekovic] got the rebound, shot it up,” Love said after the game “So, my natural instinct was to try to rush and put it up there. It sat on the rim, and like I said, 99 out of 100 times, that goes in. That was my bad.”

The night wasn’t all that bad for Love individually, as he finished with 23 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists. He also shot 4-of-8 from the 3-point line.

Martin finished with 30 points, while shooting 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. Pekovic had a season-high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

The Wolves spent the night before at the Staples Center and snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Los Angeles. Granted the Lakers were without star Kobe Bryant, but hey, a win’s a win.

Minnesota scored a franchise-record 47 points in the first quarter, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The two Kevins came to play. Martin had a game-high 27 points while going 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. Love added 25 points and 13 rebounds. Brewer scored 17 points, while Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and 10 boards.

The most exciting storyline here for Wolves fans might be Ricky Rubio’s great all-around night. Rubio has had an up and down season thus far, but Sunday night’s’ game was all up. The Spanish point guard finished with 12 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals, marking the second triple-double of his career.

Cleveland lost to Chicago on the road on Monday, 96-81. It was the 12th loss in the last 13 matchups against the Bulls.

Irving finished with 16 points to lead the Cavs. Thompson scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Waiters added 13 points but had six turnovers. In his first start in more than a year, Bynum scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in 20 minutes and 57 seconds of play.

The Cavaliers earned their third win of the season on Saturday night in a double-overtime thriller against the Philadelphia 76ers, 127-125.

Irving led the way with 39 points to go along with 12 assists. Waiters had a nice all-around game, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Former Warriors guard Jarrett Jack scored 20 points off the bench. The big-man tandem of Thompson and Varejao combined for 32 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks.

What To Watch: Ricky Rubio vs. Kyrie Irving

You want two up-and-coming point guards? You’ve got them in this game.

In their first matchup this season, Irving outdid Rubio, but that wasn’t exactly saying a whole lot. Rubio had an off night, finishing with just four points and five assists while shooting 0-of-7 from the field. The speedy point guard did have five steals, though.

Irving finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

This season, Rubio is averaging 8.6 points, 8.9 assists (4th in NBA) and 3.4 steals per game (1st in NBA). Irving is averaging 19.4 points, 7.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Rubio isn’t the scorer that Irving is, but the Wolves don’t need him to be with guys like Martin, Love and Pekovic on the team. Rubio has done a great job of getting his teammates involved and has been active on the defensive end as well.

Injury Report

 The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. Center Ronny Turiaf is out with a radial head fracture. Bynum (personal) is expected to miss Cleveland’s next two games.

Probable Starters

  Timberwolves Cavaliers
PG Ricky Rubio Kyrie Irving
SG Kevin Martin Dion Waiters
SF Corey Brewer Alonzo Gee
PF Kevin Love Tristan Thompson
C Nikola Pekovic Anderson Varejao


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