The Minnesota Timberwolves are a different team this season. That much is evident through three games, which included a win Sunday night in New York. You can thank a healthy Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio — and yes, newcomer Kevin Martin (Zanesville High). Martin has been a fantastic addition after spending a season in Oklahoma City. The Timberwolves don’t like playing against physical defensive teams, though, and that’s where the Cavs come in. If the Cavs can display the philosophy sought by coach Mike Brown, they should be able to win home games like these.
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
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TV/Radio: 7 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (3-0) C Nikola Pekovic PF Kevin Love SF Corey Brewer SG Kevin Martin PG Ricky Rubio
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (1-2) C Anderson Varejao PF Tristan Thompson SF Earl Clark SG Dion Waiters PG Kyrie Irving
• Cavs center Andrew Bynum is expected to return to the court in limited minutes tonight. Nothing was official as of noon ET, though.
• Rookie swingman Carrick Felix (hernia) is out for the Cavs. Center Ronny Turiaf (elbow) and forward Chase Budinger (knee) are out for the Timberwolves.
• The T-Wolves are 3-0 for the first time since 2001-02. They own the NBA’s longest playoff drought (nine years).
• In Sunday’s win, the T-Wolves put up 40 points in the first quarter. Doing that tonight might make Brown’s head explode. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say neither will happen. Still, the T-Wolves have scored at least 100 in all three games.
• Irving has 21 assists and just six turnovers through three games. He’s averaging a team-high 15.3 points — but that’s more than seven points per game less than last season.
• No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett has yet to make a field goal (0-for-12) for the Cavs.
• Love is averaging 29.7 points and 14.7 rebounds. That’s frightening. Martin comes in at 20.7 points per game, up from 14.0 last season.