Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Was Probably Wrong About Kevin Love

I don't think I was necessarily wrong in pointing out that he plays the same position as Al Jefferson (though an argument could be made that I was wrong in that in an ideal world, Kevin Love would be playing a super-beefy small forward role).

But I think I was wrong in sounding the alarm to the degree that I did. I predicted in November that I might have to eat my words from earlier in the year.  K-Love, or "KLOVE" finished the season the right way--Rookie of the Month of March, for the following stat lines, courtesy of   "Love's 9.6 rebounds per game in March led all NBA rookies, while his 15.8 points per game ranked third. The first-year forward started 16 of 17 games, leading the Wolves in rebounding 13 times and in scoring on five occasions. He tallied 10+ points in 14 of the 17 games, topping 20 three times and recording nine double-doubles. On March 17 at San Antonio, Love tallied 17 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, the second-highest rebounding total by a rookie this season." 

HoopsAddict busts out many strange and unfamiliar stats in showing that Kevin Love is a badass, or in their terms, Efficiency Personified.  Eric Gordon showed some love for K-Love Records.  DraftExpress, whilst still showing some doubt about other pieces of Kevin Love's game, state categorically that "he is already an elite NBA rebounder."

At this point, I'm willing to say that while I wasn't wrong on the Timberwolves needs, I am willing to admit that KLOVE had a better season than I expected him to have.   Shockingly, those needs haven't changed--the Wolves still need a real center, and their guard play needs to improve--though Sebastian Telfair could still be a great point guard, if he's got people to play with.  Right now, with the season over, we've got great bench players for almost every position--Kevin Love will be great in relief of Al Jefferson (at Power Forward, not fucking Center), and could also be a big beefy Small Forward.  Ryan Gomes will be a great small forward sub--he has future 6th man of the year written all over him.  Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair are a solid, but small backcourt, and they need some talented, taller men to take over their starting roles (though both toy with a fan's heart, in that there are times, there are undeniably times, when they both look like the bee's knees.)  Corey Brewer could still be a great defensive stopper that can play the 2 or 3.   I said almost the exact same thing at about this time last year--only Al Jefferson is a locked in starter, at the 4.  Every other spot is at the very least open for competition, whilst some, like Center, is totally open.  The new GM, whoever he ends up being, has a ton of draft picks and money to play with.  This team isn't a center away from a championship, so they can also take their time.  

We all knew going in that this was going to be a losing season.   Losing, not LOST.  It was a lost season, because of Al Jefferson's injury.  We won't know how bad or good this team is, until we know that Al is back at 100%.   At this point, I think the team name needs to reflect this attitude.  It may be time to change it to the Minnesota Patiently Waiting Timberwolves. 

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