Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a die hard Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Yes, it’s a hard life as a Timberwolves fan. Our franchise has never won a title, and hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2004. Season after season we wait for our “rebuilding” to turn into a playoff run, but it has been a long rebuilding period. A rebuilding period that has saw us lose stars like Kevin Garnett, and Kevin Love. Minnesotans hearts were broken when Kevin Garnett left for the Celtics in 07′. KG had led us to 8 consecutive playoff runs, but after a disappointing finish to his MVP season in 2004, and consecutive seasons missing the playoffs Garnett decided to leave. His prime was nearly passed, and he realized that Minnesota would never give him a title. The rest is history. The Celtics instantly gave him a title. Making it look easy. Then Kevin Love showed up, giving Timberwolves fans a glint of hope.
He was a diamond in the rough. The one upside to the lowest point our team had been at since they became an expansion team. He was arguably the best Power Forward in the game, averaging 19.3 ppg, and 12.5 rpg in his 6 seasons with the Wolves. In his last season, before leaving for Cleveland, he averaged 26.1 ppg, 12.5 rpg, and a career high 4.4 apg. They went a disappointing 40-42, finishing 10th in the Western Conference, with Kevin Love carrying his dreadful supporting cast.
The Heat would lose the Finals that year to the Spurs. This started a chain reaction: LeBron returned hom, and Andrew Wiggins was traded to Minnesota for the highly sought after, Kevin Love. It was Kevin Garnett all over again. We had been gifted another rare talent, and we had driven it away with our losing ways.
Although i was disappointed that Kevin Garnett had left, I still cheered for him. Most Minnesotans probably felt the same. It was like we had sent our son off to College, and he had graduated, with highest honors.
Kevin Garnett immediately fit in with the Celtics winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in his first season, and of course, the NBA Finals. I expected similar success for Love, who joined a ‘Big Three’ of his own in Cleveland; but the story for Love hasn’t been quite as sweet as it was for Garnett.
Love struggled to fit in with the Cav’s right from the get go, averaging only 16.4 ppg, on 43% shooting, and 9.7 rpg in his first season. His first campaign with Cleveland had an even more disappointing finish, as he was hurt in the first round of the playoffs and forced to sit for the remainder of the season.
This season hasn’t been any better for Love, who averaged 16 ppg, on 41% shooting, and 9.9 rpg. I did have a sliver of hope in the first three rounds of the playoffs, though. Kevin Love seemed to be fitting into his role, and the Cavaliers looked great. In the first three rounds K-Love averaged 17.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg, while shooting 44% from behind the arch. So far through five games in the Finals his averages are 7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and he’s shooting a dreadful 28% from three point land.
While there is absolutely no doubt that he is still in the top tier of NBA players, it is even more obvious that he is not a good fit for the Cavaliers. It was painful to watch his Game 5 performance on Monday, a game where he only scored 2 points. It was blatantly obvious that he was totally disengaged. As a Minnesota fan, and as a Kevin Love fan, my only hope is that he gets traded in the off-season. Preferably somewhere he can thrive.