Minnesota was in danger of dropping their home opener to an Orlando team on the second night of a road back-to-back — then Kevin Love showed he has the clutch gene.
As our own D.J. Foster noted on twitter, Rick Adelman loves this elevator screen on the sideline out of bounds — and it worked to perfection here (they beat the Clippers with it last season). Love springs out for the three while Orlando defenders clearly expect someone to switch out on him, that doesn’t happen and watch Nikola Pekovic do a really good imitation of a Minnesota Vikings guard blocking for Adrian Peterson by moving his feet and keeping his man in front of him (which is not legal in the NBA but he got away with it).
Love buried the shot and the Timberwolves went on to win 120-115. It wasn’t all pretty but if your goal is to make the playoffs they aren’t all going to be that way and the Timberwolves got the win.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.