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3 Takeaways From Wolves' Win Over Cavs

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves beat the Cavaliers 102-95 on Monday night in Cleveland.

Was it the prettiest win? No, it was not. But a win is a win and the Cavaliers were coming off wins over the Rockets and 76ers, respectively. 

Here are three quick observations from the win. 

Mr. Steal The Ball 

Oh my goodness gracious, can Rob Covington play defense or what?

The answer is yes.

In this one, he was great on both sides of the ball, finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks while shooting 8-for-12 from the field, 4-for-7 from the 3-point line and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.

Defensively, though, he takes the ball away from players in a way that seems illegal, but it’s definitely 100 percent legal. It just seems so unfair and players seem so stunned and sad after.

Oh, you think you’re in the clear, away from Karl-Anthony Towns?

BOOM. ROBERT COVINGTON IS HERE TO STEAL YOUR LUNCH.  

Here's Jordan Clarkson, looking to hop into a shot at Derrick Rose.  

He’s just minding his own business. 

Wait. Who grabbed the ball? Is this legal? How did Covs grab this with one hand and rip it away from Clarkson? 

Rose summed it up after the game perfectly. 

“If you’re driving near him, he’s going to get the ball, somehow someway. He’s taking the ball right out of guys’ hands,” Rose said after the game. “I see why he was on the All-Defensive Team and it’s a key move having him here. He’s a vet guy. He don’t complain about anything. We’re lucky to have him.” 

The Wolves haven’t had a wing defender like Covington in, maybe ever?

Covington leads the league in steals and is 16th in blocks. He and Anthony Davis are the only players to be in the top-20 in both categories.  

Besides Kevin Garnett, the Wolves haven’t had a player make the All NBA First Defensive Team. It feels like Covington is well on his way for his second-straight appearance on that team.

Wiggins Bounces Back, Kind Of 

Much has been made (and probably too much) of Andrew Wiggins’ recent struggles.  

After hitting double digits in scoring in 10-straight games, Wiggins scored nine points on Friday and was held scoreless while shooting 0-for-12 against the Bulls on Saturday.

In 28 minutes against the Cavs, Wiggins finished with 11 points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Not exactly WHOOOOAAAA numbers, but Wiggins was the only player on the team who had multiple rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He also didn’t have a single turnover in the game. 

On this play, Wiggins takes a shortcut through the screen and swats Cedi Osman’s shot.  

If Wiggins can’t be effective offensively, he needs to continue to make plays like the one above.

Back To .500?

The win moved the Wolves to 10-11 overall, just a half game back from a playoff spot.

The Wolves can move to .500 on Wednesday against the Spurs at home. We saw last season just how important games like these are. 

Did you know the Wolves played on the final game of the season in 2017-18 for a spot in the playoffs? 

The Spurs will likely be one of the teams fighting for playoff positioning come April and tiebreakers are essential. 

The Western Conference has been straight-up funky this season. The Clippers are in first place and if the season ended today, the Pelicans, Rockets and Jazz would be out of the playoffs. Just how we all predicted!

We’re a quarter through the season, so there’s still plenty to go. 

Despite all the turbulence the Wolves have endured so far this season, things seem to be headed in the right direction. 

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