NBA Three-Point Contest 2012: Kevin Love Wins Prolific Shooting Event

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIFebruary 25, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a foul during the second half of a basketball game against the Miami Heat at Target Center on April 1, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Heat defeated the Timberwolves 111- 92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Fourth-year Minnesota Timberwolves big man Kevin Love beat out Magic PF Ryan Anderson, Heat PG Mario Chalmers, Heat SF James Jones, Warriors SG Anthony Morrow and Thunder SF Kevin Durant to win the event for the first time in his young career. 

Love edged out the stiff competition and took down Kevin Durant in a tiebreaker for the victory.

This is tremendous not only for Love, but also for his team. Aside from Love, the Timberwolves have had very little to be encouraged about since Kevin Garnett's departure in 2007. 

Now, the most high-profile player that the franchise has had since Garnett is getting even more national recognition, which is perfect given the fact that the Timberwolves are closer to playoff contention than they have been for a long time.  

Love winning this highlights how versatile a player he is, which may not be completely known to the casual fan given the small market of Minnesota. Look at the players that he beat. With the exception of Anderson, every one of those guys plays a position we're used to seeing shoot. 

Love splits his time between power forward and center. One thing that those two positions have in common is that neither produces great shooters. They get their points inside of the paint, and that's about it. 

The fact that Love won this contest shows that he not only has range, but enough to show that teams need to respect him on the line. That draws big defenders away from the paint, which opens up possibilities under the basket. 

This is something that the NBA and insiders have known for a long time, but showing that skill off in such a high-profile event is only going to grow the profile of the franchise. In turn, those of us outside of Minnesota are a little more likely to see the occasional Timberwolves game, which will help us see how good this guy really is. 

For a night, it was good to see one of the NBA's best young stars show off a unique gift. But the impact of this is going to go beyond Feb. 25. 

 

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