Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick & Prediction MARCH 8th 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves, minus one of their stars, will go for their third win in a row when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on short rest Friday night.

Minnesota is coming off a hard-fought, 113-111 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday in Indianapolis. It marked the Timberwolves’ first game since losing Karl-Anthony Towns to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Towns will undergo surgery next week, and he could miss the rest of the regular season.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said everyone on his team would have to fill in while Towns is out. That was the case Thursday in a win that was punctuated by Anthony Edwards’ high-flying block against the Pacers’ Aaron Nesmith in the final seconds.

“I’ve never subscribed to the ‘try to replace like for like (theory),’ and with a guy of Karl’s caliber, certainly it’s really hard to do,” Finch said. “What I love about our team is we have a multitude of options. We can go a lot of different ways based on matchups every night. …

“I really feel confident in our depth and our ability to go different directions. Yeah, we lose some size, obviously we lose elite talent when he’s not in the lineup, but we feel like we have a lot of other things we can kind of maybe link up.”

Edwards will try to stay hot for the Timberwolves after matching his season high with 44 points on 18-for-35 shooting at Indiana. Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are adjusting to life without big man Evan Mobley, who is sidelined indefinitely after spraining his left ankle on Tuesday. He won’t play on Friday.

Cleveland, which has alternated wins and losses in its past six games, is coming off a 112-101 road defeat against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Jarrett Allen scored 18 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers, and Isaac Okoro chipped in 17 points.

Speaking of Mobley’s absence, Allen said, according to, “It’s time for me just to step up in our position and try to help the team win. For me, it’s just trying to fill the hole where he left (off). Whether it’s dribble handoffs, finding people on the back door, just trying to do whatever he can. I know I’m not gonna get to that level of what he does, but any little bit I can do helps.”

Mobley isn’t the only injured Cleveland regular.

Donovan Mitchell, who leads the Cavaliers with an average of 28 points per game, will miss his fifth consecutive game on Friday because of a bone bruise on his left knee. Max Strus will sit out his third game in a row due to a strained right knee.

Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he had no doubts in his players’ effort level. That includes guard Craig Porter Jr., a rookie out of Wichita State.

In 38 games this season, Porter is averaging 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

“He’s a good player,” Bickerstaff said. “We’re fortunate to have him. We know what we have in him. He’s a guy that’s always composed, always poised. He knows who he is, he knows what his game is, and he knows how to get to it. He never gets sped up by defenses. He can go out and just make the right play.”

–Field Level Media

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