2010-11 NBA Season: Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Power Forward: Kevin Love
|—||Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, when asked if he’d dunk over his Kia cross-utility vehicle that was given to him for winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin dunked over a Kia Optima at the NBA All-Star Weekend. Love donated his vehicle to the Dylan Witschen Foundation|
This year’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award was announced earlier today from the Target Center. He made history as he became the first Timberwolves player, ever, to win the MIP.
Love averaged 20.2ppg this season and led the League with 15.2rpg as well as earned his first All-Star appearance as an injury replacement selected by Commissioner David Stern for Yao Ming.
New Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau had this to say, “The year that he’s had has been unbelievable. When you average 20 and 15 in this league, that says a lot. It says a lot about how he’s improved from year to year. He’s a guy that plays hard all the time and will continue to improve from year to year.”
The Wolves big man won the MIP with 66 first place votes and 400 of 580 points possible. Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge was second with 11 first place votes and 157 total.
For the previous two seasons, he was behind Big Al Jefferson on the depth chart and was subsequently a 6th man. The Wolves sent off Jefferson to Utah last summer, which moved Love into the starting spot, with starter minutes and he delivered.
His 53-consecutive double-doubles set a new NBA record since the ABA/NBA merger 30+ years ago, back with Moses Malone.
When asked about the future, Love had this to say, “I think I can make another big leap. There’s always stuff to work on. The great players and even the good players in the League always add a couple things to their game. I intend on adding more than a couple if I can so I’m going to work my butt off to take another big leap.”
Needless to say, he needs to improve on his defensive presence. His low post defending and face up game on offense need to improve, if he wants to “take another big leap.”
Offseason workout partner Derrick Rose had this to say, “The way he works, you should see how hard he goes. When we work out we don’t do (any) big-man drills. It’s all guard stuff with me and Russ (Russell Westbrook). It’s amazing how hard he works out.”
There’s no doubt that if Love wants to take a big leap the Timberwolves need to drastically improve from this 17-win season.
I will post a link to the video of the announcement shortly. Until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
According to multiple sources, the Minnesota Timberwolves are set to make a major NBA announcement during a press conference tomorrow. The press conference is to make an NBA award announcement, assumably Kevin Love for the Most Improved Player of the Year award.
The press conference will be held tomorrow at 2pmCT on Target Center main floor. You can log on to www.timberwolves.com to live stream the conference.
You can find a full-update of the press conference on this site following the announcement. Until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves season is over. It mercilessly came to an end a week ago in a 121-102 loss to the Houston Rockets. With that, today we’re taking a look at our roster and handing out a few awards of our own, specifically for the Timberwolves!
First off, the Most Valuable Player for the Wolves this season. This one’s a no brainer, the Wolves’ MVP=Kevin Love. A first-time all-star, set a new record for consecutive double-doubles since the ABA/NBA merger (53), lead the league in total rebounds and rebounds per game and is the likely candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year! Love expanded his game this year with the three-point shot and with Big Al out of the picture, Love got a bump in minutes and his production skyrocketed. He lead the Wolves and the League in rebounds and rebounds per game as well as leading the Wolves in points per game. Kevin Love is your Timberwolves MVP!
Most Improved Player: This is also a no-brainer. The likely candidate to win the League MIP is Kevin Love, the winner of the Wolves MIP is…KEVIN LOVE! With a bump in minutes came a big bump in his stats as well as his popularity in Minnesota and in the League!
Most Disappointing Player: Any Timberwolves fan could name this one right off the bat, it was and is without a doubt the second-year guard Jonny Flynn. Offseason hip surgery saw him miss the first part of the season. Upon his return, we (Wolves fans) had high expectations for Flynn to take over his starting spot from Ridnour and thrive and improve upon his rookie year. Those high expectations were not met, not even close, disappointing; it was beyond disappointing. Needless to say with Rubio on his way, Ridnour on the books for another 3 years and a strong chance of Irving being our first pick, I think it’s more than safe to say Flynn has played his last game for the TWolves game.
“Best” Reserve: There are certainly a few more candidates for this one. The Wolves got great performances from Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver & Martell Webster. They were certainly the three best reserves on this team, but lets try and weed some of these guys out. First off, Randolph didn’t join the Wolves till just before the Trade Deadline, so he played less than half a season for the Wolves, although that time was solid I think we can eliminate him. Both Martell Webster and Anthony Tolliver were down with separate injuries during the season, but both were key contributors for the Wolves. Martell Webster was in and out with his performance. Anthony Tolliver wasn’t a big offensive player or really a great defensive player, but every time he got out there he hustle and worked extremely hard. My “best”/key reserve goes to first-year Timberwolf Anthony Tolliver.
“Mr. Hustle”: No more than 2 sentences ago I gave you my pick for “Mr. Hustle”. Anthony Tolliver got out there every night and according to almost every Wolves reporter he was the hardest working man on the roster. In early, out late, a desire to succeed and the determination to put in the time. Anthony Tolliver is your Timberwolves “Mr. Hustle”!
Those are your award-winners, that’s all for now. Stay tuned all summer for some updates on your favorite sports team. We’ll also be bringing you some player biographies, coaching updates, free agent outlooks, CBA updates, draft outlook(s), the Wolves’ biggest needs & we’ll take a look and keep you up to date on what all your favorite Wolves players and what they’re working on this summer. Stay tuned, until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!!
Timberwolves fans had yet another season of turmoil this year as they saw their young squad lose an NBA-worst 65 games! With just 17 wins, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have the best mathematical chance of grabbing the top pick in July’s 2011 NBA Draft. They’ll have a 25% at that top pick, but that also means they could fall as far as the fourth pick.
Along the way to the NBA’s worst record, the Timberwolves had a few bright spots.
The first came in the summer, when they were able to steal away Michael Beasley from the Miami Heat for just a second round pick (it’ll end up being the 1st pick in the second round (31st pick) in this year’s Draft). The Miami Heat were trying to clear cap space and they decided to give up 2008s #2 pick for practically nothing! I remember last summer, hearing the Heat were looking to move Beasley for the best offer. I remember really hoping that the Wolves would pursue a trade. I remember hearing the Charlotte Bobcats and the Toronto Raptors were both interested, but ultimately decided against pursuing the “troubled” young forward, the Wolves picked him up and he was, without a doubt a valuable asset to this young team and should be for years to come. A month or two into the season, there was a report that Michael Beasley was happy to be in Minnesota and hoped to get an extension in the future, so he could stay (below this section is a link to this story from my old blog: Michael Beasley Loves Minnesota). At one point Beasley led the Wolves in scoring with 20+ppg but after a few ankle injuries his performance dropped off a bit on the offensive end and Kevin Love took that top scorer spot and never “gave it back”. There’s no doubt he has talent, any Wolves fan can tell you the flashes of greatness they saw this season. However, I think Martell Webster said it best (and I am paraphrasing) but he said something along the lines of, that until these young guys understand they don’t have to lead the league in scoring our team will suffer. I highly doubt he was talking about a much more efficient Love, but rather, the “ball hog” (at times) Beasley.
Another “bright spot” for the Wolves this year was Darko’s improvement at center. The big man labeled bust for his first 8 years in the League signed a 4-year $20M contract with Minnesota last summer and this year, after he got into good conditioning he certainly made some steps forward. However, he was quite inconsistent and seemed to lack confidence and determination while playing. He started the season off atrociously, but after getting comfortable, he seemingly played much better and at one point GM David Kahn stated that he expects Darko to continue to improve and be a strong All-Star candidate in the future. The 25-year-old 8-year veteran saw his performance drop off a bit, there would be most games when he’d contribute a bucket or two, a handful of rebounds and a couple blocks and other games where he’d erupt for 15+ points, grab nearly 10 boards and throw back a handful of shots. However, the problem was that he consistently played awful. At the end of the season press conference GM David Kahn stated that he wasn’t sure what Darko’s role would be next season, that all depends on him (Darko) and how much work he puts in this offseason.
A bright spot for the Timberwolves was certainly the emergence of Kevin Love. The young forward was one of the few things Wolves fans had to boast about. After living in Al Jefferson’s shadow (or at least, because of Big Al, he didn’t get a lot of PT) as well as the questionable relationship with Head Coach (for now) Kurt Rambis. After trading away Jefferson to the Jazz this season, the Timberwolves and Rambis had no choice but to give Love extended minutes and he delivered big time! A small note: during the offseason, David Kahn was looking at potentially trading away Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors for Anthony Randolph, but Randolph was sent to New York in the David Lee deal and obviously came to the Wolves in the Melo deal. Kevin Love saw improvements in nearly every statistical category this season. Games: 60-73. Games Started: 22-73. Minutes per game: 28.6-35.8. 3-point %: 42%-47%. 3-point FGs: 35/106-88/211. Total Rebounds: 658-1112. Rebounds per game: 11-15.2. Total Points: 842-1476. Points per game: 14-20.2. Assists: 136-184. He was a consistent force for the Wolves every game out and always delivered. His 64 total double-doubles and a record 53-consecutive set a new NBA record since the ABA/NBA merger. He also made the all-star team. He got the snub in the original voting, but the Commissioner David Stern chose him as the injury replacement for Yao Ming. He also grabbed his first NBA rebounding title, beating out Dwight Howard and Zach Randolph. He’s also the most likely candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year award. His 31-31 game against the New York Knicks was impressive as well as the first player since Moses Malone to have a 30-30 game! He’s had a season to remember and at just 22 years of age, he’s only begun to reach his potential, he could be a real star in this League someday!
Yet another bright spot for the Minnesota Timberwolves was being able to grab Anthony Randolph away from the New York Knicks just before the trade deadline. Corey Brewer and 3rd string Kosta Koufos were both a part of that deal. Brewer was sent to the Knicks (and later waived and signed with the Mavs) and Koufos was sent to the Nuggets. Randolph has shown some serious potential in his first 3 years in the League and this season when Love went down with that groin injury he saw a few starts and a big increase in minutes and he continually delivered. Eddy Curry was also part of that deal that sent AR to Minnesota, but the Wolves waived him.
The Wolves have a good group of young talent. With rookie Wesley Johnson, All-star Kevin Love, Michael Beasley & Anthony Randolph as well as a high draft pick this season and Ricky Rubio potentially coming over for next year, they’ve got a solid group of talent.
Sure, the Wolves have had some bright spots this season, but in a season with 17 wins, there are certainly a lot of things, we’d like to forget.
The first of which was the inconsistent game of rookie Wesley Johnson. There were games, especially against the Lakers (for whatever reason; he did get “mentored” in the offseason by superstar Kobe Bryant) but he’d be playing the Wizards and shoot a putrid percentage and score a handful of points. His inconsistency really did hurt the Wolves. When Brewer was still with the team, Brewer was competing with Wes for the starting job and for awhile Corey got the starting shooting guard spot because of his energy, which gave Wes some incentive to step up his game, after he was traded away he seemed to return to old habits.
Another forgettable performance was Jonny Flynn’s season. He returned about 25 games into the season after undergoing offseason hip surgery. When he returned, he did NOT play well at all. As some are calling it: “the lost season” of course this was a “lost season” for the TWolves as a whole. Flynn showed small glimpses of being a capable point guard, but his turnovers, bad passing, questionable decision-making, weak perimeter defense and questionable shots all contributed to an awful season for the second-year player. It’s almost certain Flynn has played his last game for the Wolves, with Ridnour, Rubio and potentially Irving (if the Wolves get the top pick) all in the “cards” for the Wolves.
The Wolves are a young squad, they’ve; like every team; had some good and bad, however in a season where you lose 65 games, the positives are certainly outweighed by the numerous negatives.
There will be more posts throughout the offseason from everything from CBA updates, transactions, offseason workout reports, noteworthy stories, player biographies and all other pertaining Minnesota Timberwolves information. As usual thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!