In case you missed it, Kevin Love is done for the season, as the Wolves wisely decided not to bring back their franchise superstar for the final meaningless games of a disappointing season.
From the Pioneer Press:
Kevin Love has done more than his share of work for the Timberwolves this season, so the club decided to give him the final two games off.
Why not? The Wolves were eliminated from playoff contention in the Western Conference two weeks ago.
Why not indeed. A disappointing end to 2011-2012 for Kevin Love, to be sure. Once, when the Wolves were contending for the 8th spot in the playoffs, Love was a darkhorse candidate for MVP. Now his season ends in the ignominy of another losing season.
But rather than dwelling on these depressing thoughts, let’s remember some of Kevin Love’s highlights this year.
- With Dwight Howard out for the season as well, Love has clinched his second consecutive double double title, achieving double digit points and rebounds in 48 of his 55 games.
- Love scored 30+ points 18 times this season, including two 40+ games and one memorable 51 point output against the Thunder.
- In fact, let’s talk about that Thunder game. Love single-handedly dueled Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, taking the Thunder to two overtimes before succumbing. Love’s ridiculous point totals were made more ridiculous by his efficiency shooting the ball (51 points on just 27 shots) and his 14 rebounds.
- Love kept the Wolves competitive and vaguely on the edge of the playoff race for several weeks after Rubio went down, putting the team on his back night after night to keep them afloat.
- Appearing in his second consecutive All-Star game, Love showed that he belonged this year, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of play.
- Love successfully pulled off three different facial hairstyles in one season, the manly lumberjack, the creeper-stache, and whatever weird Jersey Shore business is going on here. Quite the collection on snapshots.
- His points per 36 minutes skyrocketed by four from last season as Love re-invented himself as a dominant scorer.
Despite a disappointing season, Love is a bright-spot Minnesota can continue to look to as next season approaches. He’s 23 years old and undeniably one of the top 10 players in the NBA.
If you haven’t already, make sure to take a moment as a Timberwolves fan and appreciate the fact that a marquee player like Love plays for this franchise. Largely thanks to him, things are finally starting to look up.