Timberwolves Catch Yet Another Break: Love’s Fractured Hand

 

This isn’t even funny anymore.

Actually, the gallows humor around the Timberwolves at various points in their checkered history rarely has packed much humor; it mostly has been used to release frustration, in a laugh, clown, laugh way.

Kevin Love’s broken right hand is Exhibit 459, or at least feels like it. The All-Star power forward suffered a broken right hand during a morning workout before practice Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. The team said Love would be examined by a hand specialist in New York for the fractures to the third and fourth metacarpal bones in his shooting hand.

The injury leaves the Wolves without their top two players for the season’s first month and a half, maybe longer. Point guard Ricky Rubio tore the ACL and MCL ligaments in his left knee last March and isn’t expected back from surgery rehab until December or January.

Minnesota’s “all-in” attitude for 2012-13 – hoping to end a streak of eight consecutive seasons missing the playoffs – was dealt a brutal blow. Last spring, after Rubio went down and Love joined him after April 11 (concussion and neck strain), the Wolves finished 5-20, dashing their postseason hopes.

Digging that kind of hole at the start of this season – a 3-12 start, say, by early December – might be too much to overcome to chase even the No. 8 seed.

This mishap might answer one small question about the Wolves (what to do with Derrick Williams, the underperforming No. 2 pick as a rookie last season). But it raises many others, including: What gods of basketball did this organization tick off?

One of the frequently invoked “explanations” for Minnesota’s run of bad luck stretching across nearly 24 seasons is that, hmm, maybe Target Center was built on an old native American burial ground. Then there was “The Curse of Joey Two-Step,” applied tongue-in-cheek to all sorts of bad mojo stemming from a disgruntled 75-year-old game-ops “break dancer” who was terminated and allegedly put a hex on the franchise.

How else to explain the team’s outrageous misfortune for more than two decades? The Wolves’ misery in the draft lottery is legendary – never moving up, often slipping down and usually ending up one slot after a clear drop in talent. As in 1992, when it went Shaquille O’Neal to Orlando, Alonzo Mourning to Charlotte … and Christian Laettner to Minnesota, despite owning the NBA’s worst record.

There were the murky circumstances under which the Joe Smith salary-cap scandal came to light. Lousy trades, draft picks (Ndudi Ebi) and free-agent decisions (Chauncey Billups out, Darko Milicic in). Injuries (Micheal Williams, Terrell Brandon) and worse (Malik Sealy’s highway death) altered the franchise’s best-laid plans. Even the timing of Kevin Garnett’s first mega-contract, good as he was, hurt when it led to jealousy in Stephon Marbury over the max salary rules it triggered a year later.

Rubio’s knee and now Love’s latest hand injury – the gold-medal winner from the London Olympics missed 18 games at the start of 2009-10 with a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand – looks like further evidence of poltergeists or the ghost of Mikan or something foul in the water in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

So whatever you say, don’t tell a Wolves fan that you hope his or her team can catch a break.

9 Comments

  1. dattebayo says:

    The Schedule looks easy throughout November. They will play 9 games against opponents that probably won’t make the playoffs (Kings, Raptors, GS, Portland, Bobcats, Magic). They will play in Dallas and the Mavs won’t have Nowitzki back. They will go on the road to the Nets, Clippers and Bulls and face the Nuggets and Pacers at home which will all be tough challenges. With Love I would have gone out on a limb saying they would go at least 10-5 but without him that will be a hard challenge.
    None-the-less I really like the team, I am looking forward to seeing teams struggle defending and rebounding against Pek :D

  2. Karlo Garcia says:

    Tough for the T-Wolves. If for some reason they start the season 10-4 they should b fine or steady. If they start the season 2-14 then it’s a mountain 2 climb. Hopefully Love’s recovery is quicker cause who’s going 2 get those rebounds(offensive/defensive). Mayb Derrick Williams possibly……………

  3. TTKIN says:

    I fell bad for the wolves, I was looking forward to watching how’d they’d progress this year. But they have good sturdy vets. If Love is only out a month of the regular season, that’s like 15 games. If the vets can play even just .500 ball, they’ll still be in good shape when he gets back. Then rubio gets back a couple weeks later with 50-55 games left. Theyll be able to overcome it.

  4. bfire09 says:

    Love wanted the organization to get him help to get to the playoffs. They went and did thier job and he lets them down. Sad to see this roster will NEVER GEL TOGETHER. Roy’s knees might not hold up. Kirilenko has maybe another year left. Adelman plays D-Will for 2 minutes a game… Cunnigham, Ridnour, Barea, Amundson, SCARY…….. Sorry PEK , its all on you..

  5. bfire09 says:

    Only way D- Will gets better is if Adelman plays him.. (Wich he dont).. And the wolves need him to step up. I just dont think Adelman gives him the chance..

    • TTKIN says:

      I heard everyone in the MINN organization has been very impressed with how he has been working out though, his determination, and how fit he was when he showed up to camp. there’s a chance he gets more playing time. Considering he has the potential to be an absolute beast I hope they give him mins.

  6. bfire09 says:

    K . Love has no one to blame but himself… karma just bit him in the hand.. shoulda kept his mouth shout at the olympics. It was gonna be tough without rubio for a month, but Love too…..He better play Lights out from the time he comes back…

  7. Steve Goecke says:

    This certainly is a major blow to the Timberwolves hopes this season. Aschburner is correct about the many misfortunes this franchise has suffered, but many of them were self-induced. One mustn’t forget the illegal contract the team signed for a disappointing former #1 pick in Joe Smith, which stripped them of years of lottery picks and derailed the best years Garnett gave them by preventing the Wolves from getting him more help other than the likes of Latrell Spreewell. If there is a curse against this team, if stems from the owner Glen Taylor’s asinine decisions over the years like the Joe Smith illegal contract I just mentioned, and his trash-talking KG after he left for Boston to win a much-deserved title with the Celtics.

  8. SynByn says:

    Really? Come on Kevin Love, didn’t you give yourself a sore elbow by sleeping on it like 2 days ago? Timberwolves aren’t going to go anywhere at this rate.