The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet again on Monday night following a 109-104 win for the Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves were slight underdogs, but were in control in the second-half. They were down six points at halftime, and came back in the second to out score the Cavaliers in both quarters.
I kept looking at that matchup when I was handicapping the board and the Timberwolves were calling my name. Apparently not loud enough, because I opted to stay away from the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves and Cavaliers will play the back end of this home and home series in Cleveland at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It was the Anthony Edwards and Malik Beasley show for the Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Edwards recorded 23 points, while Beasley chipped in with 23 points as well. Jaylen Nowell was able to provide a nice spark off the bench for the Timberwolves. Getting production from the depth of their roster has been a struggle for them. It’s always a welcome sign when a youngster like Nowell can enter the game off the bench and score 13. The 21-year-old has a lot of growing to do, though.
The Timberwolves are in a lot of trouble if they have to depend on the 43rd pick in the 2019 draft to save them. I think we can say the Timberwolves have already been in trouble without Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s been a terrible year for Towns, who had to deal with the death of his mother because of Covid-19. Six other family members died from the illness as well, including his uncle. Then it was recently involved that Towns was involved in a car accident in the offseason.
What more could go wrong? Oh, Towns is dealing with a wrist injury. He dislocated his wrist and isn’t expected back on the court until mid-February. Tough break for a guy that seems by all accounts one of the good ones. The Timberwolves enter with a record of 5-14 after their win last night. There hasn’t much more to expect without Towns in the lineup. The Cavaliers regressed to 9-11 on the season with the loss. Head below for our free Timberwolves vs. Cavaliers pick on February 1, 2021.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Betting Odds:
Timberwolves vs. Cavaliers Prediction:
The Timberwolves were able to snap out of a three-game losing streak last night. It was only their second win in nine outings. Prior to their win against the Cavaliers, they were stomped on by a score of 118-94 against the Philadelphia 76ers. That wasn’t a good look for the Timberwolves, and overall, it hasn’t been a good look for them throughout the season. That’s easy to say with a 5-14 team without their star forward on the floor.
They haven’t been particularly good on either side. I wanted to see Karl-Anthony Towns develop more as a defender this season, but we’re going to have to wait and see. Even if Towns isn’t improving his questionable defense, the Timberwolves would be better by tenfold offensively with him out there. As it stands, Minnesota is 26th in the NBA with 106.7 points per game.
Last night being an exception where we saw the offense come through with a solid showing. And no, it wasn’t versus a terrible defense. The Cavaliers have actually been pretty stout on defense. They’ve conceded 198.7 points per game for seventh in the NBA. Nothing wrong with that at all. The offense needs some work, but they’ve been considerably better at home.
Prior to going on the road for a 102-81 loss against the Knicks and the loss last night, the Cavaliers defeated the Pistons at home in impressive fashion, 122-107. They also held strong against the Lakers at home in a 115-108 loss. Overall, the Cavs are 29th in the league with 104.2 points scored per game. At home, though, that improves to 111.1 points a game. The Cavs are 6-4 at home as opposed to 3-7 on the road.
Conversely, the Timberwolves have struggled mightily finding wins on the road. That’s been the case at home, too, but especially as a visitor. The Timberwolves are 1-7 in that regard, with a win on December 26 against Utah, 116-111, their only win on the road. They’ve yet to win a game away without Towns on the floor.
Note the Timberwolves are also 0-4 ATS in their last four road appearances. Expect Minnesota to be content with their win last night, while the Cavs should come out with a little more energy. I like the Cavaliers by 8 or 9 points at home in this one.