Milwaukee Bucks. Sacramento Kings. New York Knicks. Charlotte Bobcats. Detroit Pistons. And the Cleveland Cavaliers. Twice.
Those are the incredibly (un)talented teams that the Minnesota Timberwolves have beaten this season. Yet, somehow, they have beaten our Cavaliers in each of their two meetings this season. It’s ridiculous.
After a strong first quarter in which Cleveland took a steady 11 point lead, they took the second quarter off and allowed the Wolves to control the game at halftime. The bench was an absolute atrocity and managed to forfeit the lead every single time they entered the game. Four members of our starting five recorded positive efficiency ratings – Anthony Parker being the only who did not because he played a lot of minutes with the bench. However, each of the four guys that came off the bench contributed either a negative or neutral efficiency – or deficiency – rating.
And, don’t get me wrong, Cleveland’s starters were not spectacular. The five of them combined for ten turnovers. They were outplayed in the fourth quarter and allowed Michael Beasley, an average power forward, to pick their defense apart. Antawn Jamison, to start, was a liability on the defensive end. As well as he played offensively, he was equally poor in his attempt to guard Michael Beasley. Especially in the closing minutes of the game.
Anthony Parker played one of his best games of the season. He knocked down nine of his 18 attempts in steady 21 point, seven rebound performance. He was really looking to score the basketball in the absence of Boobie Gibson (flu) and really picked up the slack on the offensive end. Most respectably, he made every effort to rally the second unit. Unfortunately, though, I’m not sure our second unit has the will to succeed. JJ Hickson included.
Anderson Varejao, too, was the typical Wild Thing we’ve all grown accustomed to watching. He was diving all over the floor, making the hustle plays and getting to the 50/50 balls. His six points were a bit disappointing, as I would have liked to see him get himself more involved in the offense and force Kevin Love to defend him. But he went toe-to-toe with the league’s leading rebounder for much of the game, finishing with a solid 12 point rebounding effort.
Lastly, Sir Maurice Williams has been incredible in these last ten games or so. He posted yet another double-double, posting his fourth consecutive double-double. He was. However, just six of 16 from the floor. If he could ever find his touch and start knocking down shots at a high percentage, he would be really tough to stop. And I mean really tough to stop.
What else is left to say at this point? Cavs are 8-22 and falling fast. I think the record pretty much speaks for itself. And, as luck would have it, the Orlando Magic will be visiting the Q on Tuesday evening. I’m looking forward to that one. Aren’t you?