The Cavaliers won their first matchup with the Timberwolves when Minnesota's fourth quarter rally fell short as Kevin Love's game winning three drew iron. Since that point the Wolves have struggled going 2-2 over their last four games. Will the Cavs be able to get their first road win tonight at the Target Center?
When? 8:00 PM ET
Where? Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Things to watch for the Cavaliers
Tristan Thompson did a great job last game on Kevin Love. Love has been setting the league on fire this season, reclaiming his position of one of the leagues elite. However, in the last match up Thompson held love to 8-20 shooting from the floor and 0-7 from three. While obviously not all of these attempts came against Thompson in their last match up and you can't expect Love to miss that many shots, even if they are contested. If Thompson can make Love work for his shots and battle on the boards tonight, it'll go a long way towards slowing down the leagues fourth most potent offense in the Timberwolves.
The Cavs were 0-4 on the road heading into their match up against the Bulls, they did not win that game. That means if they win this game they will have their first road win. One of those would be pretty nice.
Andrew Bynum will not play tonight as he is attending to family matters. It will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers offense looks without Bynum for a game. They will likely struggle a bit more on defense without him in the lineup, but my gut feeling is that the Cavaliers will be able to get to the rim more this game. This could open up opportunities for Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett to get less contested looks at the rim, as the four bigs likely to see heavy minutes (Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller) are not as glued to the low block as Bynum is.
The Cavaliers were said to have focused a lot more on the offense in their practice Tuesday. It'll be interesting to see if it pays any immediate dividends. It'll likely be a lot tougher to stop Minnesota on the road than it was at the Q. So the key to getting a win tonight may depend on being able to score at a better rate than they have so far this season.
What to watch for the Timberwolves
Will Kevin Martin be able to get as many open looks as he did in their last meeting against the Cavs? He hit five of eight three pointers last game, and could have hit more as he had plenty of open looks the whole night. It'll be interesting to see if Waiters is able to do a better job against him, or whether Mike Brown puts someone like Alonzo Gee on Martin to disrupt him with his length.
Will Kevin Love continue to destroy worlds? Probably. He's averaging 26.5 PPG and 15 RPG. These are some very good numbers. It's always fun to see the Cavaliers take on one of the best players in the world. Kevin Love is one of the best players in the world.
Ricky Rubio looked passive in their last match up vs. the Clippers. He went 2-6 from the floor and didn't look as comfortable as he did the previous night, where he racked up a triple double vs. the Lakers. It'll be interesting to see whether or not he can get himself going while still trying to defend Kyrie Irving all night. The nice thing about Rubio, is even when he is not asserting himself, he's still really fun to watch and is always good for a highlight pass or four throughout a game. Between him and Kevin Love, tonight's match up should be a very entertaining affair.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Anthony Bennett will make 2 or more field goals today. A big performance out of Irving and Waiters propels the Cavaliers to victory.