How Kevin Love Played Himself Out

Kevin Love was one of the best players in the league at one point. He was an All-Star by 22 and averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds by 23. Kevin Love at one point was in consideration for the MVP and had one of the most incredible seasons for someone his age in 2011-12. Had Love been doing that on a team that was winning, he would’ve probably walked away with the MVP trophy that season. But Love didn’t. And then he had his falling out in Minnesota after doing ‘knuckle pushups’ and eventually netted the Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins after Love decided he wouldn’t resign in Minnesota. It has overly been considered a ‘blessing’ for many Wolves fans and considered ‘one of the worst trades ever’ already by many NBA fans.

But what happened? How did Kevin Love end up being the guy that has a GoFundMe created for him in the Finals to not play in Game 6? How is he the most hated max player in the league and not only by Wolves and Cavs fans?

Well, let’s start long ago. Love came to Minnesota on a draft day trade for O.J. Mayo. The Wolves already had Al Jefferson, the franchise’s replacement at power forward for Kevin Garnett. Love played well for a rookie and then better as a sophomore to the point where he played Al Jefferson out of town. What made Kevin Love great was that he improved on something new each season. First it was his post-game. Then he developed his outlet pass and his ability to pick-and-pop. He improved his rebounding, especially on the offensive boards. Then, he worked on adding a 3-point shot that would really change the game. At the height of Kevin Love’s game, he was a 3-point shooting, outlet passing, and rebounding machine. His defense never seemed too important; it was hidden beneath his offensive production.


The league was taken aback by Love’s ability to play inside and outside. Love found ways to score off of offensive rebounds, in the post and behind the 3-point line. This gave way for the league to change the way the traditional power forward was being used. Relevant big men in the league at the time included Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Roy Hibbert, Josh Smith, and David Lee. These guys played significant roles in the success of their teams.

In the time that David Lee would fall off the face of the earth and Draymond Green would begin starting in Golden State, teams began finding ways to stop the three-point shooting big. The league began playing people at the 4 that were capable defenders and/or shooters. The league moved behind the three-point line and the stretch-4 was developed. Guys like Carmelo Anthony and Luol Deng now are getting away with playing power forward. As smaller and smaller guys began playing the four, Kevin Love should’ve been able to eat them for dinner, right?

Wrong. When Kevin Love went to Cleveland, he went with the league trend and camped outside the 3-point line in hopes of stretching the floor. What it did was allow for teams to play smaller forwards to guard Love on the perimeter and not have to worry about him on the block. Love couldn’t play inside because it would impact Kyrie Irving and Lebron James’ ability to drive the lane. Even when the Cavs have tried to use Love in the post, he looks like he has lost a step and isn’t as effective anymore..

Love is often overlooked for his part in the influence of moving the league behind the 3-point line. The Warriors were absolutely the greatest influencers in how the league has changed, no doubt. But the kickoff may have been started by Love as a ‘3-point contest winning’ Power Forward. The issue comes in when Love turned himself into a one-dimensional player and focused only on 3-point shooting. He wasn’t used enough in the offense and was too much of a liability on defense. He now is vanishing from games and probably shouldn’t play in the fourth quarter because what makes him different than James Jones? Richard Jefferson is getting playing time because he can score in a couple ways still but still plays decent defense.

It is absolutely bad for the game to see a player like Kevin Love play himself out of relevancy, but he simply didn’t adapt. He didn’t adapt like he did early on in his career.



A Morale Victory

The Wolves dropped a close game last night to the Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers. Although it will be chalked up as a loss, the young Wolves on the floor put together an effort that can be taken as a morale victory. Losing 114-107 on the road without Kevin Garnett against the Eastern Conference Champs is a better than what was expected.

There were areas in which the Wolves could’ve played better. For whatever reason, Tristan Thompson did what he wanted against Dieng and Bjelica in the second half. The Wolves couldn’t keep up with the Cavaliers three point shooting. The Wolves had countless opportunities to take the lead but when it mattered, they didn’t take care of the basketball. And the Wolves defense just wasn’t solid overall. Sam Mitchell didn’t help the cause as he let the Wolves entire bench play against the Cavs starters in the fourth quarter in which the lead got out of control. But when the Wiggins and Towns came back in, the Wolves made a come back that nearly caused an upset.

Beyond that, this is the main this that stuck out in the game last night:

Karl-Anthony Towns: 26 points & 11 rebounds

Zach LaVine: 21 points off the bench

Andrew Wiggins: 20 points

This was basically what Wolves fans were waiting for all season. A game where the young stars collectively shined together. Each played to their strengths and were major reasons why the Wolves were in the game. As Karl Towns and Andrew Wiggins are well on their way to be the youngest two players to lead their team in scoring, last night was a reminder of just how much talent is on this team.

The great thing is, the Wolves did this with no one taking more than 16 shots. And they did it in their own personal elements. Towns was going inside and outside. Wiggins was slashing. LaVine was hitting long twos and getting his points in transition.

The other beautiful thing that occurred in this game was that Wiggins, LaVine, Towns, Dieng, and Muhammed all scored in double-figures. This was likely the first time all of them have done that collectively in one night. To see all of the Wolves young players put it together like this tonight was a sight to see. Even if the Wolves lost this one, it was absolutely one to remember.

P.S. Kevin Love had 11 points too.

The Timber Rebuilder.


The Wolves take on the Cavs tonight at 6pm CT in what has turned into somewhat of a rivalry, at least for Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has averaged 31.67 ppg against the team that drafted and traded him for Kevin Love. The Cavs come in to this game after getting blown out by the Bulls in new head coach Tyronn Lue’s first game. The Cavs surprisingly fired head coach David Blatt after a 30-11 start, the best in the Eastern Conference.

The internet has won the battle again in amazing memes after the firing of Blatt. The best one being Tyronn Lue stepping over David Blatt in the iconic photo from the NBA Finals of Allen Iverson stepping over Lue after nailing a huge shot. If you haven’t seen it, see below:

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Of course, the loss on Saturday set fire to more memes and jokes about Tyronn Lue. But they lost to the Bulls in their first game. Now, the Cavs take on the 14-31 struggling Timberwolves. With the internet 2-0 against the Cavs, I can’t imagine what the internet will have in store. I can’t imagine what the world will have in store. So we started the trend #IfTheCavsLoseTonight with a few tweets to kick it off:

The chances of the Cavs losing tonight are slim, but that is what makes it so crazy. The Cavs seem vulnerable right now and the Wolves don’t have much pressure on them. Per usual, Wiggins will likely want to come out and have a big game. We will be watching closely, because if the Wolves do in fact win, it will be a free for all…

Please let us know your thoughts on what might happen #IfTheCavsLoseTonight