The Minnesota Timberwolves looked to get their most impressive win of the season playing at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wolves were on track early leading the Cavs after the first quarter. Then Lebron James and the rest of the Cavs decided to start playing, and play they did, putting up 43 points in the second quarter alone. The Cavs led the Wolves at half 69-61. The third quarter went in favor of the Wolves largely because of Andrew Wiggins who scored 20 points by himself. Wiggins finished the game with 41. Going into the fourth the game was knotted up at 93. As Wolves fans we know that they struggle in the fourth quarter and this game was no different. With foolish turnovers and empty offensive possessions the Wolves found themselves on the loosing end of a 116 to 108 final.
The story of the game wasn’t James or Irving, yes they both got the usual 25 points a piece. It was the role players that hurt the Wolves. With Love out others had to step up. Channing Frye and Derrick Williams did just that. Frye scored an uncharacteristic 21 points. Derrick Williams the former Wolves player scored 13. The same Derrick Williams that was a bust as the second overall pick as a member of the Timberwolves. Minnesota fans are accustomed to former players hurting their former team. Young Wolves made mistakes late and experienced Cavs took advantage of them.
The problem with the Wolves is the inability to close out games late in the fourth quarter, around the 4 minute mark is when the Cavs pulled away. With Wiggins and Towns heavily guarded, the Wolves needed other players on the floor to knock down open shots. Rush, Rubio and Dieng were not able to do so. With the reliable shooter LaVine out it’s up to others to hit shots when Wiggins and Towns are double teamed. Looking at the Wolves roster its hard to find guys on the team that can do that on a consistent basis. The Wolves need to figure out what they are going to do with struggling players like Dunn, Bjelica and the inconsistent Rubio. The Wolves are one piece away from becoming a very good basketball team.