Anderson Varejao is trade bait. He’s done a great job upping his stock for the Cleveland Cavaliers to shop him. Averaging 15 points a game on 50% shooting to go with his league-leading 15 rebounds per game, Varejao is averaging career highs in rebounds, assists, and steals (not to mention turnovers) — all at a usage rate of Alonzo Gee (18.2%). It’ll be surprising to see him in a Cavs jersey come Spring.
Cavs probable starting lineup:
PG Jeremy Pargo
SG Daniel Gibson
SF Alonzo Gee
PF Tristan Thompson
C Anderson Varejao
The Cavs have been without their second-year superstar Kyrie Irving (23 points/game, 6 assists) since November 21st due to his fractured finger. Rookie guard Dion Waiters (15 points, 36% shooting) also did not make the trip to Minnesota due to a sprained ankle.
C.J. Miles has seen his miniscule court time climb with his shooting percentage. Over the last two games, he’s hit 3-6 and 4-8 in 9 and 15 minutes, respectively. Possibly related, Gee had 12, 13 and 22 points in the three games prior, before cooling off with a couple 2-10 and 4-10 performances.
The Wolves have no reason to fear the backcourt of Boobie Gibson and Jeremy Pargo. Gibson has shot 28% from the field since returning from an elbow injury four games ago, and Pargo has shot 35% from the field over his last 5.
PG Luke Ridnour
SG Malcolm Lee
SF Josh Howard
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic
If Andrei Kirilenko sits this one out, he’ll have four additional days of rest before the Wolves play the Nuggets next Wednesday.
Love continued to struggle with his shot in Boston, going 6-15 from the field, 6-12 from the line. He’s shooting 32% over his last 5.
Serviceable production from Ridnour (14 and 5, 54% shooting) against another inferior opponent should make it easier to delay Ricky Rubio’s comeback some more. Love’s struggles should prove a warning for coming back too soon from injury.