Originally written on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/20/14
9e
When Anderson Varejao doesnt get a double-double, the Cavaliers dont stand a chance. Thats the story of this Cavs season, and it cannot be argued. And anyone who saw the Cavs 91-73 loss at Minnesota on Friday is giving a hearty amen. Today, opponents are understandably doing something against the Cavs theyve never really done before. Today, opponents are game-planning for Varejao. Stop him, they seem to say, and its over. Stop him, and the Cavs have zero answers. Heck, lets be honest. At 4-16, the Cavs dont have much of a chance against anyone these days, Varejao or not. Thats not an insult. Thats just reality -- especially if Kyrie Irving (broken finger) and Dion Waiters (sprained ankle) keep missing games. Irving and Waiters are only in their second and first seasons, respectively. Yet Irving is averaging 22.9 points per game and Waiters 15.2. On the floor, they form a potent backcourt that can score and distribute with the best of em'. In street clothes, they form a gaping hole that creates a major disadvantage in nearly every area. The Cavs are a young team with a brutal early schedule. Throw in injuries, and you get well, this. It was an NBA game, but it looked more like something the Cavs were just trying to survive. Winning, it seemed, was not really an option. Thats where Varejao usually comes in -- enabling the Cavs to keep things close and have a shot simply via pure determination. Entering Friday, Varejao had recorded 10 straight double-doubles in points and rebounds, and 10 straight games of at least 15 boards. None of that was a big secret, at least not to the Timberwolves (9-9), who used the wide and talented frontcourt of power forward Kevin Love and center Nikola Pekovic to neutralize the Cavs wild man. In the end, Varejao finished with a season-low four points (2-for-10 shooting), and 14 rebounds. Love, on the other hand, owns the NBA record of 53 straight double-doubles. Hes also the defending All-Star weekend three-point champion. He is Mr. Inside-and-Out, a basketball Transformer who can do anything his team needs and do it very well. His greatness was unquestionable on this night, as Love finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and one substantial headache for the Cavaliers. Without Irving and Waiters, and with Varejao playing like an actual human being for once, the Cavs had nowhere to turn. And goodness knows coach Byron Scott tried everything. That included appearances from forwards Luke Walton, Samardo Samuels and even rookie Kevin Jones, who spent the first 18 games of the NBA season in the NBA D-League. Nothing worked. Oh, Alonzo Gee gave one of his better performances on offense with 16 points, and C.J. Miles scored 13 off the bench. But even those points were compiled via passing and cutting and wide-open shots. Like everyone, Gee and Miles pretty much had to try do it by themselves. As we saw, both are certainly capable. But as we also saw, youre not going to win too many games that way. Or any games. The Cavs didnt really take the ball to the basket, and when they did, they didnt get a call (Minnesota shot 35 free throws to the Cavs nine). So they basically settled for jumpers, and they did it way too early in the game. Scott angrily mentioned the free-throw disparity after the game, and you do have to wonder if the Cavs are ever going to get a fair shake from the officials. But this goes beyond shoddy refs, or just Love being awesome. It has more to do with the fact that without Irving, Waiters or a stellar game from Varejao, this team is toast. Again, thats not intended to trash the Cavs. Theyre playing hard. Not always smart, but hard. But right now, theyre too young, too unlucky and too disjointed to overcome even the slightest hitch. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.