As if Kevin Love needed another nail in the coffin that is his 2012-2013 season, the news of him needing arthroscopic surgery to remove a buildup of scar tissue in his left knee came and completely crushed any chance of him playing a few games for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the garbage time of the season, making it a campaign that started badly and ended the same way for the team’s star.
During the summer, when Love was touring with the USA basketball team, he talked about feeling out of place due to being the only player without any playoff experience on the squad. The Timberwolves were on their way to the playoffs last season before Ricky Rubio went down to a season ending injury, which kept him off the courts earlier this season. Love also missed the first couple of weeks of the season due to a broken arm.
He returned for less than six weeks of basketball before picking up another injury, a broken right hand, which required more surgery. The Timberwolves have been plagued by injuries all season and after a decent start, hovering around or above .500 until Christmas, completely fell apart in 2013, currently sitting near the bottom of the Western conference with a 29-47 record.
For Love, who thought this will be the year everything finally comes together, it feels like a lost season. He averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds, but played in only 18 games, looking limited plenty of times when he was relatively healthy. Love has had his issues with the Timberwolves front office – contract dispute and the feeling they aren’t doing enough to help him lead the team to the NBA playoffs.
It’s hard to say the team that was assembled in Minnesota wasn’t a good one. It just fell apart very quickly on health issues. Love is entering the next couple of years, the last on his contract before an ETO option in 2015 kicks in, with a need to change the fact that he’s the best player in the NBA without a playoff appearance.