Coming into this NBA regular season, all anyone was paying attention to was the recent big-name free agents signed around the league like LeBron James (Miami Heat), Amare Stoudemire (New York Knicks) and Carlos Boozer (Chicago Bulls), but the real story this year has been the emergence of some of the most talented young players in the league like Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).
Over the past few years, the Clippers, Bulls and Timberwolves have been perennial bottom feeders in the NBA with little or no hope for the future. Fortunately, all three of these struggling NBA franchises were able to get their hands on some promising young players that had the potential to turn the teams around.
Even though the Chicago Bulls are the only team of the three that will make the playoffs at season’s end, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves might not be that far off from being playoff bound in the next few years. There is no doubt that Blake Griffin is the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award this season and has stolen some of the spotlight away from the two-time defending NBA champion Lakers in Los Angeles, but it has been the Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love that has really started to make headlines as of late.
With forwards like Tim Duncan, Moses Malone and Charles Barkley before him, Kevin Love has had his work cut out for him in terms of being compared with the best of the best at the power forward position in the NBA. Last season Love was a solid contributor for the T’Wolves and thought to be the next big thing in Minnesota, but no one knew just how good this kid from UCLA would turn out to be.
This season Kevin Love has put up some monster numbers and made history with unbelievable performances. With 20.9 points, 15.8 rebounds (league leader) and shooting 47% from the floor, Love has been arguably the best power forward in the NBA this season and recently cemented himself in the record books by passing NBA great Moses Malone for most double-doubles in a row in a single season.
With his 51st straight double-double (23 points, 17 rebounds) against the Dallas Mavericks on Mon. March 7, 2011, Kevi
n Love passed Moses Malone and has made a case as one of the best players in this league. The Minnesota Timberwolves may still be a few years away from being playoff bound in the Western Conference, that is if Kevin Love sticks around or takes the high road like Kevin Garnett did, but Love has definitely made an impression and is quickly becoming a rising star in the NBA.
In my opinion, there is no other forward in the league that comes close to Kevin Love right now in terms of putting up the numbers every single night, but whether or not he is willing to stick around if this franchise can’t surround him with talented players remains to be seen.