From a press release:
– The NBA today named Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love as its Western Conference Player of the Week for games played October 29 – November 3. Love becomes the sixth different Wolves player in club history to be named Player of the Week, earning the award for the first time in his five-year career.
Love has played a pivotal role for the Wolves as they improved to 3-0 for the second time in club history(2001-02), one of just four undefeated teams in the league. In the season opener on Wednesday, Love erupted for 31 points and 17 rebounds, including draining a game-tying three-pointer with 10.1 seconds left to force overtime. Two days later Love was at it again, finishing with 24 points on 7-for-12 shooting and grabbing 12 rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 100-81 rout of Oklahoma City. He finished his week with a 34-point, 15-rebound performance in New York, his fourth straight 30+ point/15+ rebound performance against the Knicks and 20th of his career as the Wolves closed out a 109-100 win over New York. With the performance, Love joined Shaquille O’Neal as just the second player since 1985-86 to record four straight 30/15 games against one opponent.
This season Love leads the NBA in scoring (29.7 ppg) and ranks second in rebounds (14.7 rpg), free throws made (31) and attempted (39). He’s also tied for first in double-doubles (3), increasing his total to 121 in his last 135 games. After grabbing two offensive rebounds in Sunday’s win in New York, Love extended his streak of consecutive games with an offensive rebound to 78, the longest active streak in the NBA.
Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Following tonight’s game in Cleveland, Minnesota
returns home to Target Center this week to host Golden State on Wednesday and
Dallas on Friday. Tickets for this week’s games are available now without any
fees by visiting Timberwolves.com/WolvesTix or calling 612-673-1234.
Photo - Hannah Foslien (Getty images)
By: Joe Perovich | KFAN
Nearly 20 years after provoking Reggie Miller courtside, the prideful Spike Lee spent Sunday’s game between the Timberwolves and the Knicks showcasing humility, not feigning ignorance to what the NBA’s leading scorer is putting forth on a nightly basis.
Effectively keeping the New York Knicks at bay, Kevin Love successfully knocked down a well-defended and well-earned jumper with just 3:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. He trotted back to the defensive end after extending his team’s lead, but not before extending his hand out to the award-winning director who had no choice but to give credit where credit was due.
The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Knicks 109-100 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, cementing the franchise’s most successful start to a season since the 2001-02 campaign. How to characterize this success? It’s a sprint, not a marathon.
The Timberwolves scored 40 points in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, bringing their average points scored in the first quarter of their small, three-game sample size to 37.3. For reference, the Los Angeles Clippers are second best at 30.0, and the 7.3-point average that differentiates the two teams is the biggest separation between any two teams in the NBA thus far. Need further elaboration? The Timberwolves averaged a 14th ranked 24.7 points in the first quarter last season.
Kevin Love headlined the team’s third win with 34 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Advanced stats reveal Kevin Love’s versatility, that is, if it’s not apparent enough already. He is shooting a staggering 54% from the left wing three-point zone, paired with a 64% conversion rate at the rim.
Love’s night was impressive, but perhaps not as satisfying as Kevin Martin’s.
Martin made all five of the three pointers he attempted, and went 9/12 on shot attempts as a whole. He finished with 30 points, and was +26 in the plus/minus column. The newly acquired shooting guard needed a performance such as this after dampening some of his own buzz in the first two games, submitting a less-than-advertised 29% from three-point land, and 33% field goal percentage overall.
On the Knicks side, last season’s scoring champion Carmelo Anthony was visibly frustrated all night. He was 8-22 on shot attempts, almost half of which came during the Knicks impressive comeback attempt in the fourth quarter. The reigning scoring champion never was able to find his groove. The odds of this being the effect of watching someone on the same floor take a stab at dethroning the title he’s trying to defend are pretty unlikely, but why not be facetious and mention it anyway?
As premature as it is, Kevin Love is the NBA’s current leading scorer at 27.9 ppg.
Amare Stoudemire isn’t the player he once was, but his absence was felt greatly as the Knicks were brutally outplayed in the paint by Minnesota’s bruisers, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.
Tyson Chandler’s athleticism and Andrea Bargnani’s range frustrated the offensive-oriented Pekovic at points on the defensive end, but it was not enough to will their team to victory when the game drew to its final close. The Timberwolves are making the small/mid market stereotypes into their own, personal punch line, laughing at the perceived inability to compete with the organizations that can dangle not only money, but also bright lights and beaches.
If the Timberwolves weren’t already on the national radar, that time is coming. Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Spike Lee, as already mentioned, were in attendance Sunday night.
The stars come out to see the stars. On Sunday night, the stars couldn’t be found on the home team.
When you accuse a man of choking, you can’t possibly make excuses to belittle a man who kept his team from choking. Spike Lee knows this. And soon, everyone will.
Yes, even you LaMarcus Aldridge.
Photo - Hannah Foslien (Getty Images)
By Joe Perovich
On the heels of their 9th consecutive season without a playoff appearance, the Minnesota Timberwolves had an extra incentive to start out a promising season on anything but a sour note. "Crisis" averted.
The Timberwolves beat the Orlando Magic 120-115 in overtime, as Kevin Love sent a much-needed jolt through the Target Center on game tying three-pointer with 10.1 seconds left in regulation. Orlando’s Aaron Afflalo’s final attempt to complete the upset was a touch short as the buzzer sounded, and the Timberwolves rode a necessary momentum to an opening night victory.
Love finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds, 11 of which came before the halfway point of the third quarter. Newcomers Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin both finished second and third in points respectively (Martin 23, Brewer 16). Kevin Martin’s debut was a bit of an up-and-down affair, as he shot just 6-19 from the field. His night was saved however, as his efficiency at the free throw line proved spectacular. Martin made all nine free throws he attempted.
The debuts weren’t simply exclusive to the home team. Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, appeared convincingly undaunted by the NBA’s quickened pace and fertile talent pool. Aside from your typical rookie turnovers, Oladipo aggravated the Timberwolves with his disruptive play and all-around style contributions that made him such a fan favorite at the University of Indiana. A quick scan of the box score doesn’t suffice in this case, nor does it illustrate the positive impact he had through much of the contest. With just two games recorded as a professional basketball player, the "eye test" revealed a Magic offense that catered to Oladipo’s strengths and a green light in his arsenal to run isolation sets for himself whenever the rookie sees fit.
Victor Oladipo, you’ll remember, was highly coveted by the Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders around last June’s draft. Neither Gorgui Dieng or Shabazz Muhammad, the team’s actual draft selections, saw minutes of game time Wednesday.
Known commodities like J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham both had nights off the bench that will be unheralded, but both proved indispensable on a night where the Magic drew dangerously close to playing spoiler. Barea scored nine points in the last 91 seconds of the first quarter, and Cunningham made a valiant attempt to put a stranglehold on the backup power forward position, appearing in just about every positive play in some effect when on the court.
Kevin Love’s game tying three-point field goal near the end of regulation was laden with some unmistakable parallels to his game-winning three-point attempt just a year and a half ago versus the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.
Both shots came off the exact same play. Both shots concluded with the exact same result. There’s more to come, I assure you.