Preview: Wolves at Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Minnesota Timberwolves are the ones who lit the match that started the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ house fire.

Now the two teams are preparing to meet Wednesday with the Cavs‘ roof collapsing and foundation beginning to crumble.

In any order, here are the bad things happening to Cleveland:

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The Cavs lost 116-88 to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. They’d only beaten the Magic 19 of the last 20 times they played.

Coach Tyronn Lue left the Magic game with an undisclosed illness in the second quarter. He’s now missed two games with undisclosed illnesses.

Kevin Love is out for two months.

The Cavs are 6-13 since Christmas.

Oh, and the last time Cleveland played the Wolves on Jan. 8, Minnesota laid down a 127-99 beating, the first of four losses the Cavs have suffered by 24 or more points.

Yep, that about covers it.

“They have LeBron,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “And they still have one of the best home records (19-7) in the NBA.”

Lue went to the locker room with 8:02 left in Tuesday’s game and his team ahead by 17. Top assistant Larry Drew took over for Lue, who initially told him he thought he’d be back during the game. But Lue stayed in the locker room at halftime and his team fell apart, blowing a 16-point lead at halftime that was as high as 21 points in the first quarter.

“I saw him at halftime. He was starting to feel a little bit better, but he couldn’t return in the second half,” Drew said. “So we’re hoping he’s feeling better. But, at halftime he seemed to be doing a little bit better than what he was on the bench.”

For as bad as losing to the Magic was (Orlando has the East’s second-worst record and was playing on a back-to-back), having to play the Timberwolves Wednesday is worse.

The Cavs trailed 20-4 and by 41 points in the last meeting. Andrew Wiggins scored 25, Jimmy Butler contributed 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 19 points and 12 boards.

Also, the Cavs are 0-8 since Christmas in nationally televised games. Naturally, ESPN is carrying this one.

“Just got to keep pushing,” said LeBron James, who scored only 10 points the last time the Cavs played Minnesota. “Stay positive, keep pushing. Try to get better. That’s where it’s at for me. We’ve got another opportunity tomorrow playing against a very good team that beat us up pretty good in Minnesota before. We look forward to the challenge. We’ve got to come out with the right game plan, we’ve got to come out with a sense of urgency and we’ve got to play the game the right way and try to sustain some good basketball for 48 minutes.”

Minnesota hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire lately either, losing four of its last seven.

“We’re going to take what the game gives us,” Towns said about this game against the Cavs, according to the Star Tribune. “We’re not going to try to be Mike Tyson. We’re obviously not going to be out there trying to be Floyd Mayweather either. We’re just going to take what the game gives us and try to go with the flow and stick to our game plan.”