Kevin Love: Loss in All-Star's Fantastic Return Exposes Lack of Wolves' Depth

Mike HoagCorrespondent IINovember 21, 2012

Nov 21, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) dribbles against Denver Nuggets small forward Kenneth Faried (35) during the first quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit:  Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Love blew up in his return to action for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Love wasn’t supposed to be recovered from a broken hand for at least two more weeks but made a surprise return in the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at the Target Center.

The Wolves, without their best player, were 5-4 on the season before getting him back on the floor this week. They drop to 5-5 following the loss, including three straight home losses.

Love didn’t disappoint, though.

He logged an impressive 35 minutes in his first action of the season while racking up 34 points and 14 rebounds.

Despite the impressive season debut, the Wolves still lost convincingly, at home, to a Nuggets team that has been struggling mightily during the early part of the year.

The Nuggets turned the ball over 20 times but were able to salvage the night by outscoring their hosts by 11 points in the final quarter.

Despite Love’s absence, the team got off to a hot 5-2 start, but Minnesota has now dropped three straight games thanks to other injuries up and down its roster.

Injuries are one thing, but lacking depth is quite another.

Are the Wolves lacking depth, lacking durable players, or was this just a combination of the two—a perfect storm of injuries that’s cast its shadow over the team?

At 100 percent strength the Wolves may be a team capable of making a playoff push, but they haven’t been able to sustain that this season, having lost some key players for a considerable amount of time.

That has exposed the lack of depth and has killed the team's ability to build momentum and familiarity with one another on the court.

This recent spurt of losing could be a sign of things to come for the Wolves if they can’t keep their best players on the floor.

Even with Kevin Love back, he can’t do it all himself.

The Wolves need to weather this storm, and hopefully they'll be fueled enough by Love’s return that the team can stay competitive until those missing pieces make it back to the court.