No matter how long a streak extends, it is always disappointing when it ends. Anderson Varejao has been playing extremely well this season, but the truth of the matter is that his shooting has tapered off quite drastically in the past few games. Anderson Varejao has shot 29.5% in the past three games. What was once a major improvement for Varejao this season has become a liability recently.
Speaking of streaks, the Cavs have lost four in a row and 8 out of 9 games. The young team hasn't won on the road since Alonzo Gee won the game off of a Dion Waiters Kobe Assist in Atlanta on November 30.
Injuries are an issue with this team, but there's no reason that they should be this completely incompetent and unwatchable. Alonzo Gee went on a nice run of athletic dunks in the third quarter, but that was it about as entertaining as the game got for Cavs fans. The rest of the game was a lot of missed close-range shots that seemingly had no way of not converting.
A positive takeaway from the game is the fact that the Cavs kept the Timberwolves to 21.1% shooting from beyond the three point line, but Minnesota is a historically bad three point shooting team. The Timberwolves are tied for last place with the Washington Wizards with a 30.6% success rate from the three point line.
The Timberwolves caused problems for the Cavs in two main areas. First, they recorded 12 more rebounds than the Cavs. Considering the fact that the Cavs start a front court of two guys known for their rebounding, this is pretty unacceptable. Second, Kevin Love proved that Anderson Varejao is not the Kevin Love stopper that Byron Scott claimed he had before the game. Love finished the game with 36 points and 13 rebounds. Kevin Love converted on more free throws (14) than the Cavs attempted (9).
The coup de gras for the Cavs was that both teams made 30 field goals. The difference is that the Cavs needed 87 shots compared to 70 for Minnesota. Obviously some of that can be accounted to the fact that the Timberwolves took so many free throws, but the Cavs cannot shoot 34.5% from the field and expect to win many games.
Byron Scott said on Wednesday that the Cavs are a "no excuse team." That sounds good in principle, but injuries really are an issue for this team. The front office has not spent a lot of money or committed to building a bench up until this point, so the team really feels it when they are missing two starters.
Games between the Timberwolves and Cavs should be exciting. That is not the case without Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Hopefully both of these teams can get and stay healthy soon. As difficult as JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour can be to guard and as impressive as Jeremy Pargo has been at times, nobody is tuning in to see those guys play against each other.
As the Cavs are wont to do, they got off to a horrible start once again. There were two points during the first quarter that they trailed by 10 points. These recent games have been disappointing in the sense that the Cavs fall behind and face an insurmountable deficit before the second quarter even begins. The Cavs had zero leads in the game and there were two ties (0-0 and 35-35). To further put how bad the first quarter was for the Cavs, Kevin Love had one fewer point than the Cavs during the first 12 minutes.
Few people were delusional enough to believe that the Cavs would be a good team. But even less would have predicted that the team would have only 4 wins after 20 games. Health has been an issue, but they are proving to be a lot farther from a finished product than they probably should be.
The Cavs travel to Cleveland take on the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. Tip-off is at 7:30.