The CLEVELAND and the MINNESOTA will both be gunning for a victory on 10/19/2018 at 8:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS vs MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 19, 2018
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: 8:05 PM
PREDICTION: MINNESOTA , CLEVELAND
Oddsmakers currently have the MINNESOTA listed as 8.5 point favorites versus the CLEVELAND, while the game’s total is sitting at 223.5.
Disgruntled guard Jimmy Butler is expected to be greeted with a chorus of boos when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Friday’s home opener. The four-time All-Star requested a trade while expressing he wouldn’t re-sign with the team and has been a constant distraction as the Timberwolves prepared for the season.
Butler recently reported to the team and he scored 23 points in Wednesday’s 112-108 season-opening loss to the San Antonio Spurs, but his presence still represents an uneasy truce as he is clear he doesn’t want to remain with the team all season. “I got 81 games, baby. That’s all that matters,” Butler told reporters. “We’ve gotta lock in on today, what tomorrow brings, and see where we’re at. If that comes to be, that comes to be; there’s nothing I can do about it. But in the meantime, I gotta figure out a way to help us win some games.” Cleveland forward Kevin Love is back in a go-to scoring role with LeBron James gone and he is looking forward to playing in Minnesota’s home opener as the franchise celebrates the beginning of its 30th season. “It was a good six years,” Love told reporters Thursday of his Timberwolves stint that included three All-Star berths. “I can’t believe this is my fifth season in Cleveland and 11th overall but looking back, lots of positives and lots of fun coming back to the Twin Cities.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Cleveland), FS North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (0-1): Love scored 21 points but was a dreadful 5-of-18 shooting in Wednesday’s 116-104 season-opening loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday and he apologized to coach Tyronn Lue for the poor showing after the contest. Small forward Cedi Osman is now a starter in James’ old spot and he recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Toronto. ”Of course this season is going to be different, I’m going to have more opportunity to show that I am responsible and I want to give my best every time on the court on offense and defense,” Osman told reporters afterward. “I have confidence, I know how to play, I need to keep building my game.”
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (0-1): Butler played 32 minutes in the opener despite having no preseason action to build up stamina and his shooting was subpar at 9-of-23 from the field. “It’s just timing – getting your legs underneath you,” Butler, said. “I’ll be OK really soon. We take the best things from this — and that’s our energy and how hard we played for 48 minutes. We’ll take that every time.” Center Karl-Anthony Towns had a dreadful season debut with just eight points on 2-of-6 shooting in 22 minutes before fouling out.
1. The Cavaliers won seven of the past eight meetings.
2. Minnesota PG Jeff Teague scored a team-best 27 points in the opener and connected on all nine free-throw attempts.
3. Cleveland SG J.R. Smith (elbow) will likely miss his second straight game while PF Larry Nance Jr. (ankle) is expected back after missing the opener.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 114, Cavaliers 110