MINNESOTA: A few quick thoughts before the Cavs and Timberwolves tip at 8 p.m. tonight...
* Nobody seems overly concerned yet about Kyrie Irving’s 37.7 percent shooting percentage. Irving begins the night 114th in the league in shooting and 22nd among point guards. If it makes you feel any better, two of the five point guards below Irving are Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. Of course, both of those guys are coming off major injuries.
* Irving said teams are defending him differently this season, making him more of a focal point of their schemes, while Mike Brown still believes it has to do with the energy he is expending defensively.
* “I’m OK with it. It’s just the beginning of the season, trying to get some rust out,” Irving said. “Just getting used to the defensive pressure and different looks I’m getting thrown at me. It’s been a different start to my third season, but I’m OK with that.”
* The Cavs gave the Timberwolves their first loss of the season last week, but held on for a 93-92 win after leading by 23. Kevin Love missed a good look at a 3-pointer at the buzzer, then Love missed an easy tip-in at the buzzer Monday in a loss at the Clippers. Still, Love leads the league in rebounding (15.0) and ranks second in scoring (26.4).
* Only three teams in the East begin the day above .500. Brown on what, if anything, should be read into that: “We still have a shot.”
* The rookies were sent running throughout the Target Center following the morning shootaround as players punted basketballs into the stands throughout the arena. Basketballs were bouncing off the facing of the luxury suites near the second deck, while others rolled out of the arena and onto the concourse. Matthew Dellavedova, Anthony Bennett, Henry Sims and Sergey Karasev then had to go find about 18 basketballs. Who says rookie hazing is dead? It’s an old trick teams in the NBA sometimes do. Apparently the last time the Cavs did it, they lost a basketball.