Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (30-22) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (30-22)
When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs: ESPN, Watch ESPN
Cavs status updates: Kevin Love (Hand - Out), Dwyane Wade (Back-to-back - Questionable)
Timberwolves status updates: None to report
It’s hard to look for too much out of this game. If things go the way Cavaliers fans are looking, the roster will be very different before the next game the Cavaliers play with the deadline approaching on Thursday night.
That’s not to say that the Cavaliers don’t need to show up. They completely blew their game against the Magic, and the team could really use any kind of win at this point, even if it’s a competitive loss. That’s where we’re at.
Isaiah Thomas has been pretty terrible, and he’ll have a tough matchup with Jeff Teague, who’s played better than this blogger thought he would this season. The birthday boy will have to guard Teague in the pick and roll, and he’ll have a hard time on switches against Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, two large, punishing wings. Basically, the Cavs will have to do a lot of work to hide him.
In the meantime, can Jae Crowder, y’know, grab a rebound? He’s got three boards in the last two games. I think Isaiah Thomas has accidentally grabbed more than that as of late. The Wolves are enormous on the front line, and while Tristan Thompson has his hands full with Karl-Anthony Towns, the rest of the rebounding job will have to be a group effort.
James, for his measure, has really struggled to put together consistent effort over the course of 48 minutes over this horrible stretch. The blame definitely doesn’t come close to falling entirely on his shoulders, but his effort, intensity, and focus have all come and gone insanely quickly. We’ll see if he can put together a consistent effort against the Wolves.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction:
As much as I’d like to say that the team will rally, I think that’s a little ambitious at this point. The Cavaliers lose 103-125.