Jan 9, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson (13) during a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Statistical Showdown

 

Jan 9, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson (13) during a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With Kevin Love still out with a broken hand, the Minnesota Timberwolves are understandably not the team they could be. Thought by some to be a sleeper team in the West, the T-Wolves have stumbled to an 18-30 record, which puts them at 12th place in the Western Conference. To make life even bleaker, Minnesota is in the same division as the Oklahoma City Thunder (one the best teams in the league), the Denver Nuggets (currently the 5th team in the West) and the Utah Jazz (the 7th place team in the West). But even with their struggles, this team is dangerous – especially when you dive into the rebounding statistics:

Statistics
Points Points Allowed Assists Assists Allowed Rebounds Rebounds Allowed
Cavaliers 97.1 (15th) 101.4 (26th) 20.3 (25th) 23.7 (27th) 41.2 (20th) 42.4 (20th)
T-Wolves 95.1 (20th) 97.3 (15th) 21.9 (18th) 22.0 (t-15th) 43.3 (9th) 40.6 (5th)
Advanced Statistics
Offensive Efficiency Defensive Efficiency
Cavaliers 100.7 (19th) 106.9 (28th)
T-Wolves 110.2 (23rd) 103.0 (15th)
Four Factors
eFG% Free Throw Rate Turnover Rate Offensive Rebound Rate
Cavaliers 47.2% (24th) 20.3% (13th) 13.1% (27th) 28.8% (21st)
Timberwolves 47.0% (26th) 22.6% (26th) 14.2% (7th) 30.1% (25th)
Players to Watch:
Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson, power forward
1. Thompson had zero defensive rebounds against Denver
2. In wins: averages 10.6 rebound per game
3. Shooting 58.5 percent from the field in February (8.1 percent above season average)
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic, center
1. Weights 290 pounds – 40 pounds more than Cleveland’s Tyler Zeller
2. Averages 8.7 rebounds per game
3. Shoots 51.0 percent from the field
Key Matchup: Kyrie Irving vs. Ricky Rubio
While the frontcourt matchup may be more vital for Cleveland, I cannot help but be drawn to the matchup of Irving and Rubio. Irving is the better player, but there is still is hope that Rubio will become the elite point guard some thought he would be immediately coming over from Spain. Coming off of an ACL surgery, Rubio has been inconsistent at best this season. Irving, on the other hand, has solidified himself as an elite player this season. At the very least, this matchup will be fun to watch – even if I think Irving will dominate it.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving Tristan Thompson

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