Lost in the mix is the love in Minnesota. Kevin Love that is.
What a start to the season for the newest and and most dominant sensation to the game and arguably the best kept secret in the North Star State.
Would it be a stretch to say Love for MVP, just six games into the season?
Could he in fact beat out Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant—arguably the favorite going in—Chicago’s Derrick Rose or maybe another star in the league?
Maybe. Just maybe.
At a time when public relations for LeBron James are on a decline, Kevin Love’s is on the rise.
There are no negative associations with the third-year forward from UCLA.
He’s all positive. And he’s all real.
Love has no lack of any athleticism. For his size, he can do it all.
He’s also got the learning experiences.
The trips to Turkey with the 2010 FIBA World Championship team. His association and playing with other NBA All-Stars and finding out who they were boosted his moral. Without a doubt, this brought Love closer to his game by learning from others.
In this shortened NBA season, some teams aren't adjusting well.
Take for instance Dirk Nowitzki, who shot a scorching 51 percent last year and took his team all the way to an NBA Finals victory.
Seven months later after a long offseason lockout, Nowitzki is shooting 47 percent.
Love on the other hand has improved.
When the perception was that shooters would see a dip in percentage due to the lockout, Love hasn’t.
Love shot a remarkable 47 percent last year while averaging 20 point a game.
Six games in on the 2012 campaign, Love is mirroring that number at 48 percent a game and is adding five extra points per contest.
See, Love doesn’t get the team help in Minnesota that Nowitzki gets in the big D. No Jason Kidd and no Jason Terry, arguably two future Hall of Famers.
See, Love has inspired this Minnesota team to be on the rebound.
The Timberwolves were a dreadful 17-65 last year and finished the worst team in the Western Conference. They were one of two teams in the league to not win 20 games.
To start 2012, the team has already enjoyed a couple of huge wins. That is, knocking off the defending champs Dallas, San Antonio and taking Miami to the wire.
Who’s kept Minnesota in all those games? The Love guru, who scored over 24 points in each of those three.
Saying Love for MVP right now is far from out of hand.
Without Love, what is Minnesota?
They would lose a chunk of scoring and a ton of rebounds—two categories they rank in the top 10 at.
From an MVP standpoint, Love is as marketable as they come. The NBA will use him for the next years as a face of the league, just as they’ve done James, Durant and Rose.
Two of the above three have been MVPs—James more than once.
There have also been MVP awards handed out in Minnesota before, most recently to Kevin Garnett in 2004.
For Love to win the award, Minnesota has to stay competitive.
And the balance in the West is hard to overcome. But sneaking in as an eighth seed is not asking for much.
If the team sneaks into the playoffs, Love should get strong consideration.
Love is for real.
Averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds a game is no joke.
He is single-handedly making a bad team at least somewhat relevant.
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