Here are our first round of reviews from this past season’s body of work. Ladies and gentlemen, the Timberwolves 2012-13 player grades for your offseason enjoyment! We’ll be concentrating on the forwards that graced us with their presence this past season. Let’s get right into the season review …
Player: Kevin Love
To put it mildly, it wasn’t a great year for Kevin Love. He broke a bone in his right hand before the season even started doing knuckle push-ups. He returned earlier than doctors and the team had predicted and had a monster game against Denver on 11/21 at the Target Center – 34 points and 14 rebounds. While putting up big numbers in the box score, it was clear that Love wasn’t himself after the first week. He was not in game shape at all and his shooting percentages started to spiral downward – his final shooting percentages for the season were 35% from the field, 22% from three point range and 70% from the free throw line, all well below his career averages.
In December, Love missed a game here and there and averaged 17.5ppg and 13.3rpg. By no means are those numbers to yawn at, but not what we were expecting to see from our all-star forward. Then, shortly after the turn of the calendar year, the season came to a screeching halt for Love. Ironically, it came against the Denver Nuggets, the team that he opened up his season against. During a fluke incident around the paint, Love ran into a Nugget and re-fractured his hand.
That wound up being the end of Kevin Love’s season. Despite rumors that he might return towards the end of the regular season, he never saw the floor again.
While Love had several very impressive games, I am going to go with the night previously mentioned above – his return to the floor for the first time of the season and putting up the 34 and 14, leading the team to a victory. It felt like it was time to get the season really going when he got back on the floor and my own conventional wisdom had hopes that his return was the start of a playoff run and a string of returning players to the lineup. Yeah, that never happened.
Love had a few other monster games, including a 23 point, 24 rebound night in Sacramento on 11/27 and a season-high 36 points on 10-19 shooting at home against Cleveland on 12/7. However, his return helped energize the fan base; if only for a short amount of time.
This one is pretty easy. The Timberwolves season unofficially ended on Thursday, 1/3/13 when Love re-fractured the bone in his hand. He was having a monster performance on the boards that night – 17 rebounds in 24 minutes, and everything went kaput on a fluke play.
Final Grade: Incomplete
If it ever comes out that Love didn’t break his hand doing knuckle push-ups and was originally injured doing something even dumber, this grade will be changed to an F minus-minus. Let the conspiracy theorists have some fun with this one.