All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
Cleveland Cavaliers

Timberwolves 91, Cavs 73 final thoughts: Anderson Varejao's streak is dead, Kevin Love is alive

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 7, 2012
Gee in traffic
The Cavaliers' Alonzo Gee, center, drives between the Timberwolves' Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic Friday in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 91-73. Gee led the Cavaliers with 16 points. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS: Final thoughts from the Cavs' worst offensive night of the season (and that's saying something).

* It was going to die sooner or later, it's just too bad Anderson Varejao's run of double-doubles ended one shy of the club record. Varejao's streak ended at 10 games tonight because he blew too many chances around the rim. Kevin Love played good defense on him, but Varejao simply missed open looks around the basket tonight. It happens.

* But when it happens, and Kyrie Irving is in street clothes and Dion Waiters is in Cleveland when the game is in Minneapolis, the Cavs have little chance of winning. Very, very little chance. 

* The 73 points are a season low and the Cavs again shot 35 percent. They've shot 37 percent or worse in each of their last three games.

* Byron Scott was fired up over the foul disparity tonight, and it was fairly lopsided (35-9). But I didn't think the Cavs were getting blatantly hosed on calls, and I checked around with a few others who agreed with me. But Scott was just sticking up for his guys when he mildly complained about the Timberwolves shooting nearly four times as many free throws as the Cavs. The Cavs' lack of calls has been an issue the last few games, and a night like this will further fuel that.

* I jokingly asked Alonzo Gee if he was trying to compile his Slam Dunk contest resume in one night. Gee laughed, but when I mentioned some of those dunks tonight looked angry, he said, "Can't get no calls, man." 

* Tristan Thompson was a little more philosophical in talking about the foul discrepancy. "You either play basketball or you're an official," Thompson said. "I play basketball and the officials are responsible for making the calls. ... You have to go in there expecting the refs aren't going to give you anything. That's not a shot to them at all, that's just how we have to play. It's our mentality."

* Thompson, however, was a little more blunt in talking about Kevin Love. Scott pulled Thompson from the game less than four minutes in because Love already had eight points off him and the Timberwolves had raced out to a 10-2 lead. "He’s an All-Star,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to learn from it. We’ll play them again. Next time we at least have to compete. Can’t just get bullied around and basically punked on the court.”

* Kyrie Irving's new Uncle Drew commercial played on the scoreboard prior to Friday's game. Love, of course, is Irving's co-star in the commercial. Love said Friday morning he struck up a relationship with Irving during Team USA practice last summer in Las Vegas. They'd shoot together, talk after practice and hang out at the hotel together. Love was on the Olympic team, while Irving was on the Select team. "The Pepsi thing just came about organically," Lovesaid. "It has been a perfect fit."

* Derrick Williams has been a major disappointment in Minnesota this season. The second overall pick in the 2011 draft, and the player many Cavs fans wanted the team to select rather than Kyrie Irving, has recorded four DNP-CDs in the last nine games. With Andrei Kirilenko back and healthy, Williams is sinking even lower on the depth chart. "You play the people you think gives you the best chance to win. If you don’t do that, you’re really stupid. You’re going to kill yourself,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. “You want to win games and you play the people you see have an impact on the game in a positive way. Derrick has to keep working at it. It’s a long season." Translation: Adelman doesn't believe Williams can help the Timberwolves, a .500 team, win many games.

* Scott played everyone on the roster tonight. Even Luke Walton played nearly seven minutes. I was joking with Walton the other day in the locker room. He said his back feels great, so I told him he should remind Byron of that, since it seems the coach forgot about him. Walton laughed. "Maybe I should slide a note under his door," he said. 

* Speaking of Walton, the Minnesota equipment manager in the Cavs' locker room tonight was telling him a great story about his dad. After all, doesn't  everyone have a good Bill Walton story? Apparently Bill Walton was at one of Muhammad Ali's fights back in the day. He got Ali's attention by yelling, "Hey champ!" Ali motioned for Walton and his friend to come down. Next thing they know, the two men were following Ali's entourage and grabbing ringside seats. Hey, it's the Waltons. There's a million stories like that.

* I didn't witness this, but apparently Jim Chones sent Samardo Samuels sprawling into the first row of chairs at this morning's shootaround. Chones, a tremendous post player back in the day, was showing Samuels some moves when he lightly shoved him with a forearm. Samuels lost his balance and tumbled into the seats, knocking over a row of chairs. Poor Samardo.

* Kyrie Irving is looking good. Irving was scrimmaging assistant coaches Nate Tibbetts and Jamahl Mosley in a strange game of 2 on 1. Anytime Irving was the 1 and the coaches were the 2, Irving had little trouble splitting them and getting to the basket. It was comical to watch.

* Fox sideline reporter Allie Clifton nearly took out Daniel Gibson during the pregame layup lines while Cavs GM Chris Grant looked on. Clifton, herself a former Division I college basketball player, was standing on the baseline preparing for a segment when Gibson bumped into her. "That's all I need," Clifton said. "Gibson injured by sideline reporter." 

* The Cavs host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. The Pistons have dropped four of their last five games, but the lone win was an 89-79 victory over the Cavs on Monday. They lost at home to Chicago on Friday 108-104.

Print
Add This