Nov 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) dribbles the ball as Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) defends during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls won 96-81. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 9 Preview: Cavs (3-5) @ Wolves (5-3)

Cleveland comes to Minnesota losers of three of their last four games — those are the four games since the Wolves lost on the second night of a back-to-back which saw the Wolves get their doors blown off, get left for dead before storming back to lose by one. The bench actually helped the Wolves make a game of it after allowing the sluggish starters no time to recoup after their exhausting win the night before in New York.

Cavaliers’ probable starters:

PG Kyrie Irving

SG Dion Waiters

SF Alonzo Gee

PF Tristan Thompson

C Anderson Varejao

Earl Clark was one of the quality role players the Cavs signed over the summer, he is now coming off the bench as Gee is the starter at small forward.

The hubbub over Tristan Thompson’s switching of his shooting hands has paid off, as he’s at 48% from the floor on the season and 87% from the free throw line. This is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as he’s at just a single attempt from the charity stripe a game.

When we last left Kyrie Irving, he was struggling with his shot, while his assists and attempts were up and fairly in line with his career numbers. He’s been making 8 of 20 shot attempts per game over the last five games, good for 39% from the field. Irving is shooting 40% from three-point-land, good for over 40%.

Wolves’ probable starting lineup:

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Kevin Martin

SF Corey Brewer

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

Encouraging signs from the Wolves last time out. Pek seemed to get more looks at or near the rim, and he made like his old self and took advantage. While the Wolves may have lost a tough second night of a back-to-back in Los Angeles, they took their licks from the refs and played to a two-point loss.

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Tags: Anderson Varejao Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love Kyrie Irving Minnesota Timberwolves Pregame Preview Ricky Rubio Tristan Thompson

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