Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ 116-108 road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
1. It’s been quite a month. The Cavs are 6-1 in February. They’re averaging 122.6 points on 52 percent shooting.
2. LeBron James is leading the way. The ball movement has been much better, and James and Kyrie Irving are to thank. They’re the guys with the ball in their hands. So when things don’t go well, they’re usually the ones to blame.
3. James and Irving each scored 25 against the Timberwolves. The Cavs (38-16) usually fare better when those two are scoring in the low to mid-20s and everyone else is involved. That happened Tuesday.
4. Andrew Wiggins (41 points) tries too hard against the Cavs and takes away from what his team is trying to do. He is an excellent young player, but sometimes, his priorities on the court remain out of whack.
5. Basically, the knocks on Wiggins today are the same as they were when he came out of Kansas and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cavs in 2014. He’s a wonderful talent, but not always engaged and sometimes only puts forth real effort against certain opponents.
6. Wiggins is 0-6 against the Cavs lifetime. This is the first time the Cavs beat the Timberwolves (21-35) by less than 20 points in the Wiggins era.
7. Again, that’s not intended to pick on Wiggins. He’s tons of fun to watch and the young Wolves could be really good someday behind Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns (26 points). But this debate is settled: The Cavs won the Kevin Love-Wiggins trade by landslide — and that’s putting it mildly.
8. I write that after it was announced Love will miss at least six weeks following knee surgery. Love’s knee surgery came as somewhat of a surprise. He had an MRI on Monday that revealed nothing. He wanted a second opinion. It resulted in surgery on the same day.
9. This after saying he had “knee pain” after Saturday’s win over Denver. There had never been any reports of knee issues with Love before this. It had always been back spasms that kept him out.
10. Anyway, the Cavs are looking to find help as the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaches. As I tweeted Tuesday, a team source told me that owner Dan Gilbert has given Cavs general manager David Griffin the green light when it comes to increasing payroll and improving the roster.
11. Griffin is on the lookout for deals and I’m told has come close to pulling the trigger on at least one. He still could. I asked it on the “Cavaliers Live” pregame show and will do so again here: Who knows what rabbit Griffin will pull out of his hat next?
12. Channing Frye did a nice job of doing his best Love impersonation with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Those are basically Love’s averages. Tristan Thompson will need to be more of a scorer without Love — and did outstanding work with 14 points and 11 boards.
13. LeBron also collected 14 rebounds and eight assists.
14. I have a feeling Derrick Williams (13 points) is a keeper. One opposing team executive told me the Cavs may be the perfect place for an energetic, athletic-type such as Williams. “He could turn out to be the most underrated signing of the NBA season,” the executive told me.
15. So what’s next for the Cavs? Well, for starters, the Indiana Pacers, who visit The Q on Wednesday. Then it’s the All-Star break. Then it’s potentially a trade before the next time they take the court after that break (Feb. 23). I have a feeling at least one minor move will be made before March 1.
16. At the very least, the defending champions have already added two nice pieces in Williams and Kyle Korver, and will add more once Love and J.R. Smith return. But they’re not done. I can almost assure you of that.