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Timberwolves in Mexico City, Zach LaVine Handed the Keys

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The Wolves are back in Mexico City. Hopefully they will actually play a game this time, as they are scheduled to face the Rockets on Wednesday night.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves are in Mexico City in advance of their scheduled game with the Rockets tomorrow night. Hopefully this one will actually get played.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Catch <a href="https://twitter.com/22wiggins">@22wiggins</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/AnthonyBennett">@AnthonyBennett</a>, Big Pek &amp; the <a href="https://twitter.com/MNTimberwolves">@MNTimberwolves</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAGlobalGames?src=hash">#NBAGlobalGames</a>: Mexico on Wednesday on <a href="https://twitter.com/espn">@ESPN</a> <a href="http://t.co/7WrgDFfoQM">pic.twitter.com/7WrgDFfoQM</a></p>&mdash; NBA (@NBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA/status/531982594997772288">November 11, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Jerry Zgoda had this nice shot of Mexico City:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Hello (again) Mexico City!!! <a href="http://t.co/CfbgfJdIOr">pic.twitter.com/CfbgfJdIOr</a></p>&mdash; Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) <a href="https://twitter.com/JerryZgoda/status/531906688979578881">November 10, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Zgoda had a piece in yesterday's Strib about Zach LaVine taking over at point guard in Ricky Rubio's absence, including this quote from Flip Saunders:

"He handled the pressure, he made some plays, he rebounded really well," Saunders said of LaVine. "He definitely didn't shy away, that's a positive. ... As Zach gets more comfortable, he brings you great pace in the game. As he gets more comfortable giving you pace and becoming a decisionmaker, his minutes might get extended. I didn't want to give him too much, too quick and overload him too much."

The Wolves are going to have to figure out how to get offense in Rubio's absence. They really lack a pick and roll ball handler who can break down defenses now, so they are going to struggle getting much going toward the rim in the half court. The Rockets meanwhile are one of the most potent teams in the league, so tomorrow night is going to be tough.

Some fun stuff last night in the NBA:

  • The Cavs beat the Pelicans 118-111. LeBron James had a triple double, Kyrie Irving had 32 and 9, and Kevin Love scored 22 on 13 shots. At some point, things were going to come together for them, though it was a tough game that wasn't decided until the final minutes. Anthony Davis is playing out of his mind for the Pelicans, but the rest of the team probably isn't good enough.
  • The Spurs got a big road win against the Clippers behind a huge game from Kawhi Leonard. They still don't look convincing, and needed a big 4th quarter and some late game good fortune to pull this one out, but it's early.
  • Former Wolf A.J. Price scored 22 in 25 minutespas off the bench for the Pacers, who got a desperately needed win against the Jazz. It would be nice if A.J. Price was still on the Wolves roster under the circumstances.
Today in history

1647: Massachusetts passes compulsory school attendance law
1675: Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus 
1745: Bonny Prince Charlie's army enters England
1851: Telescope patented by Alvan Clark
1918: Hostilities end in WWI as armistice comes into effect
1965: Rhodesia claims independence from Britain
2004: Yasser Arafat confirmed dead

There is no appealing musical birthday that I could find, so here is a selection from George Friedrich Handel's opera Tamerlano, which debuted on this day in London in 1725:

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Have a great Tuesday