Kevin Love Concussion: Timberwolves Star's Injury Will Derail Late MVP Charge
Several dominant performances in the season's second half had propelled Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love into the MVP conversation, but a concussion suffered last night puts an end to his hopes. There simply isn't a way for him to keep up with the other contenders while sidelined.
Could this be the end of Kevin Love's season? The Wolves are calling the elbow he took to the head from JaVale McGee tonight in Denver a mild concussion and neck strain, but...
Love spent the night in a Denver hospital as a precautionary measure–physical therapist/assistant athletic trainer Andrew Tai stayed behind with him–and certainly won't play Thursday against the Clippers at Target Center.
Love had scored at least 20 points in 17 of his last 18 games prior to the injury and had racked up 14 double-doubles during that span. His ability to impact the game in so many different ways had often been overlooked until his most recent hot streak.
On the season, he's averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds while knocking down nearly two treys per game. He's a matchup nightmare for opposing big men because of his seemingly endless motor. It'd be difficult to find a game where he was outworked.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant had started a two-horse race for MVP before Love got involved. The biggest knock against him was his team's losing record, but imagine what the their record would be without him. Especially since Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
After all, it's an award for being the most valuable player, not just the best player on a championship contender. The Timberwolves would have fallen apart without Love, who should be right back in the MVP mix next season when his supporting cast improves.
Will Love ever win an MVP Award?
That said, there's no way voters can justify voting for him if he misses the rest of the season or even a majority of the remaining games. James and Durant are both strong candidates. They will only widen the gap with Love out.
Give him credit for making a strong push, but concussions are taken a lot more seriously now. That means Minnesota's medical staff will take a cautious approach with Love, even though he's a workhorse who will want to get back out there quickly.
Hopefully he doesn't have any long-lasting effects and can enter next season with a full head of steam.
With the spotlight on him right away, he's already a top contender for the 2013 MVP Award, which should dampen the disappointment of falling out of the race for this year's trophy.
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