Hello Again, My Name Is Kevin Love!



VIDEO: All-Access look at the Wolves’ season-opener

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Sometimes a reintroduction is necessary.

For Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who went off for 31 points and 17 rebounds in his team’s 120-115 OT win over the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, the season-opener was a reintroduction and a reminder that he’s among the NBA’s best players at his position and overall, too.

Love has been a forgotten man of sorts in the lead up to this season. When injuries limit you to just a combined 73 games in each of the past two seasons, you are the mercy of the what-have-you-done-lately crowd. Aside from some stellar post-work for the gold medal-winning U.S. Team at the London Olympics, we haven’t seen a ton of the Love we saw against the Magic.

The fierce rebounder, inside-out scorer and clutch performer who was on display at the Target Center is a different monster than the Love we saw a couple of seasons ago. He’s older (if 25 counts as older), wiser and much more in tune with not only his own game but with the Timberwolves will need from him if they are going to give serious chase to the playoff bid they’ve been talking about in the Twin Cities all summer.

The supporting cast finally looks solid with Ricky Rubio, Dante Cunningham, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, Derrick Williams, Alexey Shved, Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea, to name basically the entire core group, helping fight the playoff-chase fight.

Love will be the workhorse, of course.

But he’ll need each and every one of those other guys to deliver the Timberwolves from the lottery perch they have occupied for years. Because if we’ve learned anything from observing Love and his All-Star peers in recent seasons, we’ve learned that it takes a small village of stars and quality role players to raise a franchise out of the abyss.

It’s funny, though, how quickly people tend to forget. After the 2011-12 season, there was a healthy debate about whether Love, the L.A. Clippers’ Blake Griffin or the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge — all of whom are All-Stars — would be the best young power forward in the game by now. They have all accomplished a great deal, individually, the past few seasons, solidifying their positions at the position for the foreseeable future.

But I’d argue that Love, when healthy, eases ahead of both Griffin and Aldridge with a complete game that the other two are still working to polish. He rebounds better than both, scores in more ways (courtesy of range that extends well beyond the 3-point line), while stepping up in clutch situations like a player who has spent twice as many seasons in the league than he actually has.

As long as Love stays healthy, the Timberwolves’ playoff dream lives on!


VIDEO: Kevin Love and the Timberwolves handle the Magic in overtime

15 Comments

  1. Najeero says:

    He’s a true Power forward. He has the combination of old school and new school because of his inside-outside game. You dont see that from alot of Power forwards, or big men in general. Its either one or the other. And of course, he aint no slouch on the boards. Blake Griffin can learn alot from Kevin Love.

  2. Tucker says:

    One thing that Kevin Love does for the offense is stretch the defending power forward out to the three point line. That opens up space not only for Pekovic in the middle but for players to drive into the lane. This goes for any stretch 4 like Nowitzki or Ryan Anderson. Blake Griffin is starting to develop an outside shot but he really should be working on his post moves. He’s so explosive and strong he should be able to post just about anybody up. Blake has been a disappointment as far as what I thought his potential would be. He can only be insane athletically for so long and once it’s gone he better hope he has old man game. So far he hasn’t become as dominant as it looked like he would. He had a great rookie season but hasn’t exceeded that season yet. He’s still playing very well but this might be all we ever see from him.

  3. griffin is the cake the other two are the candles, who GETS the frosting, from here it looks like griffin as he has cp3…and deandre….but time will tell….not pne of these guys will be kicked off the squad tho…all ballers for sho!!!

    • justsayin says:

      Yeah dont sleep on Blake – if Doc teaches him to defend and rebound things are gonna get real.

      Plus you just can’t teach hops like that – and SUE ME for liking to be entertained -
      Heck people don’t get nostalgic about Dr J, Nique, & MJ just for their 3′s!

  4. dan says:

    i would say that Love and Aldridge are more or less, equal. Love is a better shooter and rebounder, and LA has better post moves and is a better defender. i dont take Griffin seriously, he is all about athletisicm, nothing more.

  5. J says:

    best PF in the league

  6. asdf says:

    1. Love
    2. Aldridge
    3. Griffin.

    Until griffin develops a solid jumper, rebounds and play better defense he will be listed 3rd in my opninion, and im not saying loves defense is good because its not, but he can do so much more than griffin.

  7. okc2014 says:

    Minnesota is looking real good…

  8. celtics fan says:

    rubio must’ve felt so bad after that turnover

  9. MV3 says:

    umm LA can shoot the 3 too. and LA is much more clutch and has a better post game then Love. plus hes got the dirk turn around locked down now, Love is a better rebounder tho. but still LA is a better all around player then Love. Dont trip

  10. Ben says:

    I 100% agree with this article. He does seem to be forgotten, even among serious NBA fans such as myself. He is definitely more skilled at this stage of his career, then Blake or LA. I would pick him over the other two, if I was starting a franchise. Solid write up Sekou.

  11. Patrickmarc says:

    Love can shoot far behind the arc, with a huge confidence.
    Rubio is getting confidence too,
    I have the feeling they will beat many teams.

    I hope they have no injuries this year.