What To Watch For
The Timberwolves and Cavaliers face off in round two of their home-and-home series, with both teams tonight squaring off at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland, Ohio.
As you know by now, the Wolves knocked off the Cavs in game one of this series Sunday night at Target Center, led by the best performance (thus far) of Anthony Edwards’ young NBA career. My good friends John Meyer and Dane Moore both highlighted the fun that was had last night in Minneapolis — both in print and in podcast form.
Dynamic game from Anthony Edwards tonight.— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) February 1, 2021
• 23 points
• 9/15 FG | 4/7 3PT | 1/1 FT
• 74.5% TS
• 5 rebounds
• 4 assists
• 0 turnovers
• 1 steal
• 1 block
• 1 very much-needed Wpic.twitter.com/T8E8wB01aU
As Jack notes above in his tweet, not only did Anthony Edwards fill it up in his second consecutive start of the season, but he did so efficiently — which is not something we had seen in the first month or so of the season. Known to many as “ANT-Man,” it does appear as if the rookie is starting to see the game better as things slow down around him, which is leading not only to increased production but also more fun for everyone involved:
Anthony Edwards on having fun tonight:— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) February 1, 2021
"Man... I was having fun because we were playing together. People would think I was having fun because I was playing good. I don't care about that. Like, we winning, my team winning, everybody having great success, everybody happy."
As for the Cavs, they entered Sunday night’s contest ranking in the top 10 in terms of defensive efficiency, and while it may not have showed against the Wolves, I would expect them to make some adjustments and be a far more formattable opponent on Monday night.
One last thing to monitor about this Wolves/Cavs matchup — aside from the points in the paint battle — will be the number of three pointers attempted (and made) by both teams:
Random note from last night’s box score:— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) February 1, 2021
The #Timberwolves made as many three pointers (16) as the Cavaliers attempted (16).
While the Wolves appeared to have no answer for Andre Drummond (and still don’t until Karl-Anthony Towns eventually returns), Minnesota did rely on good old-fashioned math to outduel Cleveland on Sunday, and this could be the determining factor tonight on which team leaves victorious.
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of Feb. 1 at Cleveland:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 1, 2021
Hernangómez – Injury Management
Reid – Right Wrist Sprain
Russell – Right Quad Contusion
Culver – Left Ankle Sprain
Hagans – G League
Towns – Health & Safety Protocols
As for the injury report, it still looks mostly the same — with the one big change being the upgrade from OUT to QUESTIONABLE for Juancho Hernangomez. While Juancho has indeed cleared the health & safety protocols, he still needs additional time to work himself back into shape before being placed back on the court. He will be in uniform tonight but will only be available in case of an emergency.
On the other side of the court, Cleveland will once again be without the services of our good friend Kevin Love, who is still recovering from
getting engaged a severe calf injury. Additionally...
Larry Nance Jr. is listed as out (wrist sprain) in the #Cavs game notes for tonight against the Timberwolves. Andre Drummond (low back soreness) is listed as questionable.— Kelsey Russo (@kelseyyrusso) February 1, 2021
Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova remain out.
To get the oven preheated for tonight’s rematch, I’ll leave you with this video of Anthony Edwards and what he had to say when asked if there’s any player in the league that he’s afraid to go at on the offensive end:
the most entertaining interview in the NBA pic.twitter.com/gdibC2UNsb— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 1, 2021
Happy Monday. Go Wolves.