Game 27: Timberwolves at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA TV
1. With Anderson Varejao, always expect the worst when he's injured. It sounds as if his injury is serious - very serious - as in long term. We'll hoping to hear soon the exact injury.
2. This is merely the next game on the schedule. Cavs power forward Kevin Love said he didn't feel anything special about playing the T-Wolves. He played the first six years of his career in Minnesota before being traded to the Cavs on Aug. 23. He had some great statistical seasons with the Timberwolves, but always wanted more. He finally asked out of Minny and landed on one of the top teams in the East.
3. If I had to guess right now, I'd say Love won't be a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team when it's announced. That could change between now and February. The Cavs haven't played well enough for them to have three All-Stars. I truly believe LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will be starters for the East. Secondly, Love just haven't played at an All-Star level. His shooting has been off all season. His interior defense remains a major problem. Oppposing bigs score at ease in the post on him. That's got to change.
4. Of course, the Cavs' defense is inferior. Keep your eye on this one. If it doesn't improve, the Cavs won't be going anywhere in the postseason. You might not want to hear that, but experts that know way more than me - such as Hall of Famer Hubie Brown - are saying the same thing. He does think they'll get better in that area as the season progresses.
5. I love how James just anointed himself the point guard, and said he didn't even have to discuss the move with Coach David Blatt. About two or three weeks ago, James said there was going to be a major change. Irving is still the starting point guard, but James handles the ball in key situations and at the end of games.
6. Cavs shooting guard Mike Miller has played 24 minutes in the last two games. He's attempted and missed two shots - one in each game. He tweaked his ankle in the Brooklyn game Dec. 19 on the night he drained seven 3-pointers. He hasn't been right since. Blatt started him out on T-Wolves guard Andrew Wiggins - a mismatch in the worst way. Miller picked up three personal fouls in the first four minutes and went to the bench. Fans didn't see much more of him. The problem is, he can't guard Wiggins even if his ankle is 100 percent. It's unfair to even ask him to.
7. The Cavs have won nine of their last 10 games at The Q. The Cavs are 8-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. They are 13-1 when outshooting their opponent from the field.
8. Minnesota is missing three key performers in Kevin Martin, Nikola Pevovic and Ricky Rubio. That tore the heart out of the team. Point guard Mo Williams had also been injured, but he returned recently in the loss to Indiana. He played very good minutes for the T-Wolves last night.
9. Wiggins was sensational on Tuesday with 27 points, two shy of his career high. I'll say it again, I would have loved to watch his development next to LeBron James. The same can't be said of Anthony Bennett, who was scoreless in 12 minutes and committed five fouls and two turnovers. "I wish I could have done a lot more," Bennett said. "But with the way things rolled, Wiggins had the hot hand so everyone fed him."
10. Merry Christmas everyone.
UP NEXT: at Miami, AmericanAirlines Arena, 5 p.m. Thursday
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Gorgui Dieng (6-11, 233)
Timberwolves - G Kevin Martin, C Nikola Pekovic, G Ricky Rubio