Kevin Love: Broken Hand Will Make Timberwolves a Better Team in Long Run

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 12:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after hitting a three point shot past Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 12, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Timberwolves defeated the Suns 127-124.  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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There's no denying that Kevin Love is a beast, and apparently it's his beast mode in practice that is forcing the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star power forward to the sidelines for a minimum of five weeks: 

Kevin Love broke his hand doing knuckle push-ups. He might only be out five weeks.

— (@CBSSports) October 18, 2012

Palms flat on the ground, Kev, flat on the ground.

But there's a silver lining in all of this, and that's the increased playing time that a number of players will receive due to Love's injury, specifically, last year's first-round pick, Derrick Williams.

According to Britt Robson of the Minnesota Post, Adelman was never on board with taking Williams in last year's NBA draft, believing that game wasn't a good fit with Adelman's offense.

As we saw last season, Williams did little to prove Adelman wrong.

It's not that Williams is Adelman's only option—Andrei Kirilenko could slide over from small forward to his old stomping grounds at the four, allowing Adelman to start Chase Budinger at the three. Or he could keep Kirilenko as the starting small forward and slide Dante Cunningham into the starting lineup in place of Love.

NBA players can only improve their games so much in practice and preseason action. It takes regular season minutes against other starters in the league to truly take their games to the next level.

While that holds true for all of the above named players, there's a reason that Williams was the second overall pick while both Budinger and Cunningham were second round selections.

Derrick Williams has tremendous upside and limitless potential, while Budinger and Cunningham are what they are—quality role players who are best served coming off of the bench. They are all going to see an increase in minutes with Love on the sidelines, and rightfully so.

But getting Williams in a groove is of the utmost importance.

If he lives up to his potential and takes advantage of the situation, Adelman would have multiple options with the starting lineup: from sliding Love over to center when the team plays smaller lineups and starting Williams at the four to moving the sophomore over to the three and bringing the man formerly known as AK-47 off the bench.

It also increases his value around the league, which would play into what Robson alludes to as Adelman's ultimate hope—to see Williams out of Minnesota.

Should Williams fail, the Timberwolves are in the same situation they currently find themselves in, with a power forward who doesn't really fit in with what they are trying to do but one who has more experience and is more acclimated to the NBA game and able to cut down on the mistakes he made as a rookie.

But should he succeed, the Timberwolves have options, whether it's to keep him on board or use him to go acquire a piece that they think they need.

Either way, the Timberwolves become a better team because of it.