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Game Preview #44: Cavaliers at Wolves

Ricky Rubio will bless Target Center with his presence as the Wolves finish their back-to-back set.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

We know why everyone is tuning into this game to start their long weekend. No, it’s not to watch Marc Lore take his shoes off. No, it’s not for some Rudy Gobert flexing. It’s not even for some sweet Anthony Edwards dunks.

You know what it is.

Game Info

Injury Report

What To Watch

  • Is there going to be a Ricky cam, much like there was a “KG Cam” when he returned to Minnesota? Who do I need to contact about that? When the Cavs last visited Minnesota in 2021, they took a 14-point first quarter lead and never looked back, smacking the Wolves by a final score of 123-106. Ricky had a mediocre game (6/4/8) while Kevin Love posted a vintage double double (18/13/4). Back to 2023, Ricky had an effective season debut on Thursday, helping the Wolves in the Western standings by defeating the Blazers. Thanks, Ricky! I’ll be watching those two closely tonight with a box of tissues nearby (Not like that... PD).
  • Donovan Mitchell was sidelined when the Timberwolves defeated the Cavs in Cleveland. Remember that game? Gersson Rosas’ white whale, Darius Garland, dropped 51-points in an (almost) epic fourth quarter comeback. Rudy Gobert had a clutch steal. Karl-Anthony Towns was still playing basketball. Those were the days! Flashforward to 2023, Spida has reunited on the court with his best friend, Rubio. I’m still in disbelief/awe of Spida’s 71-point performance from 11 days ago. He was a late addition to the injury report with a non-COVID illness, but if he’s in, I’m excited to see Donny battle his real best friend, Rudy Gobert, for the first time!
  • The Cavaliers are the #1 team in the league in defensive rating (109.2). They do this by cleaning the defensive glass (5th in DREB%), limiting second chance points (1st), and locking down the paint points (3rd) which is no surprise, considering the fact that they employ Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Meanwhile, the Wolves are 5th in their percentage of points scored in the paint (47.7%). As us Millennials would say, these teams are about to go...


  • Ricky Rubio scores 72 points off the bench, but the rest of the Cavaliers muster up just 28 points combined. Wolves win, 113-100.

UPDATE: Mitchell will play tonight.