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Game #21: Wolves at Cavaliers

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The Wolves will look to continue their strong play against the depleted Cavs on the road.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Wolves at Cavs
6:00 pm CST
FS North

The Wolves head to Cleveland for a quick one game road trip tonight before returning to Target Center for a four game homestand. A quick look at the standings suggest this should be a fairly easy game for the Wolves to get their second road win of the season (and in a row,) but the Cavs have shown signs of life by beating the Sixers and Rockets in their last two games.

In the absence of Kevin Love, rookie Collin Sexton has been taking over offensively in recent games, scoring 52 in the aforementioned two wins. Keeping him out of the paint will be a key for a suddenly improved Wolves defense, which has been playing at a top-of-the-league level since the trade. We’ll have much more on this in the coming days, but Robert Covington has led a revitalized Wolves defense which, if it’s sustainable, will represent an astounding turnaround.

The Cavs are particularly bad defensively, last in the league bad because they give up easy shots on the regular. Teams are shooting 53 percent inside the arc against them, worst in the league, so hopefully the Wolves can get plenty of easy looks around the basket. There is no reason why Karl-Anthony Towns shouldn’t have a strong game.

One area the Wolves will have to pay attention to is rebounding: The Cavs are 2nd in the league in offensive rebounding percentage, and the Wolves have often struggled on the defensive glass. It seems to be coming around a bit recently, but they will have to be strong on the glass to avoid giving the Cavs second chance points. If they can limit them there, they should be in good shape.

The Wolves are at the bottom of a huge scrum of teams in the Western Conference. A big part of that has been their road struggles, which they finally ended in Brooklyn the other day. This is the kind of game they can’t afford to lose if they still have designs on a playoff spot in the crowded West.

Expected Lineups

Cavs

Collin Sexton
Rodney Hood
David Nwaba
Cedi Osman
Tristan Thompson

Wolves

Jeff Teague
Andrew Wiggins
Robert Covington
Taj Gibson
Karl-Anthony Towns

Our blogging buddies are over at Fear the Sword. Be excellent.

Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Wolves.