Pregame Dribbles: Cavs-Wolves a Good One to Watch Young Guys
Pregame dribbles as the Cavaliers get ready to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
1. This will be the Island of Misfit Toys of NBA games. No Kevin Love and no Tristan Thompson for the Cavaliers, and no Karl Anthony-Towns for the Timberwolves. Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague are game-time decisions.
2. But if you're a Cavs fans and you enjoy watching players develop, this is the game for you. It could actually be fun with the likes of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland continuing to grow.
3. Sexton and Garland played well when these teams matched up in Minnesota eight days ago. Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said his team needs to stop the Cavs' young guards "at the point of attack." Without Love and Thompson around to help bail them out, this will be a true test for the Cavs' young backcourt.
4. Cedi Osman will start at power forward, John Henson at center and Kevin Porter Jr. at small forward, Cavs coach John Beilein said. He also mentioned the names of Ante Zizic, and undrafted rookies Dean Wade and Tyler Cook as additional frontcourt possibilities.
5. Saunders was at Cuyahoga Heights High School near Cleveland as the school dedicated the gym to his late father, Flip Saunders, the former Wolves coach. Flip Saunders attended Cuyahoga Heights and was named Ohio Mr. Basketball in 1970.
6. Ryan Saunders said "Minnesota adpoted him, but Cleveland meant everything to my dad." Flip used to tell Ryan that he scored between 32 and 44 points a game as a senior. "They announced during the ceremony he averaged 32 a game," Ryan Saunders said, smiling. "I remember him telling me he could have scored more if there had been a 3-point line, so maybe that's where the 44 comes in."
7. Speaking of history, the Cavs are continuing their season-long 50th anniversary celebration with more franchise legends in town. Lenny Wilkens, Craig Ehlo, Terrell Brandon and others are all in town.
8. OK, prediction time. I'm 24-11 on the season but have lost three straight. What does it all mean? Heck if I know. Final score: Cavaliers Lite 122, Wolves Lite 111.