Timberwolves 129, Cavs 95: NBA’s Worst Team Right Now?

Following an emotional blowout to the Miami Heat two nights ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers responded with one of the worst performances in recent franchise history. Allowing a record-breaking night to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cavs fell 129-95 to prompt questions or whether they are currently the worst team in the NBA.

Anytime a team allows 37 points in the first quarter and then 36 in the second, you know that it is going to be a long night throughout. That’s exactly what happened to Cleveland Saturday night as young forward Kevin Love provided 28 points and 19 rebounds to pace the Wolves. The defense was awful, the rebounding was awful, the offense was fairly abysmal, and it left head coach Byron Scott scrambling for words after the game.

Not too many people with the guts to break down the narrative of last night’s blowout, so let’s just handle a few statistical disclaimers to show the epic nature of this loss:

– The Cavaliers have now lost their past three games to the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves by an average score of 90.7 to 117.7.

– Because of this stretch, Cleveland is now last in the NBA with a -8.1 average scoring differential. Scoring differential has been proven to have a stronger correlation to future success than win-loss numbers.

– Doing a little math, through the first 16 games of the season the Cavs had lost games by an average of just 95.1 to 99.6, an average scoring differential of -4.5.

– Minnesota set a franchise record with 18 three pointers on the night despite Michael Beasley (21.6 ppg) missing the game with an ankle injury.

– The Wolves have only had three games with more than 129 points over the course of their 22-year franchise history. Their 70.4 efficiency field goal percentage was 6.6 points higher than any performance over the past two and a half seasons.

– Minnesota shot 59.3 percent from the field (69.2 from threes) as opposed to Cleveland’s 38.6 percent mark and 23.8 percent efficiency from downtown. In fact, the host team actually was 25-for-35 (71.4 percent) from all shot attempts of at least 17 feet.

– And for two final stats, the Cavs were out-rebounded 46 to 29, and starting center Darko Milicic posted a +41 in just 26 minutes of play.

It all becomes a matter of semantics from there, but it definitely seems that the Cavs have to be in at least the consideration for worst team in the NBA at the moment. The loss was awful and the stats are just unbelievable at times, and fans have to keep in mind that it occurred against a team that was 4-15 and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.

As if Dan Gilbert wasn’t already considering blowing up the entire roster beforehand, it’s tough to not give think about it at all after that performance. Scott is left in an awkward position as well, continuing to expect at least some remnant of improved play amidst a franchise that is falling to new and more destructive lows than ever.

Next game for Cleveland is tonight at 6 p.m. at Detroit. We thought it couldn’t get much worse after the Miami game, so here’s hoping the team at least just stays competitive.

Photo above via AP Photo/Paul Battaglia

  • http://gravatar.com yellowboy91

    Last night was embarrassing. i thought they would have came out aggressive to repent from the beating the cheat gave them. Hey i was wrong,now after i watch the browns give it their all i guess i will watch the cavs play halfheartedly again. This is the first time i ever wanted this but Indians spring training needs to hurry

  • stin4u

    I’ll say it. I feel horrible for Byron Scott.

  • SDA

    same here. This is a team with no pride save one, Mo. If there is a way to fire these players it should be done. The Cavs have become a disgrace. I always defended the Cavs but this group needs to go if you cant at least give a little effort get rid of them

  • GhostToMost

    Betcha they’re blowing up LeBrons cell phone with texts, “Get me a job in South Beach yo”.

    I really hoped these guys would play with a major chip on their shoulder this season. But it looks to me like all of them are just waiting to get traded out of here.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Can we trade the Cavs to the University of Kentucky for their potential NBA players? im not diehard basketball and the Cavs just lost my additional consideration this year. They embarassed us with the Heat the other day and dont seem to care. If we’re going to be terrible, lets secure that top pick. No sense in finishing 7th from last.

  • JM

    Considering none of these guys are really that good they should be pretending to try so teams have interest in them.

  • 216in614

    “and with the first pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Cleveland Cavaliers select…”

  • Rich

    I love the guy who admits to not really caring all the much about the NBA, and then getting on the players for not caring. I mean…??

    HOW IS THIS NOT THE WORST TEAM RECORD WISE?? I don’t get how the Clip-show with Griffin and Gordon, the Wolves with Love and Beasley, and the Sac Kings with Evans are actually worse than this team when they so clearly have way more talent.

  • MattyFos

    My favorite sign from the Cavs/Heat game came true on Saturday night..

    “We should have drafted Darko”

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  • sandra

    If it wasn’t for Kevin Love, the Timberwolves would be in the same shape the Cavaliers are in. McHale was a lousy coach and so is Rambus. Kevin Love was the best college player when he was at UCLA, so he gets picked by Minnesota much to our chagrin and then has two idiots as coaches who think they know everything about coaching. I would be a better coach as I grew up in Indiana, my dad was a referee after he played semi-pro, and there is not a better place to learn the game. It has been frustrating for all the Minnesota fans who know the coaching stinks while good players sit on the bench. RICKY RUBIO is never going to play in Minnesota so get over that one. What morons they were to even draft him. Time for a coaching change and this time get someone who isn’t afraid the players will be better than they are. Somethings gotta be done.

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